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DORSET — Long Trail’s Rose Johnson controlled the opening tip of Tuesday night’s girls basketball game against Mill River and deflected it to a teammate who immediately found Molly Luikart for a layup on the left side of the basket. The opening sequence took all of 4 seconds to give the Mountain Lions their first lead of the game, one they would not relinquish in a wire-to-wire 43-16 victory over Mill River.

Long Trail scored the game’s first 14 points before a second-chance basket from Molly Hier gave the Minutemen their first points of the contest and temporarily halted the run.

Camilla Marcy connected on a floater on the following possession before another Hier paint score to close out the quarter, making it 16-4 LTS after one quarter. Hier accounted for nearly half of Mill River’s points on the night, scoring 7 herself.

The lead ballooned to 18 — at 24-6 — by halftime as LTS limited Mill River to a single basket in the second quarter.

Meara Morgan poured in 4 of her 6 points in the quarter, and Olivia Cole-Bugay and Molly Luikart each added a basket to extend the lead.

It was clear by that point that, shy of a miracle, LTS was going to leave its home court with the win, its eighth of the season.

First year LTS coach Courtney Stasny said in instances like Tuesday night where the Mountain Lions find themselves playing with a large lead, she wants her team to focus on execution.

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“Focus on things that we do at practice all the time,” she said. “Talking on the floor, communicating and just executing.”

That’s exactly what LTS did, scoring the first 8 points out of halftime to build its lead to 26 before a smooth pull-up jumper in transition from Mill River freshman Chloe Kennedy found the bottom of the net with 3:38 remaining in the quarter.

The Kennedy basket proved to be the lone score of the quarter for the Minutemen, who had a difficult time finding an offensive rhythm throughout. Part of that can be attributed to Johnson, who looked like an elite rim protector on Tuesday, swatting away 7 shots to add to her 8 point night.

Snasny said the presence Johnson brings on defense is vital to her team’s success on that end of the floor.

“Rose brings such a great energy to the floor,” the LTS coach said. “We nicknamed her Rose ‘not in my house’ Johnson because she just does not let anything come through the lane.”

Luikart finished with a game-high 10 points, followed closely by Cole-Bugay’s 9 point performance.

LTS improves to 8-5 on the season. They take a five game winning streak into Wednesday’s game at Mount St. Joseph Academy. Mill River falls to 1-13 and hosts Twin Valley Friday at 5 p.m.

Michael Mawson can be reached on Twitter @Mawson_Sports or via email at

Sports Reporter

Michael Mawson is the sports editor for Vermont News & Media. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of New Hampshire in 2019. Michael was the sports editor of UNH’s student newspaper where he covered NCAA Division I athletics.


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