Enosburg's Abril Ciurana goes up for a shot between two MVU defenders during Tuesday's game. (Anthony Labor Jr. Photo)


By Landon Potvin

SWANTON – The Enosburg Hornets held the Missisquoi Valley Union Thunderbirds to five points on 2 of 22 shooting in the first half on Tuesday night, leading to a 37-23 win for the Hornets.

Enosburg’s (10-0) full-court press had MVU’s offense frustrated as they made every pass tough with a hand in the face on every touch. Alexis Kittell had three steals, while Allison Bowen and Ryleigh Simmons had a block that sparked transition points for the Hornets. As the defensive anchor, Kittell met the ball handler at halfcourt every possession, slowly tiring them out, but she also fought over every screen. Along with her game-high five steals, she scored eight points with two assists and two rebounds.

“We come out early and set the tone with our defense,” said Enosburg head coach Gary Geddes. “We got some easy baskets, had a good lead, and that is what sets the tone for us. The girls came out with some good intensity, and it followed right down through the bench.”

“When we press, we create a lot of steals, and working together, we trap the ball really well and force bad passes,” said Lilly Robtoy. “Even if we don’t get the turnover, we force them to make a tough pass, and it flusters them to not be able to do their normal thing. So coming out in the trap helps a lot.”

MVU’s Alexandra Brouillette catches up to Enosburg’s Lilly Robtoy forcing a loose ball during Tuesday’s game. (Anthony Labor Jr. Photo)

MVU (7-4) scored its first points of the first quarter from a McKenzie Vincent free throw. But it was Robtoy that stole the show at the end of the first quarter on her offensive rebound and putback at the buzzer. Robtoy’s third quarter is what set her apart from the others. She scored five points in the third and finished with a game-high nine points. She had two strong takes to the rim; one managed to find its way through the net, the other, she got fouled and made one of two from the line.

What the Hornets struggled with, MVU did not take advantage of. The Thunderbirds had 18 offensive rebounds and managed to score only three times. Vincent had 14 rebounds; eight came from the offensive side. Alex Bourdeau muscled four, Abigail Paquette grabbed four offensive rebounds and totaled nine.

“That’s a tough one; we spoke about it at halftime,” said coach Geddes. “We are not bigger than anybody, so we have to do everything technically sound, and we did a better job of that in the second half. In the first, we weren’t making any body contact.”

Enosburg’s Eric Goodhue attempts to pick up a loose ball in between three MVU defenders during Tuesday’s game. (Anthony Labor Jr. Photo)

MVU made the final score more respectable in the second half. Destinee Pigeon made an acrobatic step-back that went up and down like a rainbow and touched only a smidge of the net. Vincent put two away at the free-throw line and Paquette added a basket. MVU started a press of its own, and Alexandra Brouillette stole the inbounds pass and banked it home for her only points of the game. Enosburg held a 31-13 lead over the Thunderbirds to start the fourth quarter but MVU outscored them 10-4 in that frame behind Pigeon’s and Paquette’s four points each.

Missisquoi returns to action Friday at North Country and Enosburg will look to remain unbeaten next Wednesday at Mt. Abraham.

MVU’s Arianna Bourdeau (13) plays tight defense as Enosburg’s Ryleigh Simmons tries to find an option during Tuesday’s game. (Anthony Labor Jr. Photos)
Enosburg’s Alexis Kittell goes up for a shot during Tuesday’s game. (Anthony Labor Jr. Photo)
MVU’s Alexandra Brouillette attempts to dribble around Enosburg’s Allison Bowen during Tuesday’s game. (Anthony Labor Jr. Photo)
Enosburg’s Lilly Robtoy dribbles between her legs in an attempt to get around MVU’s Alex Bourdeau during Tuesday’s game. (Anthony Labor Jr. Photo)
Enosburg’s Emily Adams drives toward the basket during Tuesday’s game. (Anthony Labor Jr. Photo)
MVU’s Arianna Bourdeau dribbles away from the pressure from Enosburg’s Lilly Robtoy during Tuesday’s game. (Anthony Labor Jr. Photo)
Enosburg’s Alexis Kittell dribbles as she looks for options during Tuesday’s game. (Anthony Labor Jr. Photo)