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Brattleboro’s Nolan Holmes helped lead the boys’ nordic ski team to a win over Mount Anthony in a skate meet at Prospect Mountain in Woodford on Feb. 17.

Sports

Colonels, MAU battle for SVL nordic skiing title

Last week’s installment of the battle for Southern Vermont League nordic skiing supremacy between Brattleboro and Mount Anthony was a skate event on Feb. 17 at Prospect Mountain in Woodford.

The Brattleboro boys had four of the top seven finishers and edged MAU by eight points to win their meet, while Rutland was third.

Brattleboro’s Nolan Holmes won the 5K boys’ race in 14 minutes, 21 seconds, beating out MAU’s Peter McKanna by three seconds for the top spot. Tenzin Mathes (third, 14:37), Sam Freitas-Eagan (fifth, 14:55), and Magnus vonKrusenstiern (seventh in 15:15) all turned in great performances for the Colonels.

Mount Anthony topped Brattleboro by just three points to win the girls’ meet. MAU’s Maggie Payne won the 5K race, with teammate Eden White finishing second.

Brattleboro’s Katherine and Sylvie Normandeau were third and fourth, respectively, as Katherine finished in 17:51 and Sylvie in 18:49. Teammates Ava Whitney (eighth, 19:28) and Alina Secrest (ninth, 19:28) also placed in the top 10.

The MAU/Brattleboro battle will be settled this week at the SVL Championships. The boys will race on Feb. 24, while the girls have their meet on Feb. 27.

Girls’ basketball

• Windsor blitzed Brattleboro with 20-2 run in the first quarter, opened up a 30-point lead by halftime, and cruised to a 77-34 win over the visiting Colonels on Feb. 16.

Brattleboro turned the ball over 16 times in the first quarter and Windsor converted many of those turnovers into points during the opening eight minutes.

Windsor’s Elliot Rupp was the game’s high scorer with 26 points. Chloe Givens led the Colonels with nine points and 12 rebounds, while Cadance Gilbert added seven points.

• Bellows Falls had trouble getting its offense against Hartford and lost, 41-15, on Feb. 16 at Holland Gymnasium.

A 17-4 run by the Hurricanes in the first 6 minutes of the game sealed the Terriers’ fate. Bre Stockman scored eight points to lead BF. Sarah Howe made three three-point baskets to lead Hartford, while teammate Jasmine Jenkins added eight points.

The Terriers recovered with a 31-22 win over Springfield on Feb. 19. BF led by six at halftime, and the visitors by nine after three quarters. Springfield had 21 turnovers as BF’s pressure defense kept the Cosmos in check.

• A strong defensive effort by Kate Longe and a balanced scoring attack helped Twin Valley get by Green Mountain, 43-39, in Jacksonville on Feb. 19. Longe scored 10 points, but blocked a bunch of shots by the Chieftains to lead the Wildcats to the win.

Kim Cummings was the only Chieftain in double-figures with 17 points, while Sadie Boyd led the Wildcats with 13 points and Kylie Reed added 10 points.

• Leland & Gray lost to Mid-Vermont Christian, 62-17, on Feb. 17.

Boys’ basketball

• Brattleboro got its first win of the season on Feb. 18, defeating Woodstock, 68-48, at the BUHS Gym. The Colonels had four players in double-figures as Gabe Packard led the way with 17 points. Greg Fitzgerald and Cam Frost each added 11 points, and Sam Mattocks chipped in 10 points.

The 1-2 Colonels rebounded from a 63-50 loss in Windsor on Monday. Packard was also the high scorer for Brattleboro in that game with 14 points, while Fitzgerald added 10 points and Stephen Haskins scored eight points.

• Bellows Falls got off to a slow start against Hartford and couldn’t muster a comeback in a 72-56 loss to the Hurricanes on Feb. 15 at Holland Gymnasium.

Tarin Prior scored 20 points and Jacob Seaver added 17 as Hartford had a 26-point lead at the half. Jon Terry led the Terriers with 22 points, while Jamison Nystrom added 12 points, including two three-pointers in the second half.

The Terriers bounced back from that loss with a 40-38 road win over Springfield on Feb. 18. BF was led by Owen LaRoss with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Jackson Goodell with 14 points and three assists. Tanner Gintof and Sam Presch each scored 11 points for the Cosmos.

• Ty Merrill accounted for half of Green Mountain’s scoring as the visiting Chieftains edged Twin Valley, 42-35, in Jacksonville on Feb. 18. Aidin Joyce finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wildcats, while Izaak Park chipped in nine points.

Ice hockey

• The line of Jack Pattison, Gavin Howard, and Will Taggard have jelled into a potent force for the Brattleboro boys. The trio accounted for all of the Colonels’ scoring in a 5-0 win over the Rutland Raiders on Feb. 17.

Pattison scored three goals for the visiting Colonels. Howard and Taggard each added a goal and each had one assist. Senior goaltender Austin Wood was solid with 15 saves in picking up his second shutout of the season.

• The Brattleboro girls lost their home opener to Hartford, 4-1, on Feb. 17.

Three nights later, the Colonel girls lost to Burlington/Colchester, 5-0, at Withington Rink. Kendall Muzzy, Brynn Coughlin, Ruby Wool, Augusta Guyette and Camryn Poulin all scored for Burlington/Colchester and goaltender Paige Codega-Ryan made 11 saves. Brattleboro finished the week at 0-3.

Bowling

• Brattleboro recently opened its season with a win over Randolph and Enosburg. Cobe Mager (215 and 202), Thomas Bell (204) and Ben Diamondstone (222) had the high scores for the Colonels in the individual round.

Kelton Mager, Tucker Sargent, Lauren Stockwell, and Katrina Tao also contributed to the victory.

Because of COVID-19, matches are being run virtually this season. Instead of multiple teams and their fans gathering at one venue on a Saturday morning, each team is bowling on its own and recording their scores. Once all the schools report those scores, the teams find out how they fared.

It’s not the same, but for the high school bowlers around Vermont who have waited for weeks to be able to start their season, socially-distanced bowling is better than nothing at all.

Local business gets a boost from Barstool Sports

• Speaking of bowling, Brattleboro Bowl co-owner Kevin Napaver, who has owned the 20-lane facility for about three years, said his business was pretty good, until the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March and the state issued restrictions regarding public places.

First, Napaver had to close the doors altogether for 96 days. When the early stages of the pandemic eased and Brattleboro Bowl was allowed to reopen in the early summer, occupancy was limited to 70 people.

Adult league bowling is a big part of Brattleboro Bowl’s business, but the resurgence of the virus in November led to a total shutdown of league bowling in Vermont along with imposition of a mandatory 10 p.m. closing time for their lounge and snack bar.

As a result, Napaver said Brattleboro Bowl’s revenue is half of what it was in 2019, and he has had to cut the hours of two of their four full-time employees and lay off four of his part-timers. The other expenses — utilities, insurance, property tax, and the mortgage — still have to paid and Napaver wasn’t sure how he’ll be able to pay them.

Enter Barstool Sports. The sports news and gossip website recently started up The Barstool Fund, an initiative with the 30 Day Fund to help small businesses around the country that have been affected by COVID-19. It has raised more $36 million to help nearly 280 businesses with short-term funding to keep them open until additional state and federal aid is available.

Last week, Napaver submitted a short video outlining his current situation to The Barstool Fund site. A couple of days later, he was accepted for funding.

“Pretty unbelievable,” he said.

You can see his video and some of the other businesses that the Barstool Fund has supported at www.barstoolsports.com/the-barstool-fund.

Vermont Open returns to Stratton in March

• Competitive snowboarding returns to Stratton Mountain Resort on March 13 and 14 with The Vermont Open Presents the 2021 Banked Slalom (yes, that’s what they’re calling it).

Organizers say the event “takes snowboarding back to its roots. A return to outdoor events to celebrate the simplicity of strapping in and carving through the snow and fresh Green Mountain air.”

The two-day event is open to 200 Vermont-based athletes and will be split into seven age divisions.

According to a news release, snowboarders “will give it their all in a downhill slalom course featuring berms, bumps, jumps, and rollers twisting down East Brynes Side. With one rider on the course at a time, participants will be individually timed on their run, and the fastest times per age group at the end of the weekend will go home with a trophy and additional prizes.”

Each of the seven age divisions will have first, second, and third-place finishers recognized, with the first-place rider in each age division receiving a custom “Vermont Open x Never Summer” snowboard.

Because of COVID-19 guidelines, competitors are only eligible to participate if they fit one of these categories — they must either have a verifiable Vermont address, are a member of a snowboard club that is based in Vermont, or are a student at a Vermont academy ski/snowboard school. Registration is now open at www.stratton.com/things-to-do/events/the-vermont-open.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #601 (Wednesday, February 24, 2021). This story appeared on page B1.

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