The regular season for girls’ basketball in Vermont wrapped up last week, with none of our local teams finishing with a winning record.
While Brattleboro and Bellows Falls escaped most of the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Leland & Gray unfortunately did not. The good news is that all three teams are now reasonably healthy and ready to start the postseason this week. All face long road trips for their opening playoff games.
• Leland & Gray lost a big chunk of playing and practice time in January, and the result was a frantic February of make-up games that culminated with the Rebels playing five games in six days last week to finish up the regular season.
The Rebels’ week started with a 30-21 win over Bellows Falls in Townshend on Feb. 14. Maggie Parker finished with 11 points to lead the Rebels, while Mary Sanderson added nine points. Tela Harty and Julia Nystrom each scored six points for the Terriers.
A home-and-home series with White River Valley followed. The Wildcats swept the Rebels with a 43-25 win in Townshend on Feb. 15 and a 43-38 win in Royalton on Feb. 16. After a day off, the Rebels dropped a pair of road games with a 61-20 loss to West Rutland on Feb. 18 and a 44-36 loss to Poultney on Feb. 19. Sanderson had five and Hannah Landers scored four for the Rebels against Westside, while Parker and Sanderson each had eight points against Poultney.
That left Leland & Gray with a 8-10 record and the No. 10 seed in the Division III playoffs. They will face No. 7 Thetford (10-8) in a first-round game on Feb. 23.
• Brattleboro’s closing schedule wasn’t quite as hectic as Leland & Gray’s, but they had to play three tough opponents last week.
In the home finale against rival Mount Anthony on Feb. 15, the Colonels pulled out a 41-27 win. Chloe Givens scored a game-high 14 points as she helped key an 18-0 run late in the second half to put away the Patriots. Kiki McNary and Brenna Beebe chipped in with 10 and seven points, respectively.
The next night, the Rutland Raiders rolled to a 50-30 win over the visiting Colonels, as Karsyn Bellomo sank five three-pointers on the way to scoring a game-high 23 points. Givens led the Colonels with 11 points.
A 48-31 loss to Burr & Burton in Manchester on Feb. 18 completed the regular season for Brattleboro, which ended up with a 6-14 record and the No. 10 seed in the Division I playoffs. They were scheduled to face No. 7 Colchester (9-9) in a first-round game on Feb. 22.
• After the loss to Leland & Gray, Bellows Falls closed out the regular season last week with two other road games.
On Feb. 15, BF lost to visiting West Rutland, 68-30, as Westside freshman guard Peyton Guay set a school record by scoring 38 points. On Feb. 18, they lost to Rivendell, 44-36. The Terriers ended up with a 3-16 record and the No. 13 seed in the Division III playoffs. They were scheduled to face No. 4 Peoples (13-6) in a Feb. 22 first-round game.
• Heading into the final week of the boys’ basketball season in Vermont, the Bellows Falls Terriers are 15-3 and have a firm hold on the No. 3 spot in the Division III rankings.
BF started last week with a 66-26 win at Mill River on Feb. 14, as Patrick Barbour and Owen LaRoss had 15 points apiece for Bellows Falls. That was followed by a 70-36 rout at Windsor on Feb. 17 as LaRoss finished with 14 points, 19 rebounds, and nine blocked shots, while Jonathan Terry ended up with 12 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and four steals.
After an 89-45 win over Leland & Gray at Holland Gymnasium on Feb. 19, the Terriers are riding an eight-game winning streak. LaRoss finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Jackson Goodell (13 points), Jamison Nystrom (12 points) and Terry (10 points) also finished in double figures.
• The loss to BF ended a three-game win streak for Leland & Gray. After a narrow 49-48 win over Green Mountain on Feb. 12, the Rebels rolled to a 61-19 win at West Rutland on Feb. 16 and a 59-31 home victory over Twin Valley on Feb. 17. In the West Rutland game, Alex Parker-Jennings led the Rebels with 19 points, followed by Jeremy Graves with 12 points and Aiden Bernard with 11 points. The Rebels ended the week at 5-13.
• Brattleboro’s record stands at 8-8 after a 49-41 loss at Rutland on Feb. 15 and a 57-42 win at Burr & Burton on Feb. 17.
• Twin Valley had a pair of losses last week, a 81-33 defeat at home against Rivendell and a 59-31 loss to Leland & Gray on Feb. 17, to fall to 2-16 on the season.
• The Brattleboro boys sandwiched a home win over St. Johnsbury (6-1 on Feb. 15) and at Burr & Burton (3-2 in overtime on Feb. 19) around a 3-1 loss at Hartford on Feb. 16.
In the win over St. Johnsbury, Darek Harvey and Matthew Gordon-Macey combined for 22 saves in goal for the Colonels. Will Taggard had two goals and three assists, and Alex Leonard, Evan Wright, Alexander Dick, and Brett Parsons also scored.
Against Burr & Burton, Wright was the hero as he scored the winning goal late in overtime, with Taggard getting the assist.
Taggard scored both of the Colonels’ goals in regulation, with Rowan Lonergan and Will Miskovich credited with assists. Gordon-Macey made 26 saves in going the distance for the 7-10-1 Colonels.
• The Brattleboro girls got shut out at Rutland, 6-0, on Feb. 16, and lost 4-3 in overtime at home to Middlebury on Feb. 19 to finish their week at 3-13.
Jenna Powers, Juliana Miskovich, and Sophia Mikjaniec were the goal scorers for Brattleboro in the Middlebury game, with Michaela Heiden, Willow Romo, and Mikjaniec earning assists.
• Mount Anthony completed a sweep of the Southern Vermont League championship meets last week as the boys’ and girls’ teams both won league titles. The Brattleboro boys finished third overall, while the Brattleboro girls also finished third.
In the freestyle meet on Feb. 14 at Mountain Top Resort in Chittenden, the Patriots placed five skiers in the top 10 to win the boys’ team competition, and had three skiers in the top 10 to win the girls’ team competition.
Twin Valley’s Luke Rizzo, competing as an independent, continuing his domination in the SVL by winning the boys’ individual event. He covered the 6-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 56 seconds, with Woodstock’s Uva Quinn and Mount Anthony’s Peter McKenna tied for second with a time of 18:27.
Brattleboro’s Tenzin Mathes tied for eighth with Silas Rella-Neil of Mount Anthony in 19:37. Magnus vonKrusenstiern (13th, 21:08) and Gabe Jeppesen-Belle (14th, 21:26) also cracked the top 15 for the Colonels.
Woodstock’s Victoria Bassette won the girls’ individual title in 21:09, with runner-up Eden White of Mount Anthony finishing in 22:15. Brattleboro’s Sylvie Normandeau (third, 24:40), Katherine Normandeau (fourth, 25:03), and Ava Whitney (10th, 27:09) all placed in the top 10.
In the team relays held in Woodstock on Feb. 17, the Mount Anthony teams also swept that event.
The state championships are set to kick off on Feb. 24 with the classic competition at Craftsbury, with the freestyle portion scheduled for March 1 at Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton.
Olympians with Vermont ties win six medals in Beijing.
• It was a good fortnight for Stratton Mountain School as two women with ties to SMS, Jesse Diggins and Lindsay Jacobellis, each won a pair of medals at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Diggins, a Nordic skier who trains at Stratton, and Jacobellis, a SMS graduate and longtime snowboarder, each made Olympic history in their respective disciplines.
Jacobellis, 36, tied the U.S. record by appearing in her fifth straight Olympic Games. She won a gold in women’s snowboardcross and became the oldest U.S. woman to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. She then added a second gold by teaming with 40-year-old Nick Baumgartner in the mixed team snowboardcross.
Diggins, 30, captured a bronze medal in the individual sprint and a silver medal in the 30-kilometer freestyle race to become the first U.S. woman to win a medal in an individual Nordic event, and only the second American to win an individual medal in Nordic skiing after Guilford’s Bill Koch got a silver medal in the 1976 games.
Combine their efforts with a silver medal-winning performance by 29-year-old Ryan Cochran-Siegle of Starksboro in men’s Super G, and 25-year-old Megan Nick of Shelburne winning a bronze in women’s aerial skiing, and it was a great showing for the Green Mountain State.
The two dozen athletes with Vermont ties who competed in the 2022 Games ably upheld the tradition of this state in international winter sports competition. One illustration of that tradition came when Cochran-Siegle won his medal 50 years after his mother, Barbara Ann Cochran, won a gold in women’s slalom in the 1972 games in Sapporo, Japan, as he became the sixth member of the Cochran family to ski in the Olympics.
That winning tradition that stretches from two-time Alpine skiing medalist Andrea Mead Lawrence of Rutland, to Nordic skiing legend Bill Koch, to Londonderry snowboarder Ross Powers and West Dover freestyle skier Devin Logan, is why Vermont seems to always hold an important part in Team USA’s efforts on the Olympic stage.
Tryouts set for new girls’ AAU Basketball team
• Vipers/Mass Frenzy AAU Girls Basketball will hold try-outs for girls currently in fourth- and fifth-grade for a new travel basketball team for the spring 2022 season. Try-outs will be held on Saturday, March 5, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, at Winston Prouty Center Gymnasium, 209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro.
Potential players should have some organized basketball experience either through school or recreation departments. AAU is not appropriate for players without any basketball experience. All players should be prepared to play basketball and participate in skills and drills workouts. Please wear appropriate clothing and basketball shoes. Parents are welcome to attend.
There are no costs for try-outs. Players will be evaluated by Vipers/Mass Frenzy coaches. To pre-register, contact John Pinkney at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the Vipers AAU Girls Basketball page on Facebook, or text or call John Pinkney at 207-450-7080.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 7 of the winter/spring 2022 season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Feb. 17 saw Trash-O-Matic (27-8) have another 5-0 week to take sole possession of first place. Stayin’ Alive and A Rose/Tulips (both 22-13) are tied for second after Stayin’ Alive went 0-5 while A Rose/Tulips had a 5-0 week. They’re followed by Bowling Stones and The Anythings (both 18-17), the 844s (17-18), Slow Movers (11-24), and Good Times (4-31).
Doris Lake had the women’s high handicap game (252) and series (638), while Bruce Thielen had the high handicap game (271) and series (690) to lead the men. Trash-O-Matic had the high team handicap game (901) and series (2,559).
In scratch scoring, Chuck Adams led the men with a 631 series that features games of 227 and 194. Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 527 series with a 191 game. Pete Cross had a 507 series, while Bruce Thelan (196), Al Dascomb (185) and Charlie Marchant (180) had notable games.
Donna Corliss had the women’s high scratch series (565), with games of 202 and 196, while Nancy Dalzell had a 520 series with games of 178, 172, and 170. and Lake (176), Shirley Aiken (175), Carol Gloski (173), and Josie Rigby (171) had notable games.