Arlington stifled in second half, fall to Terriers

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ARLINGTON — Having met just two weeks ago, the Arlington girls basketball team and Bellows Falls are well acquainted to how the other plays.

Back on December 13, the Terriers topped the Eagles and Wednesday's rematch was no different as Bellows Falls beat Arlington 40-24.

The game was well-matched throughout the first half as the Terriers held a three-point advantage at the break.

The second half was where Bellows Falls took control, outscoring the Eagles 21-8 in the final two quarters.

With last Friday's game against Black River postponed due to a snowstorm, Arlington hadn't played a game in two weeks. Knowing its been a while since his team had seen game action, Eagles coach Larry Andrews thought his team came out with a strong effort Wednesday.

"I thought we'd come out flat, but we didn't. We played really good in the first half," Andrews said. "We played a zone and I thought they did a fairly decent job on that. We just have to hang on to the ball and take care of the basketball."

The Terriers were paced by forward Michelle Marchica, who scored a game-high 10 points. Abbe Cravinho had a strong game as well with nine.

Marchica was particularly strong in the second half as she scored eight of her 10 after the break. She was also a force on the defensive end, blocking multiple shots in the second half.

"We lost her. We just need to find the shooters," said Andrews about Marchica's impact on the game. "We're not a young team, but our basketball IQ isn't the highest. It's getting better, but we need to recognize who's beating us."

Arlington was led offensively by forward Erin Murphy, notching nine points in the contest. Kierstyn Hess added eight points for the Eagles.

Early in the season, sophomore Haley Mattison has been one of the top offensive threats for Arlington, having scored 16 against Leland and Gray and 12 against Brattleboro. Mattison was held very much in check Wednesday as she was held scoreless. Bellows Falls held her to just two points in their previous matchup.

Captains Katie Berger and Jamie Keel were held to a combined one point in the contest was well.

The Eagles' second half struggles came down to more than just tough opposing defense. Arlington also struggled mightily from the foul line in the second half, shooting just 2-for-7 from the charity stripe.

The loss drops the Eagles to 1-3 on the season. Arlington has played teams from each of the top three divisions so far this season as the Terriers are Division II, Brattleboro is Division I and Leland and Gray is Division III. The Eagles have yet to play a team from its own division, Division IV.

Being able to hang with some of those upper-division schools is something that Arlington can gang its hat on.

"They're going to take some confidence from this," Andrews said. "We've been playing with just about every team we played."

The Eagles are back in action this Friday when they travel to take on Granville on the road. Tip off is set for 2 p.m.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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