NEWPORTâ€“The North Country girls basketball team opened up their season in fine fashion, defeating the Lyndon Institute Vikings 56-29 on Tuesday evening.
Coach Christiane Brown utilized her entire roster in the win, something that should provide a good springboard for the rest of the season.
"We are going to win as a team and we are going to lose as a team, from the five girls on the floor to the ladies on the bench," said Brown after the game. "I really emphasize the importance of us on the bench are the sixth players and the fans are the seventh."
The game got off to a good start with Anna Bingham laying one in to get the ball rolling.
The Vikings answered with a basket of their own as Kayla Jardine hit from outside to give LI a 3-2 lead.
Talor Weed pushed the lead to three, draining a long two for the Vikes.
With under three minutes remaining, the Falcons got back into the game.
Sophomore Morgan Greene made a nice steal, dished the ball to Britni Jewer, who in turn found Bingham for two.
Greene then added a basket, the first of her varsity career, to give the lead back to the Falcons.
After a Jardine free throw, Bingham sent Desiree Coffin in all alone for the deuce, and another sophomore, Nicole Therrien closed out the quarter, putting home her own rebound to make it 13-6.
Said Brown of the play of her sophomores, "They showed great promise, great growth, and the potential they have for this program is pretty exciting, since they are only sophomores and I have them for the next three seasons.â€ť
In the second, it was all Falcons, as they outscored Lyndon 12-4.
Some new faces for North Country were in on the scoring, Ashley Robishaw-Morin started off the action with a lay-up, followed by Hollie Smith getting loose for a basket.
Jardine interrupted the fun with her lay-up. She had both buckets for LI in the quarter.
Mykayla Tanguay inserted herself into the action, first with a nice feed to Greene, then finding Coffin for a jumper.
"I thought our effort was good," said Tanguay. "We played as a team and we all put one-hundred percent of our energy into it."
The quarter really showed the difference in age between the two clubs, and the relative youthfulness of his team is something that Lyndon coach Eric Berry will have to work with this season.
"We are a young club and I don't expect a lot from us to start with, but we have some easy things to fix which is nice, like getting back on defense and rebounding, so if we fix those things, we should do better."
Both teams ramped it up in the third, with the Vikings scoring ten points and North Country fourteen.
Bingham had seven of the Falcons points, including an early three and a beautiful coast-to-coast run.
The Vikings did their damage late in the quarter, and capped of the third with a buzzer beater from Taylor Cushman.
Starting the fourth, the Falcons led 39-20, and they would add to that lead, dropping another seventeen points on Vikings to seal the win and and a 1-0 record.
Kayla Jardine and Anna Bingham each had fourteen points to lead their respective teams.
Bingham's fourteen came as she was adjusting to her new position of point guard, something Brown spoke about post-game.
"I'm really happy with Anna's effort in her new role, as it is going to be an adjustment all season. Being a point guard you are the backbone of the team and she is going to be challenged at that position. I really appreciated her taking the challenge, staying composed and leading us out on the floor."
While Lyndon drops to 0-1, the Falcons move to 1-0 and will travel to Swanton to take on Missisquoi next Monday