Twin Valley got to the Barre Auditorium for the Division IV boys’ basketball semifinals, but the No. 3 Wildcats fell just short in a 46-42 loss to the No. 2 Poultney Blue Devils on March 13.
This was a game that seemed slow to develop a rhythm. The Wildcats opened with an 11-5 burst in the first quarter, but the Devils managed to slog their way to cutting the lead to 16-9 at the half.
The Devils then got off to a fast start in the second half with a 7-0 run to tie the game. Twin Valley lost their lead, and eventually lost their cool, as the Wildcats picked up a pair of technical fouls.
Taylor Dunlap converted three three-pointers in the second half for Poultney and finished with 13 points, while Heith Mason had 16 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Devils.
Twin Valley’s Jack McHale led all scorers with 20 points and also pulled down six rebounds. Teammate Izaak Park added 12 points.
The Wildcats finished the season with a 16-7 record, with wins over Mid-Vermont Christian and Rivendell in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
All-Star games set for this weekend
• The Vermont Basketball Coaches’ Association (VBCA) annual Senior All-Star basketball games will be held on Saturday, March 23, at Windsor High School.
A full day of basketball begins with the Division III-IV girls’ game at 11 a.m., followed by the Division III-IV boys’ game at 1 p.m., the Division I-II girls’ game at 3 p.m., and the Division I-II boys’ game at 5 p.m.
The VBCA award ceremonies will take place at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Carroll, Tuttle selected to Shrine team
• Brattleboro linebacker/fullback Kris Carroll and Bellows Falls lineman Reno Tuttle will be on the Vermont team for the 66th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl on Aug. 3 at Castleton University.
Carroll hit hard on defense and was a decent pass-catcher on offense during a trying 2018 season for the Colonels. In 2018, he had 600 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches, plus 55 tackles on defense.
He was named first-team starting fullback on the Vermont Principals’ Association’s (VPA) Division I All-Star team, and also made the first team in Division I for the Vermont Interscholastic Football League’s (VIFL) All-State team.
Tuttle, a two-year team captain for the Terriers, was a force on both sides of the line. As a left guard, he was a bulldozer for the BF running backs and was named to the VIFL All-State squad. in 2017 and 2018, and the VPA’s Division II All-Stars in 2018. Tuttle was also selected to the All-USA Vermont Football Team in 2017.
More than 200 graduating high school seniors from New Hampshire and Vermont were nominated by their head coaches to participate in the Shrine game. A screening committees in each state, chaired by the Shrine head coaches, selected their respective teams.
The Vermont team will be coached by Mount Mansfield’s Marty Richards and the New Hampshire team will be led by Windham’s Bill Raycraft. Twenty-six high schools are represented on the New Hampshire Shrine team and 18 on the Vermont team.
Speaking of football…
• The other big gridiron news of recent weeks, besides the Shrine Team selections, is that Brattleboro is dropping down to Division II in football. This means that a Brattleboro/Bellows Falls game could become a regular occurrence.
According to the Vermont Interscholastic Football League, the new divisional lineup for the 2019 season looks like this:
Division I: Bellows Free Academy-St. Albans, Burr & Burton, Champlain Valley, Colchester, Essex, Hartford, Middlebury, Mt. Mansfield, Rice, Rutland, South Burlington-Burlington, and St. Johnsbury.
Division II: Bellows Falls, Brattleboro, Fair Haven, Lyndon Institute, Milton, Mt. Abraham, Mt. Anthony, North Country, Spaulding, and U-32.
Division III: Bellows Free Academy-Fairfax, Mill River, Otter Valley, Oxbow, Poultney, Springfield, Windsor, and Woodstock.
Brattleboro is tentatively scheduled to open the 2019 season against Bellows Falls at Hadley Field on Friday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m.
Given that the Colonels had qualified for the Division I playoffs just once in the past 12 years, dropping down to Division II seems to make sense. They’ll have two natural, nearby rivals in Division II in Mount Anthony and Bellows Falls, and play a schedule that is better aligned with the current talent level at BUHS.
There’s no shame in doing this. Bellows Falls played in Division III in the early 1990s when their numbers were low, moved back into Division II in the second half of the ‘90s when their fortunes improved, dropped back into Division III in the late ‘00s, and have been in Division II through most of this decade.
How has that worked out for Bellows Falls? Since 1980, the Terriers have played in a state championship game 18 times. BF won Division III titles in 1993, 1994, and 2010, and Division II titles in 1981, 1984, 1985, 2002, 2003, and 2016.
By comparison, since the creation of a playoff system in Vermont in 1970, Brattleboro has been a Division I school every year. The Colonels have been in the state championship game three times, beating BFA-St. Albans in 1973 and losing to Montpelier in 1978 and Essex in 1981.
Little League sign-ups
• Sign-ups for Brattleboro Little League baseball are scheduled for March 26-28 at American Legion Post 5 on Linden Street, from 4:30-6 p.m. each day.
The baseball league is open to ages 9-12. All players, new and returning, must register. Each child must bring their original birth certificate or passport and the $60 player fee to the registration.
Tryouts will take place on March 30 at 9 a.m. at Brattleboro Union High School.
Still time to sign up for Bowl for Kids’ Sake
• The 38th annual Windham County Bowl for Kids’ Sake, a benefit for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont, takes place on Saturday, March 23, at Brattleboro Bowl.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont invites local businesses, schools, organizations, and individuals to sign up for this event, which helps fund community and site-based mentoring programs throughout Windham County.
Teams can register online at bbbsvt.org, choose a bowling time, create an online fundraising page, or download pledge forms to collect donations to bring to the event. Individuals who raise $50 or more will receive a gift and the top three individual fundraisers and teams will be awarded special prizes.
A game of bowling, shoe rentals, food and beverages are included with registration.
Local businesses can support Bowl for Kids’ Sake by becoming sponsors, donating raffles and prizes, and registering teams to participate. Event volunteers are also welcome.
Lane times are filling up fast, so register soon. For more information or for help registering your team, call Kimberley Diemond at 802-689-0092, ext. 1, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont (formerly BBBS of Windham County) is headquartered in Brattleboro, serving Windham County children and families since 1975.
Gymnastic classes at the Rec
• Another session of gymnastic classes will be offered by the Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department at the Gibson-Aiken Center, 207 Main St. Session IV of Gymnastics Classes will begin the week of March 25 and run through June 8.
The cost of the program is $100 for residents and $115 for non-residents or drop in for $15; see their spring newsletter at brattleboro.org for complete details and class times. There will be no classes held April 15 -19 or on May 27. Late registrations will be pro-rated.
Classes are running Mondays through Saturdays for ages 18 months and up, with Amanda Montgomery as the program director. There is also an Open Gym time available on Wednesdays and Thursdays for ages 1-5 with parent for $5. For more information, call the Rec at 802-254-5808.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 11 of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl saw Team 3 (39-16) move back into first place, while Team 10 (37-18) fell back to second place. Team 4 (34-21) jumped up into third place and Team 9 and Team 7 (both 32-13) are tied for fourth, followed by Team 2 (29-26), Team 5 (26-29), Team 11 (24-31), Team 8 (22-33), Team 12 (20-35), Team 6 (19-36), and Team 1 (17-38).
Arlene Blum had the women’s high handicap game (257) and series (730), while Gary Montgomery had the men’s high handicap game (283) and series (769). Team 3 again had the high team handicap game (950) and series (2,651).
In scratch scoring, Montgomery rolled a 255 and and 237 game as part of a 685 series to lead the men. Joining him in the 600 club was Duane Schillematt, who had a 244 game as part of his 628 series. Warren Corriveau Sr. (556), Wayne Randall (542) and Charlie Marchant (532) all had 500-plus series.
Carol Frizzell rolled a 191 and a 184 as part of her 541 series to lead the women. Pat Pentrup rolled a 183 and Sandy Ladd had a 180 to complete the top three women of the week.