In search of their first win, the Black River High School girls' basketball team recently hosted 14-4 (at press time) West Rutland, dropping a tough, 55-33 decision to the Lady Golden Horde.
Seemingly facing an up-hill battle from the get-go, especially with senior starter Katie O'Neil out of the line up, the Lady Presidents worked hard despite having only one bench player to rotate into the lineup.
Yet, Black River coach Peter Collins somehow managed to make that one substitute count, giving each of his players quick rests throughout the contest.
Despite the gallant effort, however, West Rutland got their fast break going early and along with some tough pressure defense, raced out to a 17-6 lead after one quarter.
Senior guard Katie Lincoln led the charge for Westside, hitting two 3-pointers, driving for two lay ups and starting two others with steals on the defensive end.
In the second quarter the Golden Horde would continue to expand their lead, using good ball movement on the offensive end in order to wear down the numbers-thin Black River line up.
However, Lady President junior Angie Valente and sophomore Alyssa Collins did some good things on the offensive end as well.
But after closing out the quarter with an eight point run, West River took a 16-point lead into half time.
The third quarter would see much of the same as the Golden Horde continued to run the fast break for easy offense and create a lot of pressure on defense which would not allow the Presidents to get much offense going.
After building up a 20-plus point lead, Westside would pull most of their starters in the fourth quarter, which seemed like the right thing to do against a very game, but under-manned Black River roster.
To the Lady Presidents credit, however, they continued to work hard for the entire game and although they probably don't realize it now, they're determination to play hard to the final whistle every time they step on the floor, is a testament to the players and coaches respect for the game.
High praise indeed.
Lincoln led all scorers with 28 points before sitting out the entire fourth quarter, while senior guard Brooke Griswold pitched in with 13 points.
Angie Valente and Dakota Chambers led the way for Black River with 10 points each.