The Proctor Phantoms won their 18th state boys’ basketball championship on March 7 with a 65-50 victory over the Twin Valley Wildcats for the Division IV title at the Barre Auditorium.
The result wasn’t a shocker, for even though Proctor was the third seed, they have a very good basketball program and any team that wants to claim the crown in Division IV usually has to get by the Phantoms first.
Top-seeded Twin Valley needed to play perfect basketball to have any chance of winning and, as they did in a 69-50 loss to Proctor on Feb. 15 in Whitingham during the regular season, the Wildcats fell behind early and never fully caught up.
Proctor started the game with a 14-4 run and took an 18-10 first quarter lead as Twin Valley center Dylan Dupuis got into early foul trouble.
Twin Valley fought back, and cut the Phantoms’ lead to 22-21 at the half. Proctor’s shots weren’t falling in the second quarter, but they found the range in the third and took a 39-30 lead into the final eight minutes. Twin Valley never recovered.
Logan Starling led the Phantoms with 18 points and seven rebounds, with 13 of those points coming in the second half. Conner McKearin had 15 points and Solomon Parker and Brennon Crossmon added 13 and 11 points, respectively, as Proctor won its fourth state title in the past six seasons.
Owen Grinold led the Wildcats with 12 points. Jack McHale had 11 points, and Izaak Park scored nine.
In the semifinal at the Aud on March 2, Twin Valley used a 22-9 fourth quarter to defeat No. 5 Danville, 59-48.
As was the case in the quarterfinal game against Sharon on Feb. 28, McHale got hot in the final quarter, scoring 12 of his team-high 18 points to knock off Danville, the defending state champion.
Park had 16 points and Dupuis added 11 points for Twin Valley, which held Danville’s top player, Ian Steele, to 13 points. Jacob Baesemann added 11 points for Danville, which finished the season with a 17-6 record.
Twin Valley’s quick and relentless defense forced 16 turnovers by Danville in the first half as the Wildcats took a 26-21 lead at the half.
The game tightened up in the third quarter as Danville went on an early run to take their first lead of the game. The teams traded baskets, but Danville entered the final quarter with a 39-37 lead. However, a 10-0 run triggered by a McHale 3-pointer put the Wildcats ahead to stay.
Twin Valley finished the season with a 20-2 record and their first trip to the state championship game since 2014. While Proctor has 18 titles, neither Twin Valley nor its predecessor schools, Wilmington and Whitingham, have ever won a state championship.
• Bellows Falls rode a wave of momentum into the postseason. After starting 0-4, the Terriers finished the regular season by winning 15 of their 16 remaining games to clinch a No. 6 seed in Division III.
The Terriers kept on rolling with a 57-41 win over No. 11 Winooski in a first-round playoff game on March 3 at Holland Gymnasium.
The win was noteworthy for Taylor Goodell, who surpassed the 1,000-point milestone for her BF career with 14 points. Maya Waryas and Molly Potter added 10 points each.
Emily Bazin and Potter had dominant nights on the boards as Bazin pulled down 19 rebounds, while Potter had 13 boards.
BF took a 14-3 lead in the first quarter, but slumped a little in the first half before Goodell, who entered the game with 998 points, scored her milestone basket and shook off the tension that came with being the 11th Terrier to join the 1,000-point club.
After that, the Terriers cruised. BF led 32-19 at the half and led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter.
But BF’s dream of a trip to Barre ended in Thetford on March 6, as the third-seeded Panthers beat the visiting Terriers, 58-41, in the quarterfinals. The win gave Thetford its seventh straight season of advancing to the Division III semifinals at the Aud.
Grace Davis led the Panthers with 18 points as Thetford led 21-11 after one quarter and 34-25 at the half. BF closed out the second quarter with a 14-3 run, and whittled Thetford’s lead down to 43-39 in the third quarter. The Panthers then shut the door down the stretch.
Halle Dickerson scored 17 points to lead BF, which finished its season at 16-6.
• Rice ended Brattleboro’s playoff run with a 44-38 win in a Division I first-round game at the BUHS gym on March 3.
Ninth-seeded Rice outscored Brattleboro 19-8 in the final quarter to advance. Kristen Varin led Rice with 23 points.
Rice trailed by nine in the fourth quarter, but Varin scored eight points in the fourth, while Greta Alexandria-Parker added six points in the comeback.
Rachael Rooney led the 8-13 Colonels with 18 points, while Lauryn Sargent had seven points and eight rebounds.
• Twin Valley had arguably the longest road trip of any team, boys or girls. in this year’s tournament. The 10th-seeded Wildcats had to travel 213 miles from Whitingham to Richford, a small town on the Canadian border, on March 3 for a Division IV first-round playoff.
Seventh-seeded Richford rolled to a 63-28 win. Kamryn Boyce scored 21 points and Jordin Jacobs had 13 points, 11 steals, and seven assists for the victors. Jayden Crawford led Twin Valley with nine points. The Wildcats ended their second with a 7-14 record.
• Amy Yando scored 14 points as fourth-seeded Peoples defeated No. 13 Leland & Gray, 57-12, in a Division III first-round playoff game on March 4.
• The Brattleboro girls put up a good fight, but the eighth-seeded Colonels were beaten by top-seeded and undefeated Spaulding, 7-4, in a Division II quarterfinal game in Barre on March 3.
Tobin Lonergan had a pair of goals and Liv Romo and Juniper DiMatteo-LaPape also scored for the Colonels. Goalie Eliya Petrie made 30 saves.
Spaulding ninth-grader Cami Bell scored five goals, while goalie Mattie Cetin made 15 saves.
The Colonel girls ended the season at 7-14, and will lose six seniors to graduation — Lonergan, Petrie, Romo, DiMatteo-LaPape, Edie Cay, and Lila Alexander.
• Third-seeded Milton ended the Brattleboro boys’ playoff run with a 2-1 win in a Division II quarterfinal game on March 4.
The game was tied 1-all on goals by Milton’s Owen Perry and Brattleboro’s Mason Foard. Milton’s Riley Zeno scored the eventual game-winner at 7:18 in the third period; it was his first career goal.
Milton goalie Jackson Eithier had 25 saves in the victory, while Austin Wood made 20 stops for the visiting sixth-seeded Colonels, whose season ended with a 12-9-1 record.
Sunrise Rotary’s ‘Nothin’ but Net’ tourney set for March 21
• The Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Club’s 24th annual “Nothin’ but Net” Tournament is Saturday, March 21 at Brattleboro Union High School. It’s a 3-on-3 basketball tournament for the entire community, with the net proceeds benefiting the Brattleboro Sunrise Rotary Foundation Scholarship Fund.
Teams compete in a double elimination format in divisions for adult men and women, and middle school and high school boys and girls. Entry fees are $50 per adult team and $40 per student team. There will also be a 3-point shooting contest for men and women and a free throw contest. Both are open to the public as well.
The registration deadline is Thursday, March 19. For more information or to request a registration form, contact Toni Ciampaglione at 802-338-6286. Players can also download a registration form at www.brattleborosunriserotary.org.
Rec. Dept. begins sign-ups for youth spring sports
BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Department is pleased to announce that it is now taking rolling registrations for youth spring sports (t-ball, small-fry baseball, softball, boys & girls lacrosse, and gymnastics).
You may register for activities from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. at the Gibson-Aiken Center main office. Additional registration hours of 1 to 6 p.m. will be offered on March 18 and 19. A late registration fee will be in effect after March 23.
You can find further information regarding these programs in their Spring Newsletter, which is on their website at www.brattleboro.org, and at their Facebook page at Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department. If there are questions, call the office at 802-254-5808.
Senior bowling roundup
• At the mid-point of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League’s winter/spring season at Brattleboro Bowl, Stayin’ Alive (31-14) had a 5-0 week to move into first place. Trash-O-Matic (30-14) had a 1-4 week to slip back into second place.
Keglers (27-18) went 5-0 and moved into a third place tie with 4 D’s (also 27-18), followed by Bowling Stones (25-20), Magic in Motion (22-23), Pin Droppers (20-25), Ageless Wonders (16-29), and Pin Strikers and No Names (both 14-31).
Pamela Greenblott had the women’s high handicap game (253), while Pat Bentrup again had the high handicap series (682). Gordon Evans had the men’s high handicap game (238), while Warren Corriveau Sr. had the high handicap series (696). Keglers had the high team handicap game (889) and Magic in Motion had the high team handicap series (2,518).
In scratch scoring, Robert Rigby had games of 229, 213, and 211 to complete a 653 series to lead the men. Four men had a 500-plus series: Corriveau (579), Wayne Randall (537), Marty Adams (525), and Jerry Dunham (522). Corrieveau had games of 195, 194, and 190, while Dunham had a 193 and a 200, and Randall rolled a 192.
Two women had a 500-plus series. Josie Rigby rolled a 196 as part of her high scratch series of 511 and while Shirley Aiken had a 196 game in her 501 series. Greenblott had the high scratch game with a 198.