Unified basketball is about giving kids a chance to experience the fun and camaraderie of being on a team and playing in competitive games in front of cheering fans.
The April 2 game between the Brattleboro Colonels and Leland & Gray Rebels at the BUHS gym checked all those boxes, so much so that the final score — a 42-25 win for the Colonels — seemed like an afterthought.
Exhibit A came in the final minute of the game. Leland & Gray had no chance of winning, but the players on the floor knew that Brattleboro’s Kyle Simuro was the only player who hadn’t scored yet.
So the Rebels kept giving Simuro the ball. He never did get a basket, but the act of sportsmanship did not go unnoticed by the Colonels and their fans.
But they still do keep score in the games, and the Colonels, who won the state Unified championship last year, have many members of that team back on this year’s squad. The level of experience and court awareness definitely shows.
“The players we have back know more than they did last year, and recognize situations on the floor,” said Colonels coach Todd Bell. “This wasn’t our best game, but that’s because it was a scrappy game and we needed to play good defense to win.”
The Colonels had three players in double figures. Kayli Nicholson led all scorers with 12 points while Zach Smith and Jacob Williams each scored 10.
Every member of the Rebels scored at least one basket. Forward Ben Stone led the way with nine points and guard Sammantha Pelton added four.
The Rebels fell to 1-3 with the loss. “We don’t have a selfish team,” said Rebels co-coach Terry Merrow. “They all look out for each other.”
With the victory in their home opener, it was the fourth straight win to open the season for the 4-0 Colonels. Bell said he is happy with the progress his team is showing.
Colonel laxmen win opener
• With Natowich Field still in rough shape from football season and a snowy winter, the Brattleboro boys’ lacrosse team decided to play its opening game on April 7 on the new artificial turf field at Landmark College in Putney.
The Colonels adapted well to the faster surface, and rolled over Taconic, 19-8.
Durin Hoyer scored a game-high seven goals and assisted on another as the Colonels took a 6-1 lead in the first quarter and cruised from there. Charlie Burroughs added five goals and three assists, and Ryan Tyler and Elliot Bauer scored two goals each. Calvin Stebbins, Alejandro Cornman, and Gus Williams each had a goal.
The visitors from Pittsfield, Mass., got three goals and two assists each from Sal Amaral and Sean Soper. Billy Ellis and Seamus Hayes also scored.
Caleb Martin made six saves to get the win in goal for Brattleboro, while Taconic goalie Troy Schweitzer had 13 saves.
Colonel boys fall in tennis opener
• The Brattleboro boys’ tennis team had to take on two opponents in the season opener on April 5 at the BUHS courts — the players from Northampton, Mass., and brutal weather.
Northampton handled both the Colonels and the gale-force winds and 40-degree temperatures with a 5-0 win.
Brattleboro’s top three singles players — Martin Sipowicz, Jonah Petrie, Josh Petrie — all lost in straight sets. The doubles teams of Mason Powers and Ari Essunfeld and Cole Merkle and Mason Foard fared no better.
Trout season opens on Saturday
• The second Saturday in April means only one thing in Vermont, and that’s opening day for trout fishing.
The toughest trout fishing can be found this time of year. The brooks and streams are still running high and fast with runoff from storms and snowmelt, and the water is still very cold. However, the folks at the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department say anglers can have early-season success by following a few basic tips.
“Just like any other time of year, anglers fishing early in the spring should adjust their tactics based on the conditions,” State Fisheries Biologist Bret Ladago said in a news release. “Anglers may want to target small to medium low-elevation rivers and streams where flows are slow and waters will warm more quickly.”
Since Fish & Wildlife doesn’t stock streams and rivers until May, after spring runoff, April trout fishing is about going after wild fish.
Trout will often hold close to the bottom in the deeper areas of streams during high flow conditions to conserve energy. Ladago says you should choose locations and tactics that allow you to fish your bait or lure right along the bottom. Fishing slowly with worms or spinners through deep holes behind current breaks created by big boulders, downed trees, or log-jams can be productive for early season trout.
“Angling success may be improved by focusing on waters known to hold wild fish,” Ladago says. “Despite unpredictable weather during early spring, each year anglers report catching impressive trout during opening weekend.”
For more information about fishing in Vermont, including where to get your fishing license, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
Turkey hunting seminar at Sportsman’s Inc.
• The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will hold a free turkey hunting seminar in Guilford on Sunday, April 15, at Sportsman’s Inc. Fish and Game Club, 2081 Creamery Rd., from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“Both experienced and first-time turkey hunters stand to benefit from these seminars,” Hunter Education Training Coordinator John Pellegrini said in a news release. “We will provide information on all aspects of turkey hunting, including safe hunting practices, specialized equipment, calls, site setup, and other strategies for harvesting turkeys.”
The morning portion of the seminar will be classroom time, with the afternoon session focusing on how to pattern a shotgun for turkeys. Participants can bring their own firearms and ammunition, or they will be provided to those who do not have them.
Certified Hunter Education Instructor Robert Etzweiler will be the instructor for this event, with members of Sportsman’s Inc. assisting. Participants can sign up at www.register-ed.com/programs/vermont/133-vermont-fish-and-wildlife-seminars. For questions, contact Pellegrini at 802-793-1894.
Lifeguard training meeting set for April 22
• There will be an informational meeting for lifeguards regarding open water training on April 22 at 2 p.m. at Guilford Central School.
The meeting, which will last for about an hour, will be used to set up the course hours and days. Those interested in participating in the course will be asked to make a deposit as a startup fee. You must be 15-years-old this summer in order to participate.
If you have any questions, need more information, or will be out of town on April 22, contact Beverly Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior bowling roundup
• The top of the standings after Week 13 of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League saw first place Team 10 (47-18) maintain their seven-game lead over second place Team 2(40-25). Team 4 (39-26) dropped to third, followed by Team 5 (38-27), Team 8 (36-29), Team 9 and Team 3 (both 34-31), Team 7 (32-33), Team 6 (30.5-34.5), Team 1 (24.5-40.5), and Team 11 (21-39).
Pat Bentrup had the women’s high handicap game (259), while Margaret Dowley had the high handicap series (685). Warren Corriveau Sr. (309) had the men’s high handicap game, and Peter Gilbert had the high handicap series (723). Team 3 had the high team handicap game (983) and series (2,611).
In scratch scoring, Gary Montgomery (620) had a third straight 600-plus series. He was joined by Corrieveau (636), who just missed a perfect 300 game to finish with a 296. Montgomery had games of 212 and 214.
Gilbert (558), Charles Marchant (529), Peter Cross (519), Marty Adams (511), Richard Dowley (565), and Wayne Randall (595) all rolled a 500-plus series. Randall (225, 221), Gilbert (206), Dowley (202, 213), and Charles Marchant (200) had 200-plus games.