Rough hoop week for MCS & ACS girls

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By John Bernhardt
It’s not uncommon for the opening minutes of a basketball game to present the most daunting obstacle for an inexperienced basketball team. That was the case in three contests last week for the young Andes Mountaineers girls’ team. Andes fell behind by big margins, losing lopsided decisions to Gilboa at home on Monday, to Jefferson on the road on Wednesday, and in the first round of the Margaretville Booster Tournament on Thursday.
Shelby Oliver’s 18 points helped pace Gilboa past the Mountaineers, 56-25, to start the week. Although they played well in the second half, Andes couldn’t offset ice-cold shooting in the game’s first two quarters falling, 36-20 in Jefferson. One of the area’s top girls’ basketball players, Jordan Beers schooled the young Mountaineers’ squad, knocking down 19 of her game-high 23 points in the first half as Franklin advanced to the finals of the Margaretville Booster Club Tournament with a 57-23 win over Andes on Friday.

Coss tops offense
Andes senior Shianne Coss continues to lead the Mountaineers’ offense. Coss netted 28 points over the three contests, scoring 14 against Franklin on Friday and seven points in each of the earlier contests last week.
Sophomore center Cheyenne Weaver continues to learn and improve around the basket. Weaver netted game-high eight-point totals in the Gilboa and Jefferson contests.
The weekend snowstorm postponed Saturday’s girls’ consolation and championship games of the Margaretville Booster Club Tournament. The Andes/Margaretville consolation match-up and the Franklin/Gilboa championship game will be made up at a later date.

Margaretville girls
“Stand tall. Talk small. Play ball” is the message on the Gilboa girls’ shooting shirts. Gilboa’s Kendall Thorington modeled the Wildcats’ basketball slogan in the opening round of the Margaretville Booster Club Tournament. The towering Thorington unleashed some smooth post shots scoring a team-high 19 points, pulled several rebounds off the backboards, and was a formidable defensive obstacle around the basket, as Gilboa raced past the host team, 54-42.
Gilboa stormed to an 8-0 lead in the opening minutes with Thorington and Makayla Foster cleaning the backboards for put-back baskets. Annette Hogan hit the first of five three-point shots to get the Blue Devils on the scoreboard with the teams trading baskets for the remainder of the period. Gilboa led 14-7.
A Shelby Oliver 12-footer at the end of a Wildcat fast break and another Thorington put-back stretched Gilboa’s lead to 18-7 early in the second frame. But, a scrappy Margaretville five battled back with Sami Hunt turning an offensive rebound into a score, Cora Bruno hitting Hogan ahead of the pack for a lay-up basket, and Hogan downing her second shot from behind the arc, cutting he Wildcats’ advantage to 18-14. The half would end with Gilboa in front, 22-16.
An odd scoring pattern took shape in the third quarter that stretched the Wildcats’ advantage. Four different times the Wildcats would score two baskets, then Margaretville a single field goal throughout the period. The net result saw Gilboa stretch their six-point halftime edge to 14, 35-21, heading into the final period of play.

Tough to stop
Seven of Margaretville’s scoring possessions in the fourth period were of the three-point variety, six shots from behind the three-point arc and one, an “one-and-one” old-fashioned three-point conversion. Hogan nailed three long-range field goals, Cora Bruno hit two of her own plus the outdated version, and Cecilia Galatioto hit a single “trey.” But, the Blue Devils couldn’t find the defensive stops they needed on the other end of the floor to shrink the Gilboa advantage.
Much of that could be attributed to Thorington who scored nine points in the final frame. Thorington showed off a variety of moves, nailing an eight-footer, banking in an inside turnaround, putting back an offensive rebound and drawing a foul for a score, then banking home a rolling runner.
Oliver hit 17 points and Foster 15 to go with Thorington’s team-high 19.
Hogan led all scorers with 21 for Margaretville with Bruno chipping in nine more.