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Brattleboro’s Ava Whitney led the Colonel girls to a fifth-place finish in the Division I state nordic skiing championship in Craftsbury on March 10.

Sports

BUHS boys’ basketball celebrates Senior Night with win over MAU

The Route 9 Rivalry between Brattleboro and Mount Anthony, is intense no matter what sport is being played, but the boys’ basketball games always seem to be the most heated.

The game usually has the biggest crowd of season in the BUHS gym. The fans from both schools are loud and occasionally belligerent, and the play on the floor is always physical.

While the BUHS gym on March 12 was devoid of fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the intensity was still there and the Colonels brought the energy in a satisfying 63-37 win over the Patriots.

“Aside from a playoff game, this is the one that means the most to us, said Brattleboro senior Trinley Warren.

It was Senior Night, as Warren, Greg Fitzgerald, Spencer Lawrence, and Gabe Packard were honored before the game. The super senior of the night was Fitzgerald, who scored 17 of his game-high 25 points in the second half.

Defensively, the Colonels played a 1-3-1 zone and held the Patriots to just 13 points in the first half. Lawrence and Packard combined to shut down Gavin Johnson, MAU’s powerful center, as he managed only 10 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Brattleboro finished off MAU with an 18-0 run in the second half as the Colonels spread the scoring wealth around. Packard finished with 11 points, Tate Chamberlin scored eight points off the bench, and six other Colonels scored.

The Colonels finished the regular season at 4-5 and earned the eighth seed in the Division I tournament. At press time, they were set to host No. 9 BFA-St. Albans (3-5) in a first-round game on March 16. The winner goes on to face top-seeded Rice (7-0) in the quarterfinals on March 19.

Fitzgerald said the Colonels hope to stick around in the postseason. “We could surprise some people,” he said. “We have as much talent as any team in the state.”

Earlier in the week, on March 9, the Colonels lost to Mount St. Joseph in Rutland, 71-51. Maddox Traynor led the Mounties with 21 points, while Packard was the top scorer for the Colonels with 16.

Boys’ hockey

• Brattleboro edged Burr & Burton, 5-4, in the regular season finale at Withington Rink on March 10.

With the victory, the 6-1 Colonels got the second seed and a first-round bye in the Division II playoffs. On March 17, at 7:30 p.m., they will host No. 10 Burlington (2-4-1) in the quarterfinals. Harwood, the only team to beat the Colonels this season, earned the top seed with a 6-1 record.

The Colonels had to work to get this victory. Jack Pattison scored first on a power-play chance set up by Gavin Howard three minutes into the first period. After the Bulldogs tied the game at the end of a five-minute power play, Howard put Brattleboro back in front with a goal from Pattison and Sam Hall with three minutes left in the period.

Burr & Burton started the second period with an early goal from Ryan Casey, but Pattison got another power play goal, with Will Taggard and Howard getting the assists, for a 3-2 Brattleboro lead. Matthew Grabher then made it a 3-3 game with an even-strength goal late in the period.

Brattleboro then scored twice in the third period with another shorthanded goal, this time from Howard and set up by Ryan Gerard, and a tip-in from Taggard set up by Pattison and Alex Palomba. Grabner scored late for the Bulldogs to make the Colonels sweat a little at the end.

This was the first time in six years that Brattleboro has beaten Burr & Burton on the ice. There’s a chance that the Colonels might see the Bulldogs, who got the No. 6 seed with a 5-3 record, again in the semifinals.

Burr & Burton is scheduled to host No. 11 Milton (1-3) in a first-round game on March 17. The winner of that game is supposed to play third-seeded Missisquoi in the quarterfinals, but a COVID-19 outbreak at the Swanton school forced the school to go to remote learning and immediately cancel all their winter sports programs.

So, if the Colonels and Bulldogs win their respective games, Burr & Burton advances straight to the semifinals and a rematch with the Colonels.

Girls’ hockey

• Brattleboro’s season ended with a heartbreaking 6-5 overtime loss to U-32 on March 10 at Withington Rink. U-32’s Gracyn Kurrle scored the game-winner with seven seconds left in OT. The Colonels led 5-3 after two periods, but Kurrie and Cece Curtin each scored to force overtime.

The loss put a damper on Senior Night, as the Colonels honored Abbey Squiers, Brianna Paul, Katie Inman and captain Rosie Carignan prior to the start of the game.

The teams played to a 2-2 tie over the first 15 minutes, as Carignan and freshman Alex Gregory each scored on U-32 goaltender Jin Clayton. Curtain scored U-32’s first three goals, including a tally in the second period, but Lily Carignan tied the game and Gregory added two more goals to stake the Colonels to a two-goal lead heading into the third period.

Colonels goaltender Angela Jobin made 30 saves as she and the Colonels’ defense were severely tested in the final period and overtime. Juliana Miskovich finished with three assists, Sophia Mikijaniec and Willow Romo were also credited with assists. With only one win in this abbreviated season, the Colonels failed to qualify for the Division II playoffs.

Nordic skiing

• The Brattleboro teams and Twin Valley’s Luke Rizio acquitted themselves well in the state Division I Nordic skiing championship meets last week in Craftsbury.

On March 8, the Brattleboro boys finished third behind Mount Mansfield and Mount Anthony.

North Country’s Jack Young won both the classic and skate individual state championships. In the classic race, Young finished first in 9 minutes, 51 seconds. Rizio, racing as an independent, was second, finishing in 10:35.4. Young took the skate race in 8:51.2, just ahead of Rizio (9:04). Brattleboro’s Sam Freitas-Egan was fourth.

Brattleboro’s Nolan Holmes tied for ninth with teammate Tenzin Mathes in the classic and finished 14th in the skate race. Mathes tied 24th in the skate race, while Magnus vonKrusenstiern wound up 17th in the classic and 12th in the skate, and Sam Freitas-Eagan was 19th in the classic.

On March 10, the Brattleboro girls were fifth in the team scoring with 176 points. Burlington won the event, the Seahorses’ first-ever state Nordic title, with 55 points. Perennial Division I powers Mount Mansfield (71), defending champion Champlain Valley (86), and Southern Vermont League champs Mount Anthony (122) were second, third, and fourth, respectively.

Mount Mansfield’s Hattie Barker had a comfortable win in the classic race, finishing in 13:52, 12.4 seconds faster than than Burlington’s Rebecca Cunningham. Barker also won the skate race in 11:30.5.

Ava Whitney (12th in classic and 18th in skate), Sylvie Normandeau (21st and 29th), Hazel Wagner (25th and 32nd), and Katherine Normandeau (26th and 19th) were the Colonels’ top four.

Girls’ basketball

• Brattleboro kept it close for most of the first half, but a 17-0 run by Rutland turned the game around as the Ravens went on to win, 54-34, on March 12.

The visiting Colonels led 15-13 with 1:30 to go in the first half before the Ravens’ big run. Defense was the key to win, as Rutland forced plenty of Colonel turnovers that quickly turned into points for the Ravens.

Makieya Hendrickson led Rutland with 18 points. Chloe Givens was the top scorer for the Colonels with eight points, while Natalie Hendricks added seven points.

Brattleboro finished the regular season at 4-3, and were seeded sixth in the Division I playoffs. At press time, they were set to host No. 11 Rice (2-6) in a first-round game on March 16. The winner will face third-seeded Mount Mansfield (7-2) on March 19.

• Bellows Falls rallied to beat Mill River, 40-32, in Holland Gymnasium on March 8. Sydney Bazin led the Terriers with 12 points, followed by Julia Nystrom with 11 points. Mill River’s Malori Carlson led all scorers with 17 points.

The Terriers ended the regular season at 3-4 and got the ninth seed in the Division III playoffs. At press time, BF was set to play No. 8 Otter Valley (3-5) in a first-round game on March 16. The winner will face top-seeded Lake Region (9-0) on March 20.

• Twin Valley started the week with a 48-25 home win over Long Trail on March 8. Jayden Crawford and Kate Longe each scored 12 points for the Wildcats, while Hannah Sullivan added 11 points.

Three nights later in Dorset, the Wildcats rolled to a 56-18 win over Long Trail. Crawford (14 points), Sadie Boyd (12 points), Longe (11 points), and Sullivan (nine points) led the way as Twin Valley ended the regular season at 5-3. The Wildcats were seeded sixth in the Division IV playoffs, and were set to host No. 11 Arlington (1-6) on in a first-round game on March 16.

• Leland & Gray ended its season at 1-5. The Rebels’ season ended abruptly after their win over Arlington on March 4, when school officials learned that one player from each school tested positive for COVID-19, which led to the cancellation of games against Long Trail and Bellows Falls last week.

Boys’ basketball

• Bellows Falls lost on March 9 to Rutland, 57-41, to spoil Senior Night for Logan Lisai, Bayley Sbardellati and Luke Parker-Jennings.

The visiting Ravens, one of the top teams in Division I, led 42-21 at the half. BF put up a good fight defensively in the second half, holding Rutland to just 16 points. Jon Terry scored 13 points to lead the Terriers. Senior captains Lisai and Sbardellati finished with nine and five points, respectively.

The Terriers ended the week with their biggest win of the season when they upset the previously unbeaten Green Mountain Chieftains, 52-42, on March 12. BF was trailing 14-7 in the first half when GM’s best player, Jack Boyle, went down with an ankle injury and the visiting Terriers took full advantage.

Terry led all scorers with 17 points. Everett Mosher led the 8-1 Chieftains with 13 points. The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the 5-4 Terriers, as they earned the third seed in Division III. BF hosts No. 14 BFA-Fairfax (3-5) in a first-round game on March 17. At 8-1, Green Mountain is the top seed in Division III.

• After losing the first two games of the season, Twin Valley went on a five-game win streak to close out the regular season, including a 51-33 win over Poultney on March 12. The 5-2 Wildcats finished as the sixth seed in Division IV and will host No. 11 Richford (1-8) in a first-round game on March 17.

• Marcus Pratt scored the winning basket in the final seconds to give Leland & Gray a 66-65 victory over Long Trail in the regular season finale on March 12 in Townshend.

Liam Towle finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Rebels. Jeremy Graves and Matt Emerson added 15 and 13 points, respectively. Leland & Gray finished with a 3-4 record and were seeded 11th in the Division III playoffs. They go on the road on March 17 to face No. 6 Williamstown (5-3) in a first-round game.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #604 (Wednesday, March 17, 2021). This story appeared on page B6.

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