ENOSBURG — The Enosburg Hornets shook off early game nerves and untimely turnovers to oust fifth-seeded Burr & Burton 40-35 and advance to the Division II semifinals at “The Aud” Monday.
After trailing for much of the first half, the Hornets seized control of the game in the third quarter as Gary Geddes’ squad took advantage of significant foul trouble for the Bulldogs.
Most notably, Burr & Burton’s Carol Herbert was in jeopardy of fouling out of the contest and was forced to sit for much of the third frame. Before that point, the junior had compiled four blocks, and seven rebounds as she controlled the interior.
Taking a 30-26 lead into the fourth quarter, the Hornets scuffled their way through the final eight minutes of the game on the offensive side of the ball. Connecting on zero field-goals in the entirety of the final frame, EFHS relied on their prowess from the charity-stripe to punch their tickets to Barre.
“We kept our composure, and Sophie (Burns) hit some big free-throws in the fourth quarter… By design, we were looking to drive to the basket. They were in foul trouble, and we wanted to use their aggression against them. I knew if we could get them in deeper foul trouble we’d be in good shape,” Geddes said.
With Burr & Burton having a significant size advantage over the Hornets — specifically, Herbert — Friday’s contest better prepares Enosburg for an upcoming Fair Haven team that remains perfect on the season with a 20-0 record.
“I think we played very good defense, especially on (Carol Hebert) who was way bigger than us. We worked the ball well, took our time, and we were able to get open shots,” Enosburg’s Emily Adams said.
With Fair Haven being a team that can score effectively in transition, the Hornets will need to lean on their guards to make smart passes to advance to next Saturday’s state championship.
“I need to work on my ball-handling, and being able to bring the ball up the floor like I need to [to facilitate the offense],” Adams said.
Burns finished as the leading scorer for the Hornets with her 11 point, 3 rebound effort. Meanwhile, older sister Hannah finished the game with 10 points.
Other Hornets scorers included Adams (10 points), Lydia Bowen (5 points), and Megan Severance (4 points).
The Bulldogs were paced by Herbert’s 13 point, 11 rebound double-double performance.
“We didn’t get too high, and we didn’t get too low. We kept the game close and were able to handle the pressure when it mattered. I am so proud of this team, with us being close the last two years, our seniors have experience in Barre, and I couldn’t be happier,” Geddes said.