The Brattleboro girls’ basketball team has had an up-and-down season. After winning its first two games, the Colonels lost their next two, won two of their three games after that, then went on a four-game losing streak.
Brattleboro broke out of its slump with a 36-34 road win over Hartford on Feb. 1, but ended up back in the losing column on Feb. 3 with a 49-48 loss to Mill River.
The Colonels had an eight-point lead to start the fourth quarter, but Mill River stepped up its defense and eventually took the lead with under a minute to play.
Mill River’s Rylee Nichols, whose pair of free throws with 25 seconds left provided the margin of victory, led all scorers with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Devin Millerick led the Colonels with 14 points. Now 5-8 and near the bottom of the Division I standings, the Colonels need to find consistency and play up to the level of talent that is on this team in their remaining games if they want to make a playoff run.
• It took double overtime for Bellows Falls to subdue Springfield, 48-46, in a tough road game on Feb. 1. The Terriers led by six at the half before the Cosmos battled back to tie the game at the end of regulation.
Keri Ticino, who was scoreless through regulation and the first overtime, got 5 of BF’s 8 points in the second OT. Taylor Goodell and Brigid Hodsden made the final free throws to clinch the victory.
Goodell scored a team-high 11 points, including 7 in the two OT periods. Molly Kelly had 8, and Michelle Marchica and Abbe Cravinho chipped in 6 apiece. Hannah Kelly, Murphy Hicks and Goodell had 14, 12, and 9 rebounds, respectively, while Goodell and Ticino had five steals each.
On Feb. 2, BF had another close road game, this time a 30-29 loss to Woodstock. Kelly scored 10 points, including eight in the second half, to lead the 6-5 Terriers. Marchica, Cravinho, and Kelly all finished with 4 points.
• Kendall Howe had a big night, with 22 points and 11 rebounds, to lead Twin Valley to a 50-39 win over Poultney on Feb. 2 in Whitingham. The win improved the Wildcats’ record to 3-7.
• Leland & Gray rolled over Woodstock, 61-25, on Jan. 30. Twelve different Rebels ended up in the scorebook, led by Rachel Borgesen with 12 points, 9 rebounds, and four steals. Caroline Tietz and Sydney Hescock added 8 points apiece.
• Green Mountain’s Mack Walton scored a game-high 15 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 night from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to help the Chieftains pull out a 58-46 win over Bellows Falls at Holland Gymnasium on Feb. 1.
Free throw shooting won this game for the Chieftains. With the score at 44-all with four minutes left to play, the Chieftains made all 10 of their free throws. GM also got a basket from Ian Kehoe, who finished with 14 points, in the closing run.
Conversely, the Terriers were doomed by a 9-for-22 night at the free throw line. BF also gave the Chieftains too many second and third chances at the basket, allowing Green Mountain to lead 31-21 at the half before coming back to tie the game in the fourth quarter.
Shane Clark finished with 14 points to lead the Terriers. Anthony Mueller scored 10 points, while Joseph Terry added 8.
• Derek Aines put on a show, with 34 points — including a 16-for-17 night at the free throw line — as Otter Valley beat Brattleboro, 71-60, in Brandon on Feb. 4.
Brattleboro got off to a good start before Aines took over the game and made 4 three-pointers. Eli Lombardi led the 9-5 Colonels with 28 points.
Girls’ ice hockey
• Brattleboro took care of business with a 6-2 victory over the winless North Country Falcons on Feb. 1 at the Icehaus at Jay Peak.
The Colonels led 3-0 after one period. Sarah LaPorte started the scoring with an unassisted goal at 5:40. Jamie Mahoney scored a power play goal from LaPorte and Hannah Curtiss at 14:27 and Curtiss got a goal of her own 11 seconds later on a nifty wraparound.
Brattleboro got two more goals in the second period as Edie Cay scored off a Mahoney pass at 5:42 and Mahoney scored with Cay and LaPorte assisting at 11:48.
After North Country broke up the shutout with a pair of goals early in the third period, Olivia Stent scored for the Colonels from Emily Martyn at 10:35.
Brattleboro goaltender Eliya Petrie got her first complete game in goal and made 8 saves. North Country goaltender Erin Sanville faced 28 shots and made 22 saves.
The Colonel girls traveled to Missisquoi on Feb. 4, and lost 4-3. After a scoreless first period, Brattleboro got goals from Mahoney (from Cay), Axis Balsley-Petraska (unassisted), and Olivia Romo (a tip in of a Balsley-Petraska shot) to take a 3-2 lead in the second.
Missisquoi then rallied with third period goals from Savannah Fellows and Adrienne Doste to win. Brattleboro goaltender Keagan Jameson faced 18 shots.
Brattleboro finished the week at 5-8-1 and are holding on to the No. 6 spot in the Division II rankings.
• The Brattleboro girls will play their annual Pink at the Rink game against Harwood on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 4:45 p.m. There will be a 50/50 raffle, a chuck-a-puck contest, and a bake sale.
All proceeds collected will go to the Comprehensive Breast Care program at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and will be used to supply gas cards and help purchase wigs for women battling breast cancer. Donations also will be accepted at the rink.
When the Brattleboro girls wore the pink jerseys last year, they raised $746. Help them top that figure this Saturday!
Diakite signs with Bentley
• Feb. 1 was National Letter of Intent Day, the date on the calendar when colleges secure commitments from graduating seniors to play football at their institutions.
It’s been a long time since that date meant anything in Brattleboro, until last week, when all-State running back Cheick Diakite accepted Bentley University’s offer of a full scholarship to play football at the Division II school in Waltham, Mass.
At 5-foot-11 and 225 pounds, Diakite’s running style is a rare combination of speed, power, and finesse. This past season for the Colonels, he carried the ball 162 times for 1,397 yards (an average of 8.6 yards per carry) and 15 touchdowns. His best game of the season was a 243-yard, 3 touchdown performance at Middlebury that ended the Tigers’ long regular season winning streak.
Diakite’s performance is all the more remarkable when you consider that he and his family moved here from West Africa when he was 8 and he didn’t start playing football until he got to high school. But he was a quick study and a hard worker for the Colonels, and head football coach Chad Pacheco — who coached him though his entire varsity career — says Diakite’s leadership skills behind the scenes were as impressive as his achievements on the field.
His goal was to play college football, and Diakite is about to achieve it. He plans to major in marketing at Bentley, one of the top business schools in the country, and his coaches and teachers at BUHS have little doubt that he will do well in his collegiate career.
Bigelow commits to UConn
• Diakite is not the only Colonel looking forward to a collegiate career. A couple of months ago, standout pitcher and shortstop Leif Bigelow made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Connecticut and play for the Huskies’ Division I baseball team.
Bigelow, a junior, had a fantastic 2016. He was named the tournament MVP as he helped lead the Brattleboro Post 5 team to the state American Legion Baseball championship. With the Colonels, he had a 13-4 record.
He has attended several baseball showcase camps and he is now on the radar screen of the major league scouts looking for young talent. With a fastball that’s now in the mid-80s and steadily getting faster, Bigelow may have a good chance of getting drafted by a big-league team in the next few years.
Going to UConn was a natural decision for Bigelow, since he’ll be the fifth member of his family to go there. He won’t be off to Storrs until the fall of 2019, so Colonel baseball fans have two more years to check out his work.
Senior bowling roundup
• The standings got reshuffled again after Week 4 of the winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League. Team 6 (16-4) remains a game ahead of Team 2 (15-5), while Team 7 (12-8) fell to third. Team 4 (11-9) fell to fourth, followed by Team 10 and Team 9 (both 10-10), Team 3 (9-11), Team 1 (8-12), Team 8 (5-15) and Team 5 (4-16).
Sally Perry had the women’s high handicap game (250) and series (726), while Gordon Evans had the men’s high handicap game (259) and David McElroy had the men’s high handicap series (709). Team 8 had the high team handicap game (889), while Team 9 had the high handicap series (2,563).
Seven bowlers rolled a 500-plus series: Perry (561),Peter Gilbert (504), Fred Ashworth (571), Jerry Dunham (552), Tom Johnson (526), Marty Adams (590), Warren Corriveau Sr. (589).
Dunham (209), Adams (208, 211), Johnson (203), Ashworth (213), and Corriveau (213) all had 200-plus games.
Little League seeks help after vandalism
• Twice in the past six months, vandals have struck at the Brattleboro Little League baseball field on South Main Street. They broke into the building that houses the concession stand and press box, and between what was stolen and what was trashed, they inflicted several thousand dollars worth of damage and losses.
Now the league is reaching out to the community to help replace and repair what was taken or damaged. They launched a fundraising campaign and set a goal of $5,000. To find more about how you can help, visit brattll.com.