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Warriors keep fighting

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' basketball team hosted Derryfield on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' basketball team hosted Derryfield on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Wilton-Lyndeborough’s Abby Leblanc fights through a Derryfield double-team on Tuesday night. Below right: Brooke Lane gets up a jumper. Below left: Tiffany Cuddihy defends the inbounds pass. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' basketball team hosted Derryfield on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' basketball team hosted Derryfield on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls' basketball team hosted Derryfield on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, February 08, 2018 7:34AM

Wilton-Lyndeborough was down big in the fourth quarter against Derryfield Tuesday night, but they never gave up, and they didn’t even look winded. The former is due to their resilient spirit, and the latter? Well, that might be thanks to fainting goat tag.

“That is the highlight of the season so far,” said junior Abby Leblanc.

The Warriors have been playing fainting goat tag at recent practices as a way to get in better shape while having a little fun. The game – a variation of freeze tag – involves one player, the “farmer,” chasing around the “goats.” When the farmer’s in arm’s length, the goats have to “faint” to the floor before being tagged, lest they become farmers themselves.

“As silly as it sounds, the girls love it,” said head coach Joy Burge. “I’ve never seen them work harder or sprint harder than in that game, surprisingly enough.”

“It’s a fun way to condition and run,” Leblanc said. “It puts a creative spin on conditioning, which everyone hates.”

Wilton-Lyndeborough has been having fun in practice and taking advantage of Division IV’s famous 2-hour bus rides to bond together as a team. Winning basketball games, however, has been another matter altogether. The Warriors have yet to win this season and haven’t won since February of 2016. They’re on a 31-game losing streak. The majority of the Warriors’ young team have never won a game.

“I tend not to think about the record,” Leblanc said. “I’ve taken both of these seasons as a real learning experience. In life, you’re not going to win everything. Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn. I think that these two seasons - it’s been a good life lesson. It’s not really fun to lose, but it will come. We’ll eventually hopefully get a win.”

The win wasn’t forthcoming Tuesday night, as visiting Derryfield blanked WLC in the first quarter and won going away 39-11. Leblanc scored seven points in the game. The 0-12 Warriors have a tough homestand to close out the season, hosting No. 1 Farmington on Saturday at noon, Epping on Tuesday and Mascenic on Wednesday. But the biggest game of the year might be the last one, a rematch with Nute next Friday. The Rams have only one win on the season, a five-point victory over WLC in January.

“The loss at Nute was very difficult on a lot of the girls, and ever since then that’s kind of been the goal for the season,” Burge said. “They took our leading scorer, Abby Leblanc out of the game by putting their big girl on her so it was really difficult to adjust to that. But we have some ideas, and we’re going to push through it and we’re working on a lot of stuff that we know will beat them, that’s what we’re hoping.”

Getting that win and snapping the streak would take some of the sting out of a difficult season for the Warriors.

“It would be incredible,” Leblanc said. “Personally, I see these girls come to practice every day. All these girls, they want it so bad and it would be incredible. It would be a really good way to end the season.”