After losing their first three games, the Bellows Falls Terriers boys’ basketball went on a five-game win streak.
The fifth win in that streak came against Black River, 49-38, on Jan. 16 at Holland Gymnasium. BF led 27-7 at the half and managed to withstand a second-half rally by the Presidents. Ryan Kelly and Shane Clark led the Terriers with 11 and 9 points, respectively.
On Jan. 20, BF played host to Windsor. Some teams might look past an opponent that had lost seven straight games before snapping that losing streak on Jan. 16 against Newport, N.H.
But BF coach Ryan Stoodley knew better. The Yellowjackets, led by their longtime coach Harry Ladue, always strive to play an up-tempo game on offense. It’s taken this group of Windsor players a little longer to get the hang of it, but against the Terriers, the Jacks had the knack and won 70-59.
The first half was back-and-forth, but it was Windsor that managed to have a 30-29 lead at the half. The Jacks then put together a tremendous third quarter, scoring 27 points, including 6 three-pointers, to turn a close game into a 57-39 rout heading into the final period.
“We had some lapses at the end of the first half,” said Stoodley after the game. “I told them at halftime that how we play in the first 2 or 3 minutes of the second half will determine who wins this game. Windsor simply just executed better than we did and were a little quicker than we were.”
Seth Balch, who led all scorers with 28 points, hit 3 three-pointers in the third quarter for the Jacks. Balch scored 11 and Dakota Page added 8 more points during the outburst.
“When [Windsor] started hitting those threes, it got them going,” said Stoodley.
BF tried to make a comeback in the fourth as Jon Skrocki hit a pair of threes and Cam Joy and Clark also added three-pointers. But Balch kept pace with 7 points in the quarter, aided by Page, Ben Meagher, and Adam Stapleton.
Stapleton finished with 16 points and numerous rebounds, while Page and Meagher added 10 and 9 points, respectively.
Clark led the Terriers with 18 points. Joy, Anthony Mueller, and Skrocki added 11, 9, and 8 points, respectively.
At 5-4, Stoodley said the Terriers are on unfamiliar ground — they have a winning record midway through the season and are capable of nailing down a home game in the first round of the Division II playoffs.
“This is a good team, and I’ve coached most of them for the three years I’ve been here,” Stoodley said. “Our goal is to get ready for the playoffs. We’re still learning what we need to do to win close games, and they learned a little more tonight about how to execute.”
• Brattleboro is starting to creep back up the Division I standings as they finished the week with a 7-3 record. On Jan. 20, the Colonels traveled to Middlebury and came away with a 75-63 win. Eli Lombardi led the Colonels with 28 points, while Ian Fulton-Black added 20 points.
The next day, the Colonels pulled out a 72-60 win over Fair Haven at the BUHS gym. The Slaters were without their top scorer, Darren Brown, but they still had a 35-29 lead at the half. However, the Colonels’ depth was just too much for Fair Haven.
• Twin Valley came off a 10-day break on Jan. 21, and defeated West Rutland, 60-42, in a road win that improved the Wildcats’ record to 6-4 and put them in the fifth spot of the Division III rankings.
•Leland & Gray had an 11-day break from game action, but their first game back was a 43-35 loss to Green Mountain on Jan. 20 at Townshend. At 2-7, there still is time for the Rebels to get hot for the second half of the season.
• Two losses last week dropped Brattleboro’s record to 4-5. South Burlington, led by Grace Hoehl’s game-high 16 points, led the Rebels to a 44-32 win over Brattleboro at the BUHS gym on Jan. 16. Despite a strong defensive effort by the Colonels, Hoehl scored nine points in the second half to put the Rebels in control.
Brattleboro got off to a fast start with an 11-2 run in the first quarter as Devin Millerick, Hailey Derosia, and Megyn Ayotte led the way. South Burlington battled back and took a 20-18 lead at the half. Derosia led the Colonels with 7 points, Ayotte, Shenise Taliaferro, and Gabby Carpenter each added 6 points.
On Jan. 20, the Colonels traveled to St. Johnsbury and lost, 54-36.
• Bellows Falls overcame a lousy day at the free throw line with a hot third quarter by freshman Taylor Goodell and stout defense in the second half for a 40-30 home win over Arlington on Jan. 21.
BF went 5-for-19 from the line and only scored one basket in the first quarter, but the Terriers made up for it in the second half. Goodell drilled 3 three-pointers and scored 11 points in the third quarter to break open a close game and take a 30-19 lead going into the final quarter.
Molly Kelly, who kept the Terriers in the game in the first half with 5 points in the second quarter, pulled down 9 rebounds for the game. Murphy Hicks also had 9 rebounds, and point guard Keri Ticino had 6 defensive and 2 offensive rebounds to go with her 5 steals.
Goodell finished with 15 points to lead the Terriers. Hannah Kelly added 8, and Molly Kelly chipped in seven.
The win made up for a 49-31 loss on Jan. 17 to Division IV powerhouse Mount St. Joseph at Holland Gymnasium. MSJ raced to a 19-0 lead and BF never recovered as the two-time state champs took advantage of a Terriers lineup depleted by illness and injury.
Jenna Eaton scored 18 points and Lyndsey Elms added 10 for MSJ. BF played a little better in the second half to make the final score more respectable. Abbe Cravinho, Michele Marchica, and Taylor Goodell all finished with 6 points each for the Terriers. BF finished the week with a 5-3 record.
• The Brattleboro girls lost a close one to U-32, 2-1, at Withington Rink on Jan. 21. But despite the loss, the Colonels are the fifth-ranked team in Division II with a 3-6-1 record.
• Not much is going right for the Brattleboro boys this season. With a 5-1 loss at Harwood on Jan. 21, the Colonels fell to 1-8-1 on the season.
The game started out promising. Declan Lonergan scored the first period to give the Colonels the early lead. But Harwood rallied back, and put the game away with three goals in the final period.
Eli Rivers scored twice and had two assists, while Hunter Wimble got the go-ahead goal in the second period, and Colin Green and Connor Beck also scored for the 7-2-1 Highlanders.
Harwood’s Ben Hodziewich stopped 30 shots to get the win in goal, while Sam Griffith made 39 saves for Brattleboro.
Lockerby to coach Vermont Shrine Team
• Bellows Falls head football coach Bob Lockerby was selected to lead the Vermont squad in the 64th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, which will be played Saturday, Aug. 5, at 5:30 p.m., at Castleton University.
To be selected as head coach in this game, which has brought together the top high school football players from Vermont and New Hampshire for more than six decades, is a great and a well-deserved honor for Lockerby.
Lockerby, a 1976 graduate of BFUHS and a 1980 graduate of Elon College in North Carolina, has been a teacher and coach at Bellows Falls for 35 years.
He was an assistant to the legendary coach Bis Bisbee from 1981 to 2005, and took over the BF football program upon Bisbee’s retirement.
In 11 seasons as coach of the Terriers, Lockerby’s teams made it to the state finals four times, winning the Division III title in 2010 and the Division II title in 2016.
Rod Cathcart of Trinity High School was selected as the New Hampshire coach.
Lockerby’s and Cathcart’s next task is selecting the 36 players from their respective states who will play in the Shrine Game, a fundraiser for the Shriners orthopedic children’s hospitals in Springfield, Mass., and Montreal, Que., and the Shriners Burns Hospital in Boston.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 2 of the winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League saw Team 10 have another undefeated week to take sole possession of first place with a 10-0 record. Team 2 is close behind at 9-1, followed by Team 7 (8-2), Team 6 (7-3), Team 4 (6-4), Team 8 (4-6), Team 1 (3-7), Team 3 (2-8), Team 9 (1-9) and Team 5 (0-10).
Pam Putnam had the women’s high handicap game (258) and series (748), while Peter Cross had the men’s high handicap game (301) and Ken Chamberlin had the high handicap series (696). Team 1 had the high team handicap game (923) and series (2,503).
Six bowlers rolled a 500-plus series: Putnam (544), Cross (545), Fred Ashworth (536), Jerry Dunham (549), Charlie Marchant (545), and Marty Adams (553). Cross (259) and Ashworth (204) were the only bowlers with 200-plus games.