They are words that strike fear in the hearts of coaches everywhere — “second night of a back-to-back.”
It’s a common situation in the NBA, where a team will play in two different cities on consecutive nights. Coaches always worry about how much energy their players have on the second night, and will try to adjust their rotations and the amount of playing time to minimize fatigue.
While Vermont high schoolers don’t worry about late night check-ins at hotels, flight schedules, and changing time zones, it still is a challenge to play back-to-back games.
For the Twin Valley Wildcats’ boys basketball team, the front half of their back-to-back started with a 61-50 win over Black River in Ludlow on Feb. 9. Dylan Howe scored 20 points to lead Twin Valley.
Then, about 18 hours after the final buzzer of that game, they were in action in Whitingham for an afternoon game against Proctor.
Even though it was a long bus ride for the Phantoms, Proctor hadn’t played a game in eight days. A rested opponent doesn’t always beat a tired opponent, but that’s the way to bet.
Proctor opened the game with five straight three-pointers and never looked back in a 50-35 win over Twin Valley.
“We tried all our defenses, and nothing worked,” said Wildcats coach Chris Brown. “And we had too many turnovers. It’s hard to create much on offense when you don’t have the ball.”
Still, Twin Valley hung around and Proctor had a 24-14 lead at the half. The Wildcats couldn’t get closer than that in the second half. The Phantoms whipped the ball around the perimeter and to set up the best available shot. On defense, they controlled the boards and didn’t allow many second chance points.
Derek Almond led Proctor with 19 points, while Joe Bartlett chipped in nine points.
Hayden Reed made four three-pointers to finish with 12 points for the Wildcats. Logan Park, Jack McHale, and Dylan Howe were all held to five points each.
Brown refused to use playing two games in less than two days as an alibi. “This was really the first game all season that we were dominated from start to finish,” he said. “We always play hard, but we don’t always play smart.”
Twin Valley finished the week at 6-8, but still has two weeks to get it together for the Division III playoffs.
• Bellows Falls got handed a three games in four nights scenario, and came away with one win. Hartford swept the Terriers in a home-and-home series with BF, winning 67-41 on Feb. 6 and 55-36 two nights later.
But the Terriers righted the ship on Feb. 9 with a 63-41 win over Leland & Gray in Holland Gymnasium. Ryan Kelly had the hot hand for the Terriers with 29 points. BF ended the week at 4-9, while the Rebels fell to 4-10.
• Brattleboro fell to 0-13 with a 62-47 loss to Mount Anthony at the BUHS gym on Feb. 9.
• Bellows Falls is still cruising along. After crushing Woodstock, 64-10, on Feb. 5 at Holland Gymnasium, they took a short ride to Chester on Feb. 8 to face Green Mountain, one of the top teams in Division III this season. The Chieftains came away with a 58-44 win.
The Terriers took out their frustrations on Poultney on Feb. 10, with a 62-27 road win. Taylor Goodwell led BF with 19 points, as the Terriers ended the week at 13-3.
• Brattleboro picked up a 52-39 win over Otter Valley on Feb. 10 at the BUHS gym. Hailey Derosia led the 9-8 Colonels with 14 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals. Rachael Rooney scored a team-high 16 points for the 9-8 Colonels, and Julie Hendricks chipped in 10.
• Leland & Gray has lost eight of their last 10 games, and their record so far this season stands at 5-10.
Last week saw the Rebels lose twice, as they dropped a 47-41 decision at Windsor on Feb. 5 and lost 40-34 to Springfield at home on Feb. 8.
• Twin Valley also lost to Green Mountain last week, 68-35, on Feb. 6. The Wildcats are 4-9.
• The Brattleboro girls suffered a setback last week when their top scorer, Axis Balsley-Petraska, was injured. Olivia Romo stepped up against Hartford on Feb. 5 and scored three goals to lead the Colonels over the Hurricanes, 4-1.
Jamie Mahoney also scored as the Colonel girls put 25 shots on goal. Goaltenders Natalie Gadowski and Eliya Petrie combined to make 23 saves.
Brattleboro did not fare as well in its next two games at home as they lost to Missisquoi, 4-2, on Feb. 7 and fell to Woodstock, 5-2, on Feb. 10. The Colonel girls are now 7-8-1.
• The Brattleboro boys lost their two games last week — a 5-2 defeat at Northfield on Feb. 8 and a 5-0 loss at home against Woodstock, on Feb. 10.
Gabe Heiden and Jasper Reed scored for the Colonels against Northfield. Kam Pelkey, Anthony Palomba, Ryan Gerard, and Mason Foard were credited with assists. Colonel goaltenders Austin Wood and Forrest Wohnus stopped a combined 31 shots in the Woodstock loss. The Colonel boys are 6-9-1.
• The annual spaghetti dinner to benefit the Brattleboro boys’ ice hockey team will be held on Thursday, Feb. 22, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Brattleboro Elks on Putney Road.
Colonel players will be the servers, and desserts will be provided by the hockey parents. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12. Tickets will be sold in advance and also at the door. Take-outs are also available.
Contact Sherryl Libardoni at email@example.com, or ask any of the Colonel boys’ hockey players for dinner and/or raffle tickets.
• The Marble Valley League championships began last week with a class race at Prospect Mountain in Woodford, and the Brattleboro girls showed why they’re one of the top teams in the MVL.
The Brattleboro girls remained undefeated, taking the event with a team score of 16. Mount Anthony was second with 25. Ellery Loggia came in second for the Colonels, nosing out Sarah Gallagher, who was third. Bella Thurber and Liz Morse survived a crash early in the race to finish sixth and ninth, respectively.
Isaac Freitas-Eagan led the Colonels with a victory in the boys’ race in 17 minutes, 34 seconds, a full minute faster than runner-up Jack Drew of Mount Anthony. Despite placing three other skiers in the top 10 — Henry Thurber in seventh, Evan Koch in eighth, and Galen Fletcher in 10th — the Brattleboro boys’ finished second with 19 points as Mount Anthony won with a score of 17.
The MVL Freestyle Championship is scheduled for Feb. 14 at the Brattleboro Outing Club.
Winter Carnival, Thompson House team up on ‘Ice Out’ fundraiser
• This roller coaster winter of 2017-18 — days of snow and Arctic cold, followed by rain and temperatures in the 40s — has meant that the ice on the Retreat Meadows in Brattleboro is not quite as thick as past years.
Sounds like perfect conditions for Brattleboro’s first “Ice Out” contest, as the Brattleboro Winter Carnival committee and Thompson House have teamed up for a unique fundraiser to benefit both organizations.
Ice Out contests are popular harbingers of spring in northern New England. Contestants guess the date and time that the ice melts on a body of water, and the person with the correct prediction wins a prize. Joe’s Pond in West Danville (www.joespondvermont.com/iceout) hosts perhaps the most famous contest in Vermont.
For the Brattleboro version of ice out, a wooden cutout of Frosty the Snowman, the Carnival’s mascot, will be put out on the ice of Retreat Meadows with a 40-pound weight beneath him. A timer will be attached to the weight to determine the precise moment Frosty goes into the drink.
Feel lucky? Tickets are $5 each, or 5 for $20. The money will be split three ways — a third for the Carnival, a third for Thompson House, and a third for the winner. Rules and ticket outlets are available at www.brattleborowintercarnival.org.
‘Junior Olympics’ returns for Winter Carnival
• Speaking of Winter Carnival, young Olympians of the future are invited to participate in the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department Junior Olympic races at Living Memorial Park.
Downhill ski races will be held at the park’s ski hill on Monday, Feb. 19, at 9:30 a.m., while skating races will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 2:30 p.m., at Withington Rink.
Students from school grades 1-12 are eligible and are encouraged to enter the events, which are all 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 boys’ division and girls’ division. Ribbons will be awarded to the first five winners in each division and participation ribbons to all. For more information, call the Rec. Dept. office at 802-254-5808.
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 4 (26-4) added to their first place lead after Week 6 of the winter edition of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League. Team 10 (23-7) stayed in second place, while Team 5 (21-9) is third and Team 7 and Team 2 (both 19-11) are tied for fourth. Team 8 (16-14) is fifth, followed by Team 3 (15-15), Team 6 (9-21), Team 1 (8-22), Team 11 (8-17), and Team 9 (5-25).
Arlene Blum and Shirley Aiken had the women’s high handicap game (248), while Blum had the high handicap series (722). Robert Rigby had the men’s high handicap game (272) and series (724). Team 1 had the high team handicap game (941) and series (2,671).
Rigby (708) rolled the first 700-plus series of the season, with games of 201, 266, and 239.
Jerry Dunham (623), Rich Dowley (607), Marty Adams (601), and Fred Ashworth (614) all had 600-plus series. Ashworth (225, 237), Dunham (225, 203), and Adams (226, 201) each had two 200-plus games.
Josie Rigby (536) and Blum (509) were the two women with 500-plus series, while Wayne Randall (506), Bob Wistrom (507), Gary Montgomery (565), and Warren Corriveau Sr. (538) were the men in the 500-club.