By Tris Wykes
Riding more than a combined four hours on a bus was well worth it for the Hartford High girls basketball team Friday. The Hurricanes rallied from several deficits to defeat Enosburg Falls High, 35-30, in the Vermont Division II quarterfinals.
Hartford advances to play in Tuesday’s semifinals for the first time in eight years. It will face the winner of a Saturday quarterfinal between second-seeded North Country (7-2) and 10th-seeded Burr & Burton (4-5).
A North Country victory would put the Hurricanes (7-4) back on the bus for another 4-hour round trip, this time to Newport, Vt. Should Burr & Burton win on Saturday, it would visit Hartford’s Hanley Gymnasium three days later.
Friday, the sixth-seeded Hurricanes and the third-seeded Hornets were tied, 24-24, after three quarters and Hartford held a 28-26 lead with 2 minutes, 53 seconds to play.
Emily Wright scored inside to put the Hurricanes ahead, 30-26, with 2:45 remaining. Elsie Davis soon converted both ends of a 1-and-1 foul-shot opportunity to give Hartford a 32-29 lead with 2 minutes on the scoreboard.
Enosburg Falls’ Emma Jarvis sank a 3-point shot. A Davis turnover gave the Hornet another long-distance chance with 55 seconds to play and her team trailing, 32-30. This time, however, Jarvis’ effort was off the mark.
Hartford’s Jasmine Jenkins missed the front end of a 1-and-1 three seconds later but responded by stealing the ball and racing away to lay it in during the Hornets’ next possession. The Hurricanes led, 34-30, with 37 seconds to go.
Enosburg Falls (6-3) missed two field-goal attempts before Hartford’s Maddie Withington inbounded to Sophie Howe, who was fouled with 11 seconds on the clock. Howe hit the first of her 1-and-1 chances to close out the scoring.
Despite its height advantage, Hartford trailed, 10-4, early in the second quarter. The Hurricanes committed 12 turnovers during the first half and 22 during the game. The visitors made 5-of-17 field-goal attempts (29%) during the first half, but rode determined, 1-2-2 zone defense to trail only 14-13 at intermission.
A turning point occurred midway through the third quarter when Davan Murphy dropped in 3-point shots on back-to-back possessions and the visitors leapfrogged to a 22-17 lead. The teams entered the fourth quarter deadlocked at 24 and the Hurricanes defense won them the game.
Murphy led Hartford with 10 points, Jenkins had 6 and Dobrich added 5.
If you found this story worthwhile, please consider donating to support the work that produced it.
Octopus Athletics is an independent site covering sports in the heart of the Upper Valley. Your contributions allow us to bring you news without paywalls or pop-up ads.