The first week of the Vermont high school sports winter playoffs ended with all the local teams watching from the sidelines after first round losses.
This week, the boys’ basketball playoffs begin, and two of the three local teams that qualified for the postseason have tough road games in the first round.
• Twin Valley is the only local team with a winning record. With victories in five of their last six games, they finished at 11-9, which got them the No. 8 seed in Division III and a first-round home game on March 6 against No. 9 Oxbow (9-11).
The Wildcats closed out the regular season with a 42-34 win over Leland & Gray in Townshend on March 3. Dylan Howe led the Wildcats with 15 points, while Liam Towle was the Rebels’ top scorer with eight points.
• Leland & Gray finished the regular season at 6-14, and ended up the 14th seed in Division III. They will hit the road to face No. 3 Peoples Academy (17-3) in a first-round game on March 7,
• Bellows Falls won only one of their final three games last week and ended the regular season at 8-12, which got them the 13th seed in Division II. They are scheduled to travel to Montpelier on March 6 to face the No. 4 Solons (14-6) in a first-round game.
BF fell to Poultney, 47-36, at home on Feb. 26, then beat Twin Valley, 47-36, the following night. In the regular season finale, they lost to Green Mountain, 44-40, in Chester on March 3.
• Brattleboro is sitting out the Division I playoffs after finishing with a 3-17 record.
In the regular season finale last week, the Colonels beat Hartford, 58-14. Point guard Tyler Millerick was top scorer with 19 points.
• The old high-school coaching axiom that it’s tough to beat a team three times in the same season came into play for Brattleboro in the first round of the Division I playoffs.
Despite getting swept by sixth-seeded Mount Anthony in the season series, the 11th-seeded Colonels knocked off the Patriots, 51-45, in Bennington on Feb. 27.
Visiting Brattleboro led by as many as 16 points in the fourth quarter before a late rally by the Patriots made the final outcome a lot closer.
Hailey Derosia had another monster game, with 28 points, to lead the Colonels. Catherine Worthington and Caroline Musinski had 14 points apiece for the Patriots.
Unfortunately, the reward for beating their archrivals was a trip to the Canadian border, as Brattleboro faced third-seeded North Country in Newport on March 3 and lost 44-33.
Down 20-15 at the half, the Falcons seized control with a 15-2 second-half run, taking the lead for good midway through the third quarter. Kylie Wright (24 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks) and Carley Giroux (14 points, seven rebounds, four steals) help give North Country its first trip to the Division I Final Four since 1996.
Derosia had 15 points to lead Brattleboro, which finished with an 11-11 record.
• No. 7 Bellows Falls got a home game in the first round of Division II, but it was the visiting 10th-seeded Lamoille Lancers that came away with the 54-50 upset win.
Isabel Sullivan led Lamoille with 17 points. Halle Dickerson led all scorers with a game-high 18 points for the Terriers, while Taylor Goodell added 15.
The Terriers finished the season with a 16-5 record under first-year coach Todd Wells.
• Eighth-seeded Winooski edged ninth-seeded Leland & Gray, 40-37, in a Division III playdown on Feb. 28.
The visiting Rebels had a four-point lead at halftime, but the Spartans outscored Leland & Gray, 17-12, in the fourth quarter to win it. An 8-for-13 showing at the free throw line also helped Winooski.
Lydia Nattress led the Spartans with 18 points and nine rebounds.
• Suffocating defense by fourth-seeded Thetford resulted in a 51-15 win over 13th seeded Twin Valley in a Division III first-round game on Feb. 27.
The visiting Wildcats had no answers for Thetford’s efforts. Twin Valley trailed 13-0 after the first quarter and 28-4 at the half. All 12 Thetford players scored, led by eight points each by Kelsey Smith and Jordan Mousley.
Tayler Courshesne had six points to lead Twin Valley, whose season ended with a 5-14 record.
Colonels take second in state Nordic meet
• The Mount Mansfield Cougars swept the state Division I Nordic skiing championships last week, but Brattleboro finished a strong second.
MMU had a big lead over both Brattleboro teams after the freestyle races held in Craftsbury on Dec. 22, and maintained that lead in the classic races held on Feb. 26 at the Rikert ski center in Ripton.
In the girls’ meet, the Cougars won with 80 points, while the Colonels were second with 152. The boys’ meet saw the Cougars win big with 85 points to the Colonels’ 140.
There was another sweep, however. Brattleboro’s Isaac Freitas-Eagan, the boys’ freestyle individual champ, also won the boys’ 5K classic race in 13 minutes, 51.4 seconds. It was the second straight year that the Colonel senior won both events.
The Colonel boys’ relay team of Evan Koch, Galen Fletcher, Henry Thurber, and Freitas-Eagan came in first in 31:07, 45 seconds ahead of MMU.
Brattleboro placed two girls in the top 10 in the 5K classic — Sarah Gallagher (eighth in 17:38.7) and Bella Thurber (ninth in 18:05.9). The Colonel girls also finished second to Mount Mansfield in the relay in 38:22.7.
• The eighth-seeded Brattleboro boys got a home playoff game, but visiting Missisquoi, the ninth seed, spoiled the show with a 6-0 shutout of the Colonels in a Division II first-round contest at Withington Rink on Feb. 28.
Joel Gagne scored two goals and Steven King, Braylen Parent, Ryan LaRoche, and Hunter Mason also scored as the T-Birds took a 3-0 lead in the opening period and never looked back.
Missisquoi goalie PJ Bouchard made 29 saves to earn the shutout. Freshman goalie Austin Wood had 27 saves for the 7-13-1 Colonels.
• The fifth-seeded Brattleboro girls got a bye into the Division II quarterfinals, where they lost on the road to the No. 4 Woodstock Wasps, 4-1, on March 3.
Faye Stevens and Lizzy Peck each scored a pair of goals for the hosts.
Stevens and Peck scored unassisted goals in the first and second period, respectively, to help Woodstock take a 2-0 lead. Each scored another goal in the third period. Sami Yates picked up a pair of assists and Stevens added one assist. Goalie Bridgit Black made 10 saves for Wasps.
The Colonel girls ended the season with a 10-10-1 record.
BUHS skier advances to state Alpine meet
• It’s been years since Brattleboro has had an Alpine ski team at the high school. For BUHS junior Aidan Murphy this season, that has meant he has had to go it alone as the Colonels’ lone downhill skier.
Murphy has been racing as an independent, training with the Pico Mountain race team on weekends and during school vacations.
He has been performing well, as he qualified to attend this week’s Vermont Alpine State Championships at Burke Mountain by placing in the top 10 in both the slalom and giant slalom at the Southern Alpine District Championships held at the Suicide Six ski area in South Pomfret on Feb. 28.
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 10 (35-10) took back first place after Week 9 of the winter edition of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League. Team 4 (33-12) had a 1-4 week and slid back into second place, while Team 2 (29-16) stayed hot with a 4-1 week and is in sole possession of third. Team 8 (28-17) is just a game behind in fourth, followed by Team 7 and Team 5 (both 26-19), Team 3 (21-24), Team 9 (18-27), Team 6 (17.5-27.5), and Team 11 (13-27) and Team 1 (10.5-34.5).
Ann Wyman had the women’s high handicap game (251), while Carole Frizzell had the high series (659). Jerry Dunham had the men’s high handicap game (271) and Fred Ashworth had the high handicap series (688). Team 10 had the high team handicap game (878) and series (2,513).
In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby (639), Ashworth (673) and Jerry Dunham (636) led the men with 600-plus series. Rigby had games of 233 and 210, Ashworth had a 222, 238, and a 213, while Dunham had a 201 and 267.
Josie Rigby (567) was again the lone women with a 500-plus scratch series. She also had a 210 scratch game.
For the men, Wayne Randall (502) and Gary Montgomery (536) had a 500-plus scratch series.