By: Nate Calvin
MONTPELIER – It was a matchup of the top two teams in the BBC the last two seasons to get the girls high school basketball season underway.
Hilltop was able to overcome turnovers and used a 17-4 final stanza to earn a 41-30 win in the nonconference meeting between the two schools.
As expected for a season opener, play was ragged in the first quarter as the teams combined for 18 turnovers and 4/18 shooting as the Locos took an 8-4 lead after one quarter.
Each team had big scoring runs in the second quarter, starting with the Cadets.
Two baskets from Libbie Baker and two more by Jayma Bailey spurred Hilltop to a 12-3 run as they built a 16-11 advantage.
Montpelier answered with the last eight points of the half, led by four points from Aleigha Hillard to grab a 19-16 lead at halftime.
Mandy Taylor opened the second half scoring for the Locos with a field goal to stretch the lead to 21-16.
Mia Hancock provided the offense in the third for Hilltop with two triples and a two-point field goal that gave the Cadets a 24-23 lead.
Jada Uribes closed out the quarter for Montpelier by going 3/4 at the charity stripe to put the Locos back on top at 26-24.
Hilltop’s big fourth quarter started with six straight points by Hancock during a 7-0 run to take a 31-26 lead.
A Madelyn Hooper field goal for the Locos stopped the run before Hilltop ended the game with a 10-2 surge paced by six points from Baker.
Baker had 18 points on the night to lead all scorers while Hancock had 16, 14 in the second half.
Uribes topped the Montpelier offense with 12.
HILLTOP (41) – Brown 3; Baker 18; Bailey 4; Hancock 16; Totals 15-9-41
MONTPELIER (30) – Bumb 2; Hillard 6; Humbarger 4; Taylor 4; Hopper 2; Uribes 12; Totals 11-7-30
Hilltop 4 12 8 17 – 41
Montpelier 8 11 7 4 – 30
GAME STATISTICS: Hilltop: FG – 15/26 (57%); FT – 9/15 (60%); Rebounds – 28; Turnovers – 30; Montpelier: FG – 11/50 (22%); FT – 7/8 87%; Rebounds – 17; Turnovers – 15
Junior Varsity: Montpelier, 36-7
Nate can be reached at email@example.com