There are days when all that a basketball coach can do is put the best five players he can muster on the floor, and hope for the best.
Bellows Falls girls’ basketball coach Jason Aube had one of those days last Saturday when the Terriers played host to the Richford Rockets at Holland Gymnasium. Injuries left Aube having to play mix-and-match with his lineup, but the end result was a 38-30 win.
Aube said point guard Kya Coursen is still trying to come back from an injury, and she saw only limited action in the first half. That left it to Emily Dufault and Chelsea Wilder to handle most of the ball distribution.
“We’ve got a short bench, and we had a lot of people playing out of position, but the players we had available came through for us,” he said.
Dufault came up the biggest. The shooting guard went 8 for 9 from the free throw line, and converted crucial three-point plays at the end of the first half and in the final minutes on the way to scoring 17 points. Forward Enny Mustapha had her customary dominant game on defense and scored seven points.
BF held a slim 17-11 lead at the half, but the Terriers slowly pulled away in the second half. They led by 11 after three quarters, but as the BF starters wore down at the end, Richford rallied. The Rockets cut the BF lead down to six points in the fourth quarter, but the Terriers managed to hang on to secure their second win of the season.
• Twin Valley has also struggled in the early going of this season, so their game last Thursday in Wilmington against Mid-Vermont Christian School definitely fell under the category of “must-win.” The Wildcats responded with a 55-30 victory.
It’s not that the Wildcats played badly in the four losses that preceded this victory. All four games were close, including their loss to Green Mountain on Dec. 28. The main problem, according to coach Buddy Hayford, was finishing off their opponents in the final quarter of games.
Against Mid-Vermont, the Wildcats took care of business. Abbi Molner led the way with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and seven steals. Colton Butler and Jordan Niles each added 10, Christina Moore had five points and 11 rebounds, and Lexi Reinertson and Hannah Swanson both scored six points each in a balanced effort.
Now 2-5, the Wildcats will host Springfield on Jan. 10 in the makeup of the consolation game of the Green Mountain Holiday Tournament that got snowed out on Dec. 29.
• Brattleboro’s early season slump ended last Saturday with a 46-41 win over BFA-St. Albans.
Maddy Derosia had 14 points and six rebounds, while Taylor Bird contributed 11 points and five rebounds and Meghan Powell had 10 points and six rebounds. Ari Harrison made up for a cold shooting night with 16 rebounds, five assists, and four assists.
On Jan. 2, the Colonels suffered a 44-37 loss at Monument Mountain. The Colonels were outscored 17-6 in the second quarter and never recovered. Bird and Kayla Savage each finished with 10 points to lead the Colonels, while Derosia added seven points.
The Colonels are now 2-4, and after three long road trips, they are ready to enjoy a few home games.
• Drew Barnum and Mike Bergeron scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, including a combined 14 in the fourth quarter, to lead Leland & Gray to a 56-52 victory over Twin Valley in Wilmington on Jan. 2.
Free throw shooting was the key for the Rebels, who went 12-of-16 from the line in the fourth period. Jake Sherman and Zach Wilkins also hit some key baskets down the stretch. Dal Nesbitt sank four three-pointers and finished with 20 points to lead the Wildcats, while Colin Lozito contributed with 13 points and eight assists.
The Rebels finished the week at 6-1 after a 52-46 win over Otter Valley in Brandon last Friday. Barnum had 14 points, 10 rebounds, and five steals, while point guard Billy Nupp scored nine points and committed only one turnover. Bergeron added with eight points and 11 rebounds.
• Bellows Falls extended Twin Valley’s losing week with a 53-46 win in Wilmington last Friday. Willie Moore had the hot hand for the 2-2 Terriers with 20 points, 10 of them coming in the final quarter. Dal Nesbitt was equally hot for the Wildcats, with 26 points — 15 of them in the fourth.
• Brattleboro rallied to outscore Hartford 21-15 in the fourth quarter, and held on for a 56-49 road victory over the Hartford Hurricanes. Chris McAuliffe scored a game-high 16 points for the Colonels, who ended the week at 2-5. Connor Elliott-Knaggs followed with 11.
• The Brattleboro boys continued their winning ways into the new year with a 7-0 beatdown of Lyndon at Withington Rink on Jan. 2. Andy Harris and Nik Rancourt each scored two goals. Romello Lindsey, Adam Griffin, and Jimmy Podlaski also found the back of the net, and goalie Greg DiSilva made 12 saves to get the win.
The Colonels then picked up their fifth shutout of the season last Saturday with a 4-0 win over Peoples Academy at Morrisville. Harris and Griffin each scored twice as Brattleboro finished the week with a 7-1 record, and is standing at the top of the Division II standings.
Brattleboro had its first meet of the year on Dec. 28, when the Colonels journeyed to the southern shore of Lake Willoughby in Westmore for the Mt. Hor Hop, a 5-kilometer freestyle race hosted by North Country Union High School.
The boys finished fifth out of 11 schools. Senior Graham Glennon came in fifth in the “A” race in 17:37, which was 25 seconds out of first place. He was followed by Austin Lester (20th), Oliver Pomazi (30th), Sam Green (34th), Jonathon Burdo (35th), and Jeff Kahler (46th). All improved on their 2011 times in this race.
The two girls in the “A” race — Halie Lange and Linnea John — finished second and 10th, respectively. First year skier Sam Sherlock won the boys’ “B” race.
The Colonels followed that up with strong effort under the lights last Friday night, in the Marble Valley League race of the season at the Viking Nordic Center. The format of this race was 5K freestyle, with a pair of racers starting at 15 second intervals.
In the girls’ “A” race, Jahn outdueled Abby Malmborg from Mountain in the first wave. Jahn’s elapsed time was fast enough to earn her a seventh place overall finish.
In a possible preview of the state finals, Lange faced Chloe Levins of Rutland, and Lange needed a strong closing finish in the last 400 meters to win by three seconds.
Glennon was the first of the BUHS boys to go out in the “A” race and his time of 17:36 was good for fourth overall. Brattleboro placed five of its skiers in the top 20. Pomazi finished 10th overall, while Lester was close behind in 14th place, followed by Burdo (17th), Green (18th), and Kahler (32nd).
In the boys’ “B” race, freshman Declan King, in his first high school race, finished first for BUHS and second overall. He was only four seconds out of first place. Sherlock, who finished third overall, wasonly eight seconds behind King.
Two other first-year racers, Colby McGinn and Tyler Clement, finished in sixth and 14th place, respectively.
Discounted lift tickets for Mount Snow
Here’s a way to get a good deal on a day at Mount Snow, and help the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro at the same time. Mount Snow has teamed up with the Boys & Girls Club to offer $39 lift tickets, with $34 of each ticket going to the club to support its youth programs.
Tickets are on sale until Jan. 18, and they are good for use any from Jan. 21 through Jan. 27. They are available at the clubhouse on Flat Street, Burrows Specialized Sports on Main Street, Brattleboro Bowl and the 99 Restaurant on Putney Road, and Ted’s Shoe & Sport in Keene, N.H.
For more information, call 802-254-5990 or visit www.bgcbrattleboro.com.