LANGDON, N.H. – Once upon a time Matt Baird-Torney heard the spirited faithful of the Fall Mountain Wildcats cheering his team on in his playing days in the Wildcat Den. He returns to his alma mater this winter to coach the girls’ basketball team and the cheers are still in the house. This is especially true when the Wildcat girls open their season disposing of Raymond 55-29.
“I was pleased,” Baird-Torney said. “It was a complete team effort offensively and defensively.” The Wildcats scored early and often, out-rebounded their opponents 48-28 and totaled 28 of their points off 43 visitor turnovers.
Sophomore Morgan Beauregard led a scoring parade, which saw nine Lady Wildcats score. Beauregard tallied 12 points followed by senior Kendall McAllister and freshman Avery Stewart, who both netted 10. Sophomore Sophie Bardis had 10 rebounds and senior Zoe Utton had 4 steals.
Baird-Torney says, “We are young. We have only two seniors and two juniors in the entire program. Luckily for us, our upperclassmen are strong leaders and our freshmen and sophomores have played confident and shown consistency thus far. It will take time for everyone to feel comfortable in a new system, but once we do, I expect this group to make a strong run come play-off time.”
Baird-Torney was coaching at a rival school in recent years. For the past four winters, he was the varsity boys’ coach for the Stevens Cardinals. The Cardinals were a play-off team each of those four years and had a trip to the New Hampshire Finals.
Now the headman is back home and the position feels just right. He was in familiar territory last Friday night for the opener. He tells me, “It was nice to be back in the Den on the home side bench. It was always a special place to play and the atmosphere is just as special as a coach.”
The Wildcats second home game was Tuesday night played while this paper was printing. Always tough Conant was in town. A win over them now would be nice, but a win in the tournament over Conant is where you can get the frosting on the cake. Stay tuned.