Randolph T. Holhut/Commons file photo
Bellows Falls forward Murphy Hicks (23) pulled down 17 rebounds as the Terriers beat Black River, 71-16, in Ludlow on Jan. 10.
Originally published in The Commons issue #391 (Wednesday, January 18, 2017). This story appeared on page D4.
When you’re a team that’s struggling to find an identity, sometimes all it takes to get focused is the right opponent.
For both of the Bellows Falls basketball teams, that was Long Trail. The Terriers played a girls-boys doubleheader last Friday night at Holland Gymnasium, with the BF girls rolling to a 43-6 win, while the BF boys eked out a 58-57 victory.
• Strong defense by the Terrier girls shut down Long Trail for the entire first half, yet BF’s lead was only 17-0.
The offense came around in the second half, as 10 Terriers ultimately scored points. Keri Ticino led the way with eight and Molly Kelly added six.
The win ended the week on a positive note for the 4-2 Terriers. BF lost 56-30 at Williamstown on Jan. 9, but bounced back the next night to flatten Black River, 71-16, in Ludlow.
Murphy Hicks pulled down 17 rebounds in that game as Hannah and Molly Kelly led BF offensively with 19 and 12 points, respectively. Abbe Cravinho and Taylor Goodell followed with 10 points each, while Ticino and Michelle Marchica each finished with 6.
• The BF boys had a 35-27 lead at the half against Long Trail, but the visitors got back into the game in the third quarter and tied the score, 43-43.
Both teams took turns trying to nail down the win. BF had a seven-point lead with about 90 seconds left in regulation. Long Trail made one last run and got the lead down to three with 10 seconds to play.
BF’s Jon Skrocki then sank a free throw to put the Terriers up by four. That free throw turned out to be the winning margin as Long Trail’s Levin Coe made a three-pointer with 4 seconds to play.
Shane Clark led a balanced BF offense with 14 points, Noah Wilkinson added 12, Anthony Mueller chipped in nine, Cam Joy scored eight and Skrocki seven. Liam Sheldon had a game-high 30 points for Long Trail.
The BF boys are now 4-3 with the win. After starting the season with three straight losses, it was the fourth in a row for the 4-3 BF boys. Earlier in the week, on Jan. 9, the Terriers beat Poultney at home, 44-26. Joy led BF with 15 points, Clark and Ryan Kelly chipped in with 9 and 8 points, respectively.
• Lisa Sulejmani led all scorers with 20 points as Rice varsity girls basketball team topped visiting Brattleboro, 53-45, on Jan. 10.
The game was much closer than the final score. Brattleboro trailed, 39-32, heading into the fourth quarter when Devin Millerick and Shenise Taliaferro each hit three-pointers to twice get the Colonels within four. A 13-for-17 performance at the free throw line by the Colonels also kept the game competitive.
Center Gabby Carpenter led the Colonels with 13 points. Millerick added with 11 and Hailey Derosia finished with 10.
• Brattleboro split its two road games last week, rolling to a 65-26 win at Springfield on Jan. 11 and losing 59-53 at St. Johnsbury on Jan. 13. The Colonels finished the week with a 5-3 record.
• Twin Valley is starting to find its groove. They’ve won three games in a row, including a 63-24 rout of Black River on Jan. 11 in Whitingham.
Defense has keyed the streak. Against Black River, the Wildcats built up a 38-15 halftime lead, then held the Presidents to just two points in the third quarter. Brett Swanson scored 23 points to lead the 5-4 Wildcats. Skyler Boyd added 18, and Ethan Fox chipped in nine.
• Leland & Gray got clobbered by South Royalton, 71-21, on Jan. 9. Nicholas Howe scored 32 to lead the Royals. With a 29-15 lead at the break, Howe led the Royals during a 20-0 run in the third quarter to vaporize any hope of the 2-6 Rebels rallying to win.
• The Brattleboro girls improved to 4-5-1 with a 5-2 win over Harwood on Jan. 14. Freshman Olivia Romo got the first Colonels goal at 12:17 in the opening period, assisted by Lila Alexander and Axis Balsley-Petraska. Sophomore Liz Day then scored a power play goal that was set up by Balsley-Petraska at 6:21 in the second period.
Harwood’s Hannah Piersall cut the lead in half with a goal just 26 seconds later, but Brattleboro quickly responded with another goal from Romo (assisted by Balsley-Petraska) at 7:21 and an unassisted goal from captain Sarah LaPorte at 8:16 for a 3-1 lead after two periods.
Lila Zendens scored Harwood’s other goal at 10:57 of the third period, and Balsley-Petraska closed out the Brattleboro scoring with an unassisted power-play goal at 14:44. Colonels goaltender Keagan Jamison made 21 saves to earn the victory.
• A promising start for the Brattleboro boys turned into a disaster as Burr & Burton scored 10 unanswered goals to beat the Colonels, 10-1, at Withington Rink on Jan. 11.
Brattleboro got its only goal just two minutes into the first period, as freshman Anthony Palomba crashed the net and slipped the puck past Bulldogs goaltender Kevin Souls. Miles Hiler and Brad Fellows set up the goal.
The Colonels made that goal stand up through the end of the opening period, but the Bulldogs then scored four goals in the second period and six more in the third. Egan Schmitt, Maxx Ingison, and Sam Cottrell all had two goals each, while Jay McCoy was credited with three assists. Colonels goaltender Durin Hoyer made 25 saves.
With a 7-2 loss at Northfield on Jan. 14, the Colonel boys are now 1-7-1.
• The tentative schedule for the 2017 Vermont Interscholastic Football League (VIFL)was released last week, and Brattleboro will get to keep its traditional rivalry game with Mount Anthony and play Bellows Falls too.
The VIFL decided on an eight-game regular season in all three divisions for 2017, followed by an eight-team playoff in each division.
The Colonels, who are staying in Division I, will open at Rutland on Sept. 1, and then travel to Hadley Field to play Bellows Fall, the defending Division II champs, on Sept. 8. Brattleboro’s home opener is against Mount Mansfield on Sept 15 at Natowich Field, followed by another home game on Sept. 23 against Burlington.
Hartford, the Division I champs, host the Colonels on Sept. 29, while St. Johnsbury visits Natowich Field on Oct. 6. Mount Anthony, which dropped down to Division II, will face the Colonels at Natowich Field on Oct. 13 in the annual Elwell Trophy game. Brattleboro then closes out the regular season on Oct. 20 at Colchester.
BF also opens its season on the road against Spaulding on Sept. 1. After the Brattleboro game, the Terriers get a rematch of the championship against Burr & Burton at Hadley Field on Sept. 16, and play Division III rival Springfield in the annual game for “The Trophy” at Brown Field on Sept. 22.
The Terriers will then play divisional opponents the rest of the way. They host Otter Valley on Sept. 30, travel to Mount Abraham on Oct. 7 and Fair Haven on Oct. 13 before closing out the regular season at home against U-32 on Oct. 20.
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department says the third session of gymnastics classes will begin the week of Jan. 30 at the Gibson-Aiken Center, 207 Main St. Classes will run for eight weeks and will end the week of April 1. The cost is $75 for residents, $90 for nonresidents. Late registrations will be pro-rated.
Classes are run Mondays through Saturdays for ages 18 months and up. Pick up a copy of the Fall/Winter Brochure for a complete listing of class times. Amanda Montgomery will direct the Gymnastics Program. There is also an Open Gym time available on Mondays and Thursdays from 10-11 a.m. for ages 1-5 with a parent for $4.
For more information, or if any special needs are required, call the Recreation & Parks Department at 802-254-5808, or visit www.brattleboro.org for a complete listing/description of events.
• The winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League began last week. Teams 6, 2, and 10 all started with 5-0 records, while Teams 7 and 4 finished 4-1. Teams 8 and 3 were 1-4, and Teams 1, 5, and 9 were winless at 0-5.
Pat Bentrup (236) had the women’s high handicap game, while Pat Cutler (645) had the high handicap series. Brian Born had the men’s high handicap game (270) and series (724), while Team 2 had the high team handicap game (921) and Team 6 had the high handicap series (2,543).
Warren Corriveau Sr. (608), and Born (616) each rolled a 600-plus series, while five men rolled 500-plus series: Peter Cross (537), Fred Ashworth (587), Tom Johnson (537), Bob Wistrom (545), and Fred Bump (542). Ashworth (233, 211), Born (234), Wistrom (209) and Corriveau (229) all had 200-plus games.
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