LISBON — The Lisbon High School girls basketball team plays a slow, defensive-minded game, where low-scoring and patience are the keys to success.

Against Madison in a Mountain Valley Conference contest on Thursday, the Greyhounds jumped out to a surprising 17-5 lead, with the offense kicking things into high gear.
Just as suddenly, the offense went away — for a long nine minutes.
But, Lisbon relied on its stingy defense and a strong finish in posting a 35-28 victory, giving the Greyhounds a 3-1 start in head coach Doug Sautter’s return to the Lisbon bench.
“We could not ask for anything more, and we have Wiscasset (today, 5 p.m.) and Spruce after the break,” said Sautter. “The girls are working their butts off, and I couldn’t be more proud of these girls.”
Charlee Cox led the opening charge, along with Giana Russo. The duo split 12 first-quarter points as the Greyhounds grabbed a 12-5 lead. Maria Levesque and Siara Martin sandwiched a bucket each around a Russo free throw, giving Lisbon a 17-5 lead with 4:27 left in the first half.
The Greyhounds went ice cold from there, and Madison hung around, receiving a pair of late 3-pointers from Katie Worthen to draw to 17-11 at the break.
“Defensively I thought we played pretty well,” said Madison (3-3) coach Albert Veneziano. “We didn’t move the ball quite like we needed to move it. We have to make sure that we are ready to shoot.
“At halftime, I felt we were in the game, and in the second half we came through with some effort and determination. The third quarter was very good for us.”
Madison outscored Lisbon 10-4 in the third frame, drawing into a 21-21 deadlock through 24 minutes.
“We were playing patient and just couldn’t get the shots to go down,” said Sautter. “Madison came out and picked up some key baskets on us.”
The Greyhounds survived the near nine-minute stretch of scoreless basketball as Russo and Cox each scored two points in the third quarter, but Lisbon only put up four points over a 12:27 stretch.
“If you are playing the defense and holding them to four points over all that time, you have to put more points on the board,” said Veneziano, whose Bulldogs host Mt. Abram on Dec. 30.
“I think we’re a mix of a team, and every game we have to come out on the court and find out who we are,” said Cox.
Madison grabbed its only lead early in the fourth quarter as Worthen put home a pass from Lauren LeBlanc for a 23-21 advantage.
Lisbon answered with an 8-0 run. Cox tied the game, and Kiley Merritt put the Greyhounds ahead to stay moments later. Cox and Merritt both scored to finish off the run for a 29-23 lead with 2:43 left.
The Bulldogs tried to hang in as Worthen and Brooke McKenney scored, but Lisbon made 6-of-12 at the free-throw line to close out the seven-point win.
“We knew coming into this that Madison is a grinding team too. We knew the game would be like this,” Sautter said. “We just wanted to be patient, then we started making some shots, stopped missing the bunnies. We made some free throws. We battled back, played good defense, and Charlee made some good baskets late.”
Cox was all over the court while playing through foul trouble. She finished with 15 points and 18 rebounds, with Russo adding 12 points and four assists. Martin dished out three assists and led the Greyhounds with four steals. Lisbon went 9-of-18 at the free-throw line.
Worthen had a team-high 13 points and seven rebounds for Madison, with Abi Spaulding chipping in six points, eight rebounds, five steals and two assists. LeBlanc added four assists and three steals.
Lisbon 35, Madison 28
At Lisbon
Madison — 5 6 10 7 – 28
Lisbon – 12 5 4 14 – 35
Madison – Lauren LeBlanc 1-1-3, Emily Edgerly 1-0-2, Brooke McKenney 2-0-4, Abi Spaulding 3-0-6, Katie Worthen 5-0-13, Lillian Levesque 0-0-0. Totals – 12-1-28.
Lisbon – Siara Martin 1-0-2, Kiley Merritt 2-0-4, Giana Russo 3-4-12, Destiney Deschaines 0-0-0, Charlee Cox 5-5-15, Maria Levesque 1-0-2. Totals – 12-9-35.
3-point field goals – (M) Worthen 3; (L) Russo 2.
Records – Lisbon 3-1, Madison 3-3.
Up next for the Greyhounds – Tonight at home vs. Wiscasset, 5 p.m.

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