The Brattleboro Colonels and Leland & Gray Rebels started off the girls’ basketball season with the L&G Booster Club’s Tip Off Tournament on Dec. 8 in Townshend.
This tournament was a classic experiment in team chemistry for Colonels coach Paul Freed and Rebels coach Terry Merrow.
The Colonels got a passing grade, as they eked out a 34-26 win over Burr & Burton. The Rebels still need a little work, as they fell to Arlington, 45-28.
Brattleboro and Leland & Gray have one thing in common — both teams have lots of new players on the varsity this season.
Senior guard Meghan Ayotte is the lone 12th-grader for the Colonels; the rest are sophomores and juniors with little varsity experience. The Rebels have only four seniors — forward Mariah Hazard, guard Kassidy Wyman and Morgan Stevens, and center Kelsi Bostrom.
The Rebels and Colonels have another thing in common. Both teams had about a week of practice time with the final varsity rosters before the Dec. 8 opener.
So, given those givens, how would the Colonels and Rebels perform in their respective openers?
• For the Colonels, it was an encouraging performance. The telling stretch of the game came with 3:42 left in the final quarter. Burr & Burton had rallied from a six-point deficit to tie the game, 22-22.
It was, as Freed called it, “a crossroads moment for a young team.” And the Colonels showed what they were made of by not panicking and going 8-for-11 from the free throw line to win the game. Ayotte made all four of her shots from the line during that stretch.
“We’re still learning and figuring things out,” said Freed. “But they saw tonight that when you’re having a bad shooting night, defense and rebounding can win the game.”
The Colonels struggled to score points. Sophomore guard Rachael Rooney was the game’s high scorer with 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers. She was 3-for-4 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Ayotte scored all six of her points in the fourth, while Alyssa Scherlin scored seven. Carol Herbert scored 16 points for Burr & Burton.
• As for the Rebels, they got off to a great start with a 7-0 run in the first 3:30 of the game that featured a three-pointer from Maris Linder and a couple of baskets from Bostrom.
Arlington responded with a 10-2 run to close out the first quarter and take a 10-9 lead. The Eagles then outscored the Rebels 18-3 in the second quarter for a 28-12 lead at the half.
The Eagles used a pressure defense to force numerous turnovers and draw the Rebels into committing numerous fouls. Three of the Rebels’ starters were in foul trouble to start the second half, and Linder, Bostrom, Sierra Fillion, and Arin Bates would all foul out of the game in the fourth quarter.
“Our inexperience came out as soon as Arlington started pressing,” said Merrow, adding that he had never coached a game where four of his players fouled out.
Neither team shot particularly well from the free throw line as the Rebels were 7-for-15, while the Eagles were 10-for-21.
Sydney Hescock led the Rebels with 8 points. Haley Mattison led Arlington with 12 points, while Gillian Calkins and Xandria Hoyt each added six points.
“We made some mistakes, but they are mistakes that are fixable,” said Merrow.
• The Brattleboro boys played the Rutland Raiders to a 5-5 tie in the Colonels’ season opener on Dec. 9 at Living Memorial Park.
Ryan Gerard scored twice to lead Brattleboro. Miles Hiler, Gabe Heiden, and Anthony Palomba also scored.
Mason Foard and Jasper Reed each had two assists and Nathan Powers, Gavin Howard and Kam Pelkey were all also credited with assists. Shots were even at 31 apiece.
It was an encouraging start for the Colonels, who haven’t had a winning season since 2013, as they took advantage of a very young Rutland team that had only one senior on the roster.
Ski at Mount Snow, and help the Boys & Girls Club
• The Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro has a limited number of all day lift tickets available to Mt. Snow, for $48 each. At less than half price of a full-day lift ticket, all money raised goes to support the programs and activities of the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro.
These tickets are valid from Jan. 2 through 12. Tickets can be purchased at the Club on Flat Street, Burrows Specialized Sports on Main Street, and on the club’s website, www.bgcbrattleboro.com. Questions? Call 802-254-5990, ext. 109.
In two locations in Brattleboro, the Boys & Girls Club offers life-changing programs, caring adult role models, and support for young people 6 to 19 years old. To learn more about the Club and its programs and activities, visit their web site, stop by the club, or check them out on Facebook.
Youth basketball clinic coming up at Rec
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department presents its annual Basketball Clinic on Friday, Dec. 29, at the Gibson-Aiken Center.
The clinic is for children in grades K through 6. The cost for this one-day clinic is $5 for Brattleboro Recreation & Parks players and $10 for all others. The clinic is co-ed and for all ages and abilities.
Children in grades K-2 will meet from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. Children in grades 3-6 will meet from noon to 1:30 p.m.
This is an opportunity for youngsters to improve their basketball skills and have fun. Paul Freed and the BUHS varsity girls’ basketball team will instruct the clinic. Call to pre-register at the Recreation & Parks Office at 207 Main St., at 802-254-5808.
Stick time at Withington Rink
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department will again offer Stick Time at the Nelson Withington Skating Facility at Living Memorial Park this winter.
This is open to all ages and abilities and non-Brattleboro Hockey Association participants are welcome. Helmets and gloves are required. Stick Time will be supervised and equipment is available. This is your opportunity to skate and shoot some pucks whether or not you play on a hockey team!
Stick time is offered on the following days and times: Wednesdays, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (youths), and 9 to 10 p.m. (adults); and Saturdays, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
There will also be an additional Stick Time session on Thursday, Dec. 28, from 11 a.m. to noon.
The cost for Stick Time will be as follows: Students, $3 for Brattleboro residents and $4 for non-residents; adults: $4 for residents and $5 for non-residents. Stick Time fees are not included in season passes. Call the Rink at 802-257-2311 or the Rec Office at 802-254-5808 with questions.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 14 of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League saw Team 5 (41-29) still in first place, while Team 8 (38-32) leapfrogged into second place over Team 1 and Team 3 (both 37-33), who are tied for third place. Team 9 (36.5-33.5) moved up to fourth while Team 10 and Team 2 (both 34-36) are tied for fifth, followed by Team 2 (33-36), Team 7 (all 31-39), and Team 4 (28.5-41.5).
Lois Pease had the women’s high handicap game (237) and series (672). Bob Wistrom had the men’s high handicap game (269), while Marty Adams had the high handicap series (708). Team 9 had the high team handicap game (891) and series (2,561).
Adams (628) had a 600-plus series with three 200-plus games (203, 207, 226). Rolling 500-plus series were Eric Brown (505), Warren Corriveau Sr. (598), Robert Rigby (555), Charles Marchant (556), Fred Ashworth (522), Wistrom (512), Jerry Dunham (513), and Peter Cross (511).
Corriveau (201, 215), Rigby (212), Brown (201), Ashworth (205), Marchant (228), and Wistrom (223) also had 200-plus games.