At the midpoint of the Vermont high school girls’ basketball season, there were three undefeated teams in Division II as of the end of last week — Lake Region (7-0), Randolph (9-0), and Bellows Falls (8-0).
However, in the Vermont Principals’ Association’s rankings, Lake Region and Randolph are No. 1 and 2, respectively, and BF is tied for eighth with U-32 (4-4).
What’s up with that?
The answer to that question is index points and strength of schedule, both of which come into play when determining playoff seedings in high school sports.
Under the index point system, a team gets 6 points if it beats a higher division team on the road, and 5 points if it is a home win. If they face a team in their division, they get 4.5 points for a home win and 5 points if it’s a road win.
Play a team that is a division below you, and you get only 3 points for a home win, and 3.5 points if it is a road win.
Face a team that is two divisions below you, and you get 2 points for a home win, and 3 points for a road win.
No points are awarded for losses to teams in one’s division, or in a lower division, but 1 point is awarded for a loss to a higher division foe.
Lake Region has played a schedule, as of the end of last week, with two Division I games, two Division III games and two Division II games. That gives them 32 index points, or an average of 4.571 per game.
Randolph has played five Division II and four Division III games. That gives them 39 index points, or an average of 4.333 per game. Randolph’s per game index average is lower than Lake Region’s, so that is why they are in second.
BF’s first seven wins have come against Division IV opponents. Their eighth win, a 61-33 thrashing of Leland & Gray on Jan. 12 in Holland Gymnasium, was their first win over a Division III team. But based on index points, BF has 21.5 points, a 2.688 per game average.
“We can’t control the schedule,” said BF coach Todd Wells after the Leland & Gray game. “All we can do is play true to our style and take one game at a time.”
Focus is not a problem with this team, since it is filled with members of the three-time undefeated state champs in field hockey. While success in one sport doesn’t always mean success in another sport, the habits that lead to success usually carry over as the seasons change.
Against the Rebels, the top three BF scorers were all field hockey stalwarts. Taylor Goodell led all scorers with 14 points, five rebounds, seven steals, and four assists. Abbe Cravinho added nine points, seven assists, and three steals, while Madison Streeter had seven points, five steals, and three assists.
BF led 33-20 at the half, then put the hammer down in the third quarter by outscoring the Rebels, 16-2. The Terriers’ pressure defense forced numerous turnovers. On offense, Maya Waryas sank a pair of three-pointers, Madison Pencek added another three, and Goodell scored five points.
The Terriers made the most of their trips to the free throw line, going 12-for-16, while the Rebels were 13-for-22.
Sydney Hescock led the Rebels with 11 points, while Arin Bates and Maris Linder each scored seven points. Both Hescock and Linder got into first-half foul trouble, which limited their minutes and helped BF immensely.
With head coach Terry Merrow absent due to a work emergency, assistant coach Sam Russ had to run the Rebels’ bench against BF. She said she knew it was going to be a tough game.
“They’re a lot bigger than we are,” she said. “We held our own in the first half, but we were shorthanded today and ran out of steam as the game went on.”
Leland & Gray is trying to find its groove on offense. On Jan. 4 in Townshend, the Springfield Cosmos beat the Rebels, 36-15, as Cosmos forwards Gabriella Wardwell and Hannah Crosby each scored 10 points.
Springfield’s pressure defense gave the Cosmos a 9-1 lead in the first quarter. The Rebels managed to break the press in the second quarter, but their shots were not falling, and the Cosmos ended up with a 15-6 lead at the half.
To the Rebels’ credit, their defense managed to hold the Cosmos — a team that usually averages 60 points a game, to under 40 points. Bates and Linder each had six points for the 2-6 Rebels.
After a week off, the schedule will get tougher for the Terriers, starting with a road game on Jan. 19 at Windsor, and road games against Woodstock (Jan. 22) and Green Mountain (Jan. 26).
“We’re ready for it,” said Wells. “We’re working hard in practice, and it keeps paying off with efforts like this game. Everyone contributed today.”
• Brattleboro ended its week at 5-4 after back-to-back road wins over Hartford (51-35 on Jan. 7) and Fair Haven (53-37 on Jan. 11).
Hailey Derosia scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Colonels in the Hartford victory. Rachael Rooney led all scorers with 15 points, while Lauren McKinney had 11 points and six rebounds.
Against Fair Haven, Derosia and Rooney again came through for the Colonels as Derosia had 15 points, eight rebounds, and 11 steals while Rooney had 14 points and four steals. Julie Hendricks and Laurent Sargent added eight and six points, respectively.
• Twin Valley fell to 2-6 on the season with a 42-23 loss to Mount St. Joseph in Whitingham on Jan. 7.
The Wildcats were outscored 12-1 in the opening quarter and never recovered. Sadie Boyd led Twin Valley with six points, while Jarrett Niles and Jayden Crawford added five points each.
• Mount St. Joseph sank nine three-pointers and rolled to a 75-54 win over Bellows Falls on Jan. 8 at Holland Gymnasium.
BF found themselves in an 18-2 hole after the first quarter and MSJ made sure the Terriers did not crawl out. Ryan Kelly scored 22 points for the 3-3 Terriers, while Griffin Waryas and Dylan Clark added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
MSJ’s Maddox Traynor buried four three-pointers on the way to a 14-point night, while Leo Carranza and Logan Montilla scored 19 each.
• Wahconah had four players score in double-figures in a 65-53 win over Brattleboro at the BUHS gym on Jan. 8.
Tom Burris finished with 17 points for the visitors. Tim Clayton added 15 points, Kevin Huban scored 14, and Tom O’Connor chipped in with 13. The Colonels fell to 3-5 on the season.
• Twin Valley finished the week at 2-4 after a 61-41 road loss to Poultney on Jan. 10.
• Leland & Gray improved to 2-4 with a 61-58 road win over Springfield on Jan. 10.
• The Brattleboro girls picked up their second straight win with a 2-0 victory over North Country/Lyndon on Jan. 12 at Withington Rink.
Goalie Eliya Petrie made 16 saves to earn her first shutout of the season for the 2-6 Colonels. Emma Allen and Liz Day were the goalscorers, with Kalin Noble credited with an assist on Allen’s goal.
• The Brattleboro boys earned their third tie of the season in a hard-fought 5-5 deadlock against the Rutland Raiders on Jan. 12.
Colonels defenseman Ryan Gerard scored the tying goal with seven seconds left to force overtime, and goalie Austin Wood preserved the tie in the extra period.
Will Taggard and Ernie Antonucci each scored their first varsity goal. Gerard scored twice and Anthony Palomba also got a goal against the Raiders.
The Colonel boys ended the week at 3-2-3, which put them in a tie with Mount Mansfield for the No. 4 ranking in Division II.
BUHS nordic team offers skiing lessons
• The Brattleboro Union High School Nordic Ski Team is offering ski lessons to the greater Brattleboro community at the Brattleboro Outing Club’s ski hut and trail network at the Brattleboro Country Club on Upper Dummerston Road.
These all-ages, small-group lessons are free for Brattleboro Outing Club XC Ski Members. There is a $20 fee for non-members, which covers the lesson and a one day trail pass. Rental equipment is available free for BOC XC members, and $15 for non-members.
Lessons will be offered on three upcoming Sundays, Jan. 20 (World Snow Day), and Feb. 3 and 10, from 1 to 2 p.m. Come early and be standing on your skis ready to ski at 1 p.m. For more information and to reserve a spot, contact email@example.com.
Table Tennis Club seeks new players
• The Brattleboro Area Table Tennis Club will be meeting Tuesday nights, from 6 to 8:30 p.m., and Wednesday nights, 6:45 to 8:30 p.m., on the third floor of the Gibson-Aiken Center on Main Street.
The BATTC is open for ping pong players of all skill levels and ages. They say they usually use the first hour of the evening for warm-ups and practice and the second hour for competitive games between players of equal skill levels.
The club also tries to send groups of players to local tournaments each year, and holds an intra-club tournament at the end of the season. The cost per night is $2 for Brattleboro residents and $3 for non-residents, or use the new 10-session punch card, available for residents for $20 and non-residents for $45.
If you have questions, contact Sandy Shriver at 802-257-7244, ext. 114, or firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department at 802-254-5808.
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 11 and Team 7 (both 10-0) remained undefeated after Week 2 of the winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl. Team 10 and Team 4 (both 9-1) are tied for second place, followed by Team 2 (6-4), Team 6 and Team 5 (both 5-5), Team 3 (4-6), Team 9, Team 1, and Team 12 (all 1-9), and Team 8 (0-10).
Dolly Stone had the women’s high handicap game (242), while Josie Rigby had the high handicap series (646). Doug Switzer had the men’s high handicap game (259) and Peter Cross had the high handicap series (699). Team 6 had the high team handicap game (898) and Team 7 had the high handicap series (2,573).
In scratch scoring, Rigby (553) was the lone woman with a 500-plus series. She was joined by Fred Ashworth (573), Cross (552), and Wayne Randall (530),
Switzer (207), Gary Montgomery (204), and Randall (201) were the male bowlers to top 200 for a single game, while Rigby rolled a 202 game to lead the women, and Sally Perry and Sandy Ladd each rolled a 172 game.