By MICHAEL LETENDRE
PLAINVILLE – After one quarter of play between the Bristol Eastern and Plainville girls basketball teams on Monday, Jan. 29, the contest looked to be a barnburner in the making.
Eight minutes later, that assessment was completely tossed out the window.
Behind a 1-of-18 shooting slump from the field, the Blue Devils’ three-point edge quickly turned into a 17-point deficit as the Lancers went on a huge run, eventually pulling out a 69-39 victory from the Ivan Wood Gymnasium in Plainville.
The Lancers moved to 10-4 overall, winning its seventh straight contest while Plainville (5-9) still hoped to eke out a possible state tournament berth by the completion of the season.
And all the stars were out for Eastern that night including Avery Arbuckle, who came away with an extremely rare scholastic triple-double.
The senior forward, who always brings her defensive toolbox to the game, came away with 10 points, 11 rebounds, and an amazing 10 blocks for her slick triple digit showing.
That effort saw Plainville, who started the contest by hitting 5-of-7 shots, limped to an 11-for-57 finish (19.2 percent) as Arbuckle blocked everything in sight with the home team missing 44 of its final 50 field goals.
But Arbuckle wasn’t the only standout that evening as senior forward Jordan Ouellette collected a season-high 28 points and added six rebounds and five assists over an impressive stat line.
Ouellette’s shooting was outstanding as she canned 14-of-20 field goals and was in attack mode from the onset.
Sophomore point guard Ciara Collins also played extremely well, zipping in 9-of-13 field goals for 20 points and just missed a double-double with nine assists.
And Sage Scarritt’s 10 rebounds was a helpful contribution to the winning effort as was Alyssa Kehler’s seven points – a point total she usually scores on a nightly basis.
Taigan Parent added a hoop and an assist, Jessica Levesque, Janessa Gonzalez, and Alex Shorette scooped in a rebound apiece while Vanda Horvath and Emiah Miller each contributed a steal to the winning effort.
Plainville’s Jaida Vasquez, who always shows toughness, added a team-best 10 points to the losing effort while Tessa Susco and Kori Jones each netted nine.
It was a game early on as six lead changes lulled the crowd into what looked to be a long back-and-forth affair. But the Lancers put an abrupt end to the Blue Devils’ offensive combinations.
Plainville nabbed a 15-8 edge with less than four minutes to play in the first quarter off a three from Vasquez and the home team was off and running.
However, Vasquez didn’t hit another shot again until 2:18 remaining in the second period and that’s how long Plainville went in-between field goals.
That seven point lead quickly dissolved into a 35-18 deficit via an Eastern 27-3 burst.
Plainville opened the second period with two free throws from Jones; but Eastern followed up by scoring 23 of the next 26 points in the game to put the home team in a huge hole.
Collins notched 11 points during the run, including a three; Ouellette scored three times and also assisted on two hoops to Arbuckle to construct that 18-point Eastern edge with under three minutes to go before the half.
Trailing by 18 going into the third quarter, Jones hit a hoop and a couple of free throws to chop the deficit to 38-24. But Plainville didn’t score again for about eight minutes.
Collins quickly hit a jumper, Ouellette canned two more hoops. Off a blazing 25-0 run, Eastern grabbed a 63-24 cushion with 6:20 left to play in the fourth – the biggest lead of the game for the visiting aggression.
To end the scoring for the Lancers, Parent found Sage for a lay-up; Arbuckle hit her 16-foot hoop for points nine and 10 – leading to the finishing touches of her triple-double. When Parent sailed in the final jumper of the game for the visitors, Eastern led 69-37 with 1:40 left as the contest was all but over.
And in the end, Eastern grabbed a 30 point victory over Plainville on the road for the sweep of the season series against the Blue Devils.