- By Tom Haley, Staff Writer for the Rutland Herald
- February 11, 2020
NORTH CLARENDON — Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina. Unless it’s playing basketball during a Vermont winter for the Mill River girls basketball team.
Molly Bruso made the move north back to Mill River Union High School and she is glad she did. So were her teammates and Mill River fans after Bruso poured in 16 points Tuesday night in a 40-26 victory over Woodstock.
Bruso and Lexi Bowen were a potent 1-2 punch. Bowen added 12 points on four 3-point field goals.
“Lexi can surprise a lot of people by going in and then out and making the 3,”Bruso said.
Bruso, a senior, moved back to Vermont for her junior year.
“I’m glad I moved back,” she said.
The transition was seamless as she played with many of her Mill River teammates when she was younger before moving south.
The victory gave the Minutemen a season sweep over the Wasps. They won their game in Woodstock, 36-26.
The Minutemen came out strong, forging an 11-2 lead by the end of the first quarter.
“Early on, we got a lot of turnovers. We got up on them with that early lead and the momentum was on our side. We got a lot of confidence from that,” Mill River coach Brad Rideout said.
Woodstock coach Steve Landon took a timeout before the second quarter was a minute old. Out of the timeout, the Wasps rallied. Hayley Chase canned a shot from the top of the key and Savannah Sheehan knocked down another from the perimeter to help the Wasps cut the lead to 11-8.
The Minutemen had the answer. After Hannah Schoengarth and Bruso connected with 3-pointers, the Minutemen were in command at 21-10 at the half.
Bowen made another of her 3s for the first points of the second half and the Minutemen were never threatened from there.
Jessica Roberts followed Bruso and Bowen in scoring for Mill River with four points and also shouldered much of the rebounding work.
Emma Tarleton led the 1-14 Wasps with eight points. Sheehan added six points and Lara Tarleton five.
The Minutemen are 4-11, doubling their 2018-19 win total, and they hope to string some more wins together to gather momentum for the playoffs.
“I think we can surprise somebody in the playoffs. We have gotten better over the season,” Bruso said.
“We could surprise a team (in the playoffs),” Rideout said. “Anything is possible.
“I think our defense has been pretty good. Our Achilles heel has been scoring. If we can score…”