It’s looking more and more like the road to the Division III boys’ and girls’ basketball championships is going to run through Townshend.
The Leland & Gray Rebels girls’ basketball team increased their winning streak to eight games last week and solidified their hold on the top spot in Division III with a 11-1 record.
Last Saturday, the Rebels rolled to a 56-18 win over Mid-Vermont Christian in White River Junction. As you’d expect from the final score, the Rebels were dominating on defense. They had 21 steals in all as Bethany Robinson, Aly Marcucci and Callie Ginter all had 4 steals, and Ashley Goddard had 3. The Rebels also had 29-11 advantage in rebounding.
Robinson scored 19 points, Marcucci had 11 and Goddard had 6 points and 10 rebounds, all in limited duty as the reserves got lots of playing time.
Marcucci scored 17 points as Leland & Gray topped Proctor, 43-25, last Friday. Alex Morrow had 8 points and 6 rebounds, while Goddard had 6 points and 10 rebounds. The defense was also great in this game as the Rebels had 15 steals — 4 each for Marcucci and Morrow.
• While the girls are getting most of the attention, the Rebel boys’ are also putting together a nice run.
Noah Chapin scored 18 points to lead the Leland & Gray Rebels to a 59-25 win at Green Mountain on Jan. 31. Colin Nystrom and Matt Bizon each added 10, as the Rebels overcame a sluggish first half to outscore the Chieftains 39-12 in the second half.
It was the first of three wins last week for the Rebels. They stayed in the groove with a 56-22 demolition of Poultney last Thursday in Townshend. Bizon was high scorer with 17 points, while Nystrom added 13.
Last Saturday, the Rebels improved to 9-3 with a 59-32 romp over Mid-Vermont Christian. Bizon had another big night with 13 points and 11 steals. Josh Fontaine had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Nystrom added 11.
• A change in defensive strategy helped the Brattleboro Colonels to a 37-30 home victory over the Pioneer Panthers last Friday. Coach Paul Freed scrapped his usual 2-3 zone for a man-to-man defense, and the Colonels responded by holding Pioneer to just 2 points in the first quarter, and keeping the Panther at bay for the remainder of the game. Taylor Kerylow and Mary Richardson each had 10 points.
The next day, the Colonels hosted Hartford, and came up short, 48-36. Erin LeBlanc was high scorer with 10 points, while Richardson added 8 points for the 3-11 Colonels.
• Sam Bernard had 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 steals as Twin Valley flattened Black River, 54-20, in Ludlow on Jan. 31. Kylie-blu Crawford added 11 points while Shannon Lozito scored a career-high 10 points. The Wildcats dominated the game from start to finish, leading 14-4 at the end of the first quarter and 30-8 at halftime.
Last Friday, the Wildcats took care of West Rutland in a 50-30 home victory. Twin Valley trailed 19-14 at the half, but recovered with a 15-5 burst in the third quarter to seize control. Bernard led the way again with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Kylie-blu Crawford added 11 points as Twin Valley improved to 8-7.
• Bellows Falls played well on defense against Mill River, but couldn’t muster much offense as the Terriers lost at home, 39-19, last Friday. Enny Mustapha was BF’s leading scorer with 6 points; Sarah Dumont and Kya Coursen each added 4 for the 1-12 Terriers.
• The Brattleboro Colonels started the week with a 75-52 road loss to Rutland on Jan. 31. The Raiders started strong, and never let up as they showed why they are one of the top teams in Division I. Travis Elliott-Knaggs led Brattleboro with 13 points, while Tommy Heydinger had 12.
The Colonels bounced back from that loss with a 55-41 home win over Burr & Burton last Thursday. Heydinger led the way with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Travis Beeman-Nesbitt added 11 points and 8 rebounds. Aside from a sluggish third quarter, the Colonels stayed on task for most of this game.
• After a rocky start, Twin Valley has started to right the ship. The Wildcats picked up their third straight victory with a 42-34 home win over West Rutland on Jan. 31. Tony Bernard led the Wildcats with a career-high 19 points, while Colin Lozito added 16 points. Bernard and Ian Murdock each had 8 rebounds.
Unfortunately, the win streak ended at three as the undefeated (14-0) Proctor Phantoms crushed the Wildcats, 69-31, last Thursday. Murdock scored 18 points, most of them in the second half, to lead the 4-8 Wildcats.
• Mount St. Joseph flattened Bellows Falls, 82-33, last Thursday, as the Terriers had no remedies to deal with a team that was bigger, stronger and faster than they were.
• Last Saturday was hockey night in Brattleboro, and the home teams ended up with a tie and a loss at Withington Rink.
The Colonel girls partially avenged a 2-0 loss earlier in the season to the Northfield Marauders with a 2-2 tie. Maddie Rollins and Miranda Moseley were the goal scorers in an exciting game with plenty of scoring chances by both teams. Goalie Brianna Snow had another solid game, particularly in the overtime period.
The Colonel boys let a 1-0 lead slip away as they lost to the Hartford Hurricanes, 3-2. Logan George scored first for the Colonels in the second period, but penalties opened the door for Hartford to score the next two goals. Romello Lindsey tied the game with 12 minutes left, but Hartford’s Brandon Gardner got the game winner with 2:24 left in regulation.
• Bellows Falls’ senior Cyle Weyant completed his last regular season high school wrestling tournament with a victory in the 125-pound weight class at the annual Jason Lowell Memorial wrestling tournament at Mount Mansfield Union High School in Jericho on Saturday.
It was the third year in a row that Weyant has won a championship at this event, and the 17th individual tournament championship of his four-year career at BF. Both are marks that will not be easily broken.
• The Brattleboro Colonels were to host the Marble Valley League classic meet last Tuesday, but heavy snow disrupted that race. Instead, the Colonels got a chance to ski on the Vermont National Guard’s world-class biathlon course at the Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho last Saturday.
Once again, the Colonel girls put the northern schools on notice that Brattleboro will be a force to reckon with in the state championships. Halie Lange led the 7K classic race from start to finish and won by an 83 second margin over Catherine Sharkey of Mount Anthony. Maddi Shaw took fourth overall, Emma Straus was 11th and Linnea Jahn took 15th in a photo finish. Leah Silverman was 20th, the last of the quartet of Colonels to place in the top 20 of the 73 racers in the field.
Mount Anthony won the meet with 20 points, but Brattleboro was close behind with 31 points and Mount Mansfield was third with 35.
The Colonel boys were shorthanded due to a conflict with the District Music Festival. Graham Glennon (19th place) was the top Brattleboro finisher. Austin Lester (22nd) joined him in the top 25.
• In my Jan. 19 roundup, I misidentified a player in my picture of the Brattleboro girls’ basketball team. Leah Short was not the player with the black headband in the second row. It was Mary Richardson.
To Mary, and to the rest of the team, I offer my apology.