On their home course on a perfect Valentine’s Day afternoon, the Brattleboro Colonels nordic ski teams swept the Marble Valley League freestyle championships.
It was a shirtsleeves day for the racers, as the course at the Brattleboro Country Club was sun-softened by temperatures in the mid-40s. The Colonels had no problems as the boys’ and girls’ teams both beat runner-up Mount Anthony.
In the girls race, Woodstock’s Olivia Brooks was the individual winner in 20 minutes, 13 seconds. But the Colonels took down the next three spots as Sarah Gallagher (20:25), Bella Thurber (20:35) and Elery Loggia (21:42) turned in excellent performances. Liz Morse (sixth, 22:46), Annie Takacs (seventh, 22:47) and Bella Takacs (10th, 23:23) also placed in the top 10.
There were no surprises in the boys race as Brattleboro’s Isaac Freitas-Eagan smoked the field with a winning time of 14 minutes and 36 seconds, 91 seconds faster than runner-up Matthew Bessette of Woodstock. Three other Colonels made the top 10: Henry Thurber (sixth, 18:23), Galen Fletcher (seventh, 18:33) and Evan Koch (eighth, 18:51).
The MVL championships were scheduled to conclude on Feb. 19 with relay races at Woodstock. Both Brattleboro teams are in first place, with Mount Anthony close behind.
• Bellows Falls finished last week with a 15-3 record, yet the Terriers are ranked seventh in Division II. Why?
With Springfield, Hartford, and Woodstock as the only Division II teams on their schedule, BF plays against mostly Division III and IV teams in the Marble Valley League.
Since playoff seeding is determined by index points — a system gives teams points based on wins and losses, the strength of opponents, and whether the game was home or away — BF gets penalized for being a Division II team that plays in the lowest division of the MVL.
Of course, no matter who your opponent is, winning always improves your chances of making the playoffs and BF beat Leland & Gray, 45-38, at Holland Gymnasium on Feb. 14, and crushed Woodstock, 67-15, on the road on Feb. 17.
In the win against the Rebels, Taylor Goodell had 17 points, eight rebounds, and six steals. Madison Streeter added eight points, and BF went 9-for-14 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
• Leland & Gray, which beat Twin Valley, 41-27, on Feb. 12, fell to 7-11. In the Twin Valley game, Mariah Hazard scored 22 points to lead the Rebels. Tayler Courchesne finished with eight points and seven rebounds to lead the Wildcats.
• Twin Valley fell to 4-11 last week with a loss at Springfield on Feb. 15. Courchesne led the Wildcats with 10 points. Jarrett Niles and Maria Page added seven and six points, respectively.
• Brattleboro went on a three-game winning streak to finish out January, but February has been a slog so far as the Colonels have won only one of their last five games and finished last week with a 9-10 record.
On Feb. 12 at the BUHS gym, the Colonels let a nine-point lead in the final quarter slip away and lost 45-43 to Mount Anthony. sophomore Grace Mahar led MAU with 23 points, 19 rebounds, and five steals. Hailey Derosia was the Colonels’ top player with 20 points, seven rebounds, and nine steals. The Colonels then went up to Rutland on Feb. 17 and lost, 58-33.
• That first win of the season is still eluding Brattleboro. Last week, the 0-15 Colonels lost a pair of games on the road. On Feb. 12, they fell to Wahconah, 53-36, and on Feb. 16, they were throttled by Burr & Burton, 66-24.
• Bellows Falls was upset by Twin Valley, 61-38, in Whitingham on Feb. 13. Good defensive pressure by the Wildcats in the second half erased a halftime deficit.
Izaak Park scored a career-high 16 points for the 7-8 Wildcats. Logan Park had 12 points and 11 rebounds and Jack McHale added 13 points. Ryan Kelly scored 19 points for the Terriers.
The Terriers bounced back from that loss with a 66-46 win over Springfield on Feb. 16. Ryan Kelly and Shane Clark scored 26 and 11 points, respectively as BF had an 18-7 outburst to start the second half to give them some breathing room against the Cosmos.
With the win, BF finished the week at 5-10.
• Leland & Gray is still struggling. The Rebels made two trips to Chester last week. The first was on Feb. 13 to face Black River, as the Presidents prevailed, 65-42. Three nights later, they played Green Mountain, and came away with a 43-38 win. The Rebels are now 5-11.
• The Brattleboro girls solidified their No. 5 ranking in Division II with a pair of road wins last week. On Feb. 14, the Colonel girls beat Harwood, 9-5. Three nights later, they headed north to beat the combined Lyndon/North Country team in overtime, 2-1.
The game against Lyndon/North Country is a good indicator of where the Colonel girls are right now. Shorthanded due a case of stomach flu sweeping through the team, they still gritted out a big win on the road.
Trailing 1-0 after a goal by Lyndon/North Country’s Skylar Robert, Tobin Lonergan got the equalizer with a power play goal in the third period. Edie Cay and Elizabeth Day were credited with the assists.
The game-winning goal was scored by Axis Balsley-Petraska on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Lila Alexander led the break-out and made a perfect pass to Balsley-Petraska to end overtime with a Colonels victory. Eliya Petrie was in goal for Brattleboro and made several big saves over the course of the game.
Now 9-8-1, the Colonel girls seem to be peaking at the right time.
• The Brattleboro boys lost to Burlington, 4-1, at Withington Rink on Feb. 27.
Anthony Palomba scored Brattleboro’s only goal, assisted by Gabe Heiden. Burlington finished with a 27-25 advantage in shots on goal as the Colonel boys ended the week at 6-10-1.
Youth soccer at the Rec
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department will offer a five-week youth indoor soccer program beginning March 5 and running through April 4 at the Gibson-Aiken Center.
The program runs from 5 to 6 p.m., with grades K-2 on Mondays, grades 3-4 on Tuesdays, and grades 5-6 on Wednesdays. Children will be grouped into small coed teams to play pick-up games. Scores will not be kept. Shin guards and sneakers are required. The focus will be on having fun.
The fees are $15 for residents, $30 for non-residents, and you can register now or the first night of soccer. For more information, call the Rec. Dept. at 802-254-5808.
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 4 (31-4) is cruising along in first place lead after Week 7 of the winter edition of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League. Team 10 (27-8) stayed in second place, four games back, while Team 5 (25-10) remained in third and Team 8 (21-14) jumped up into fourth. Team 7 and Team 2 (both 20-15) are now tied for fifth, followed by Team 3 (17-18), Team 11 (11-19), and Team 6, Team 9, and Team 1 (all tied at 9-28).
Josie Rigby had the women’s high handicap game (276) and series (676), while Jon Peters had the men’s high handicap game (256) and series (792). Team 9 had the high team handicap game (901), while Team 5 had the high handicap series (2,520).
Rigby (619) rolled the first 600-plus series for the women this season. She also had a 257 scratch game.
The 500-plus club was crowded last week, with Robert Rigby (565), Peter Cross (511), Jerry Dunham (591), Gary Montgomery (519), Warren Corriveau Sr. (593), Charles Marchant (558), Fred Ashworth (589), Marty Adams (595), Wayne Randall (506), and Peters (536) all hitting that milestone.
Men with 200-plus scratch games included Robert Rigby (202), Cross (205), Dunham (202), Corriveau, (214), Peters (204), and Ashworth (201, 211).
Rink closes for season on March 4
• The Nelson Withington Skating Facility at Living Memorial Park will be closing for the season on Sunday, March 4, at 10:15 p.m.