LANGDON — Due to future scheduling conflicts, these two teams may not play one another for a while but tonight was everything you could ask for as Bellows Falls edged Fall Mountain in a dandy of a basketball game on Wednesday.
After BF had built a decent lead to close out the third quarter, the Wildcats came storming back late, only to see their bid for a huge upset snuffed out as Ryan Kelly’s late hoop put things away for the Terriers.
“That FM team has guts and is very well coached,” said BF head coach John Hollar after the game.
Neither team came out with any momentum as a bit of sloppy play and nerves seemed to dominate the first quarter as BF led 11-10. Things began to heat up in the next 6 minutes as Tyler Swain, who was a beast all night in the paint for FM, gave the Wildcats a lead, only to have Jackson Goodell drain a couple of three pointers to send BF off to the races. BF used their press to give FM fits and the visitors grew a 4 point lead into a 32-25 cushion at the break.
“We forced ourselves early but once we settled down, we started to play our game,” said the Terriers’ Dylan Clark.
Kelley opened the second half with a three pointer for BF and was answered with a hoop by Isaiah Silver to keep things close for FM. A Swain offensive rebound and hoop brought FM to within 37-31 but the Terriers went on a 9-1 run as Jackson Goodell’s buzzer beater brought the large BF crowd to their feet for a 46-32 lead.
“BF scored 100 points on us this summer, and tonight, our team played one of their best games of the season and their character showed and just refused to give up,” said FM head coach Justin Cassarino.
Swain started the comeback for the Wildcats with another offensive rebound and when Brady Elliot started limping down the court, the action was so fast that he didn’t get a chance to come out of the game. Instead he hobbled back up-court and knocked down a three pointer that had his teammates off the bench in amazement. The once-14-point lead was now only 5 points after Alex Flynn’s bucket had the FM fans going wild as the student sections from both schools in the upper bleachers were loud and into the game in a big way.
“This was a huge game for us, we know so many of the FM players and we knew this was going to be a war and we just kept our composure and took care of things tonight,” said Goodell.
With BF into a spread offense to slice time off the clock, Kelly’s hoop took the wind out of the FM comeback sail with under a minute remaining, and a Griffin Waryas steal ended things for the night as BF headed back across the river with a hard-earned 54-45 win.
The JV game was every bit as exciting as the varsity game as BF hung on for a 61-58 win. Owen LaRoss led the way for BF with 26 points while Hudson Willett paced FM with 19 points.
BF (11-5) will next head to (15-1) Rivendell while FM (2-11) will host Raymond (6-8). Both games are on Friday.