Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Brattleboro's Sarah LaPorte passes the puck to a teammate during second period action in their “Pink at the Rink” game against Harwood on Feb. 11.
Originally published in The Commons issue #395 (Wednesday, February 15, 2017). This story appeared on page D3.
When Mount Anthony opened its Feb. 10 boys’ basketball game against the Brattleboro Colonels with a 9-0 run in the first three minutes of the game, Colonels coach Jason Coplan said he considered calling a time out to try and regroup.
He decided against it, however, and the Colonels then responded with a 12-0 run of their own.
That ability to take a punch, and come back with a harder counterpunch, was the theme of the Colonels’ 67-54 win over MAU at the BUHS gym.
When the Colonels got down early, it was Eli Lombardi and Ian Fulton-Black that brought them back. A pair of baskets, a three-pointer and a free throw by Lombardi, and a jumper and a free throw by Fulton-Black turned the 9-0 deficit into a 12-9 Colonels lead with 2:40 left in the first quarter.
Tanner Bell added 4 more points and Hunter Beebe also scored as the Colonels led 18-16 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter unfolded similarly, with MAU opening with an 8-0 run to retake the lead, and Brattleboro battling back. Calvin Laflond scored 6 points, Fulton-Black added a three-pointer, and Lombardi had a basket and a free-throw as the half ended with MAU in front, 31-30.
But the punch-and-counterpunch flow of the first half ended in the third quarter as the Colonels outscored MAU, 11-5, in the first four minutes and never relinquished the lead. Fulton-Black scored 10 and LaFlond added 5 as the Colonels entered the fourth quarter with a 47-40 lead.
“I told them [at halftime] that they needed to take better care of the ball and take better angles on defense,” Coplan said. “Once we forced [MAU] to use more time on each possession and played stronger defense, we took control of the game.”
It also helped that Lombardi finished the game strong, with 12 of his game-high 26 points coming in the final quarter. Fulton-Black finished with 20 points and LaFlond ended up with 10. MAU’s top scorer was Matthew Anderson, who scored 19 points.
Brattleboro exited the game with an 11-5 record and the No. 6 spot in the Division I rankings. “We’ve a good shot at staying in the top 8 and getting a home playoff game in the first round,” said Coplan.
• Brattleboro’s annual “Pink at the Rink” benefit game on Feb. 11 for Brattleboro Memorial Hospital’s Comprehensive Breast Care Program was a charitable success, raising $650 for the cause.
On the ice, however, the Colonels skated to a frustrating 2-1 loss to Harwood. It was the third straight defeat for the 5-10-1 Colonels, and the fifth one-goal loss of the season.
After a scoreless first period, Brattleboro found itself shorthanded early in the second period after a pair of penalties gave Harwood a 5-on-3 advantage for 36 seconds. The Colonels successfully killed off the 5-on-3, but they were still a player down when Harwood’s Lilianna Ziedins scored at 3:53.
Brattleboro tried hard to get the equalizer for the rest of the second period and most of the third period, but came away with a bunch of near misses.
“We didn’t skate well in the first period, and Harwood was beating us to the puck,” said Colonels coach Linda Burke. “We weren’t ready to go.”
Harwood’s April Tousignant, who assisted on Ziedins’ goal, got an insurance goal at 11:36 of the third period. Brattleboro got its lone goal with 2:35 left in the game when Jamie Mahoney scored off a pass from Sarah LaPorte.
“It was too little too late,” said Burke. “Keagan (Jameson, the Colonels’ goaltender) is keeping us in games, especially on nights like tonight when we’re trying to figure things out, but we’ve got to start scoring more goals for her and playing with more intensity and consistency.”
• Brattleboro finished strong with an 11-2 run to nail down a 54-41 win over the Burr & Burton Bulldogs in Manchester on Feb. 10.
The Colonels also started out strong and led 18-11 after one quarter. But the Bulldogs battled back and took a 24-22 lead in the second quarter before Brattleboro closed out the first half with an 8-0 run for a 32-24 lead.
The Bulldogs got within four points of the Colonels at the start of the final quarter, but Brattleboro got a basket from Hailey Derosia and a deep three-pointer from the corner Megan Ayotte to extend the lead back to nine and all but clinch the victory
Center Gabby Carpenter led the Colonels with 17 points, with 12 coming in the first half. Emily Bleakie led the Bulldogs with 21 points, including 14 in the first half, and 16 rebounds. Jade McLellan added 11.
Brattleboro improved to 6-8 with the win and are ranked No. 12 in Division I, but a strong finish in their last six games could earn the Colonels a home playoff game in the first round.
• Bellows Falls took an early lead and never gave it up as the Terriers beat Twin Valley, 47-30, at Holland Gymnasium on Feb. 6. BF led by 11 at the half, but a third-quarter flurry by Twin Valley cut the lead to 38-30 going into the final quarter.
Solid defense by the Terriers snuffed out any further thoughts of a comeback by the Wildcats. BF alternated between its starting five playing zone defense and its reserves playing man-to-man defense throughout the game. As a result, Twin Valley’s inside scoring was limited to just three baskets.
Hannah Kelly led the Terriers with 13 points, Madison Streeter added 10 points, and Molly Kelly and Michelle Marchica chipped in with 8 and 7 points, respectively.
Tayler Courchesne was Twin Valley’s top scorer with 11 points, Kendell Howe and Jarrett Niles added 7 and 6 points, respectively.
The Terriers had a tougher assignment two nights later, when they hosted Green Mountain, but BF was up to the task with a 39-30 victory over the Chieftains.
GM’s top scorer, senior Kassidy Cummings, torched the BF defense for 21 points in a 53-40 loss in Chester on Jan. 26, and the Terriers were determined to not let it happen again.
Streeter and Brigid Hodsden shut down Cummings, Murphy Hicks and Hannah Kelly controlled the boards, and the Terriers made sure GM never found a groove on offense.
Taylor Goodell led a balanced BF offense with 9 points, Hannah Kelly added 7 points. GM’s top scorer was Anne Lamson with 8 points.
The two teams had a rematch on Feb. 11 in Chester, and the Terriers won the season series with the Chieftains with a 60-51 victory.
This was another team effort on offense as Molly Kelly, Abbe Cravinho, Streeter and Goodell all scored 8 points apiece for BF, Keri Ticino had 7, and Hicks and Hannah Kelly added 6 each. Hannah Kelly and Hicks pulled down 11 and 10 rebounds, respectively, and Goodell had 5 assists. Maya Lewis led GM with 15 points.
The Terriers finished the week at 9-5 and are in good position to start moving up the Division II standings.
• The rough week for Twin Valley continued with a 40-28 loss to Woodstock in Whitingham on Feb. 10. Madison Schultz led the Wasps with 16 points, including a 12-of-13 performance from the line, and Mariah Luce added 10. Taylor Courschesne scored 18 points to lead Twin Valley, now 3-9.
• There is no team in southern Vermont hotter than the Windsor Yellow Jackets right now, and Leland & Gray found that out the hard way in a 78-32 road loss on Feb. 8.
Seth Balch scored 14 of his game-high 24 points in the first quarter as the Jacks jumped out to a 26-10 lead. Dakota Page hit a pair of three-pointers in the second quarter as the Windsor lead swelled to 41-16 at the half.
Two more threes from Duncan Frazier and five more points from Balch pushed the Jacks’ lead to 61-22 after three quarters. Page finished with 12 points, Frazier added 11, and the Jacks walked away with their sixth win in seven games after losing seven of their first eight games.
Anthony Palomba, Joe Koes and Declan Lonergan also scored goals for the Colonels, who outshot Burlington 26-20. Nathan Powers, Mason Powers, Liam McNeil, Kamron Pelkey, Matt Dulmaine, Jasper Reed, and Lonergan were credited with assists.
On Feb. 11, Pelkey scored early in the third period as Brattleboro rallied from a 2-1 deficit and skated to a 2-2 tie at Milton.
Brendan Green and Cole Gaudette scored for the Yellowjackets, while goaltender Lucas Tourville turned away 16 shots. Sam Griffith had 27 saves in goal as the Colonels finished the week at 3-10-2.
• A spaghetti dinner will be held Thursday, Feb. 23, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Brattleboro Elks, 17 Putney Rd., to benefit the Brattleboro boys’ ice hockey team.
The servers will be members of the team, while desserts will be provided by the hockey parents. Tickets will be sold in advance and at the door, at $10 for adults and $6 for children. Take-outs are available for those who cannot attend the dinner.
A raffle will be drawn at the dinner and those tickets can be purchased in advance. Participants are able to choose which prizes they would like to win. Contact Sherryl Libardoni at email@example.com or any Colonel hockey player for dinner tickets and/or raffle tickets.
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department will hold its annual Jr. Olympic races at Living Memorial Park during the school vacation week.
Downhill ski races will be run on Monday, Feb. 20, at 9:30 a.m., while skating races take place on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 2:30 p.m.
Students from school grades 1-12 are eligible and are encouraged to enter the events. All events are free of charge; there will be five grade groups for each event; grades 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-12. Each event will have a boy’s division and girl’s division. Ribbons will be awarded to the first five winners in each division and participation ribbons to all.
Register for each event the morning of the event. Call the Rec Office at 802-254-5808 with questions.
• The Vermont Open returns to Stratton Mountain Resort on March 10-12 for a weekend of live music and snowboard competitions that offer a prize purse of $20,000.
The snowboard and music festival welcomes athletes of all ages to vie for the top spot on the podium in a variety of competitions — rail jam, slopestyle, retro pipe, banked slalom and Snurfer Challenge — in the categories of junior (12 and under), amateur, pro, and legends.
When the Burton US Open, snowboarding’s first big competition, left Stratton for Colorado in 2012, the Vermont Open was started in 2013 to carry on the tradition of fun, music, and friendly competition to close out the winter snowsports season. The competition had more than 350 riders of all ages and abilities in 2016. To register for the 2017 Vermont Open and for the full event lineup, visit stratton.com.
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