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SOUTH BURLINGTONâ€“The North Country girls basketball team's season came to a close on Wednesday night when they fell to the Rice Green Knights 70-34 in the opening round of the Division One play-offs.
"We fought until the end, and it was very emotional," said coach Christiane Brown.
The Falcons played a strong first quarter, keeping the Rice scorers at bay, and after one it was 12-8 Knights.
Said Brown, "It was a great first quarter. We did not let their top guard Hailee Baron to get the ball, as Anna held her to just one point in the entire game."
But, with Noelle Pinard sitting due to foul trouble, the Green Knights upped their game in the second, scoring twenty-seven points to North Country's ten, and it was 39-18 at the half.
Rice went on to add thirty-one more points in the second half, cruising into the second round with the 36 point win.
Anna Bingham and Emma Joslin each had seven points in the loss, and Noelle Pinard had six and six rebounds.
North Country will now say good-by to a quintet of seniors, as Tiffany Morin, Noelle Pinard, Emma Joslin, Kelsey O'Donnell, and Jaime Kramer will graduate this spring.
"They were my first group that I had from start to finish, and I am pleased to have been a part of their career," said Brown of her senior class, "They know that you need hard work to succeed, they always took ownership of their mistakes, and there was no finger pointing. Knowing what I know about these girls, they have the tools to be very successful in the future."
The outgoing seniors leave five very big holes to fill next season, and it will be up to the next wave of players to carry on their predecessors' hard-nosed basketball tradition.