Yellow Jackets upend Bobwhites in season opener

It wasn’t quite the start to the season the BFA-St. Albans boys basketball team was hoping for when it hosted a tough Milton team on Friday night for both team’s season opener.

The Bobwhites struggled finding a rhythm offensively with a number of shots rimming out and the Yellow Jackets took advantage with a big second and third quarter on their way to a 63-37 win.

“Milton is a solid team and they hit their shots and we didn’t,” said BFA coach Matt Toof. “We missed a ton of shots today and missed some good looks. But I guess there is a silver lining there, because we won’t miss those shots all year like we did tonight.”

The Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, as they took a 34-14 lead going into halftime.

Despite the 20-point lead at the half, Milton coach Chris Brown thought his team could have played better in the first 16 minutes of the game.

“I thought we played a little sloppy in the first half, but then had about a 4 to 5 minute stretch where we really opened things up,” he said. “At the half, we had a 20-point lead, but 10 of those points were off fouls, so they gave those to us. We weren’t playing our brand of basketball. In the third quarter, I thought we showed what our team can do hitting our shots, a lot of guys scoring, we rebounded well and played great defense.”

One major factor in the game was the percentages of both teams from the free throw line.

Both teams had 22 shots from the charity stripe with Milton knocking down 12 of their chances and BFA only hitting three.

“Our foul shooting percentage was about the same as our 3-point shooting and both were pretty bad tonight,” said Toof. “We can’t be that cold every night.”

Kyle Brown paced the Yellow Jackets with 17 points in the contest, while Adam Bilodeau (15) and Colin Mathis (12) also were in double figures.

It was a good start for Milton, who returned a solid core of their team from a season ago and the chemistry between them was evident during Friday’s game.

“We had all 10 players return this season,” said Brown. “They all played together last year, played what they could of summer ball and we have been practicing hard for six weeks. We were kind of sick each other, so it was nice to come out and play another team. BFA is always tough on their home court, they play hard, so we are happy with the separation we got from today’s game”

BFA on the other hand came into the season after graduating seven seniors from last year’s team, and the team is continuing to build on their chemistry and find their rhythm.

Case Ballard was the only Bobwhite to hit double digit points, as he finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Charlie Yates knocked in five points, while Peter Jolley, Colin Jolley, Noah Earl and Justin Brown all had four points.

Thomas Demar knocked in two points, and also played stingy defense throughout the entire game and was a spark for BFA’s defense in the second half when they started to press.

“I thought our press gave us a little bit of life to start the second half,” said Toof. “We’ve got the makeup to run that press, because we have the guys that will battle and work hard out there, so I was happy with that.”

The Bobwhites (0-1) were also unlucky on a number of looks with a bunch of their shots rimming out, which if they fell combined with a better shooting percentage from the free-throw line, the game could have looked a little different.

BFA will look to rebound on Tuesday when they head to Mt. Abraham for their next game.

“I was happy with the way we were working hard right until the end tonight and never gave up,” said Toof. “It’s easy to fold up when you are down quite a bit, but our guys really kept battling through the entire game and we just have to build on that.”

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