Both Twin Valley basketball teams made it into their respective championship games at the Green Mountain Holiday Tournament in Chester last Friday, but only one would take home a trophy.
The Twin Valley boys needed some last-minute heroics from Dal Nesbitt to pull out a 49-46 victory over the Twinfield Trojans to win their side of the tourney, while the Twin Valley girls got clobbered by the Mount St. Joseph Mounties, 56-31.
Twin Valley beat Green Mountain, 59-40, on Dec. 20 to reach the boys’ final against Twinfield. It was close throughout, but the Wildcats found themselves trailing in the fourth quarter.
But a team with eight seniors fresh off an undefeated championship season in soccer was not going to panic, said Wildcat boys’ coach Chris Brown.
“These guys have been playing together since elementary school. They trust each other and know how to play together as a team,” he explained.
Still, it’s easier to play as a team when the shots are falling, and Nesbitt — who scored 20 points in the win against Green Mountain — scored 11 of his team-high 24 points in the final quarter. With 80 seconds to play, Nesbitt hit a three-pointer to tie the game, and followed that with another three and a free throw to give the Wildcats the victory.
Sam Molner added nine points, and Colin Lozito and Cade Nesbitt each scored seven points as the Wildcats improved to 4-0. Josiah Schrum led Twinfield with 10 points.
As for the Twin Valley girls, they also advanced to the tourney final with a 40-33 win over the hosts on Dec. 20. Savannah Nesbitt scored 12 points, Hannah Swanson grabbed 17 rebounds, and Colton Butler had eight points and seven rebounds to lead the Wildcats.
But against MSJ, the Wildcats completely lost their shooting touch — especially inside. Trailing 12-10 after one quarter, the Mounties outscored Twin Valley, 21-9 to take a 31-21 lead at the half. It got even worse in the third, with a 19-3 explosion by MSJ to make it 50-24 heading into the final eight minutes.
“We shot better from the three-point line than we did from three feet in front of the basket,” said Wildcat coach Buddy Hayford. “We missed so many easy shots inside. It just wasn’t our night.”
Sammy Cunningham-Darrah led the Wildcats with 13 points. Butler added 10 points and five rebounds; Swanson had nine rebounds as the Twin Valley girls fell to 3-1. Megan Eaton and Sally Hogan led MSJ with 13 and 12, respectively.
• Balanced scoring, good defense, and good free throw shooting by Brattleboro added up to a 52-35 win over Monument Mountain at the BUHS gym on Dec. 23.
The Colonels went 20 for 28 from the free-throw line, including an eight-for-nine performance from Kayla Savage, who led her team with 14 points. Maddie Derosia added 12; Daisy Giroux and Meghan Powell each chipped in 10.
With the Colonels shutting down the opposition’s inside game, the only thing keeping Monument Mountain alive was three-point shooting.
The Colonels traveled to Northampton, Mass., last Friday and came up on the short end of a 47-44 decision. Brattleboro trailed 23-18 at the half, but played a strong third quarter to tie the game at 33-33 heading into the final eight minutes.
Powered by Anna Moore and Anna Walther, each of whom scored 16 points, Northampton kept the Colonels at bay in the fourth to pull out the win. Ari Harrison led the Colonels with 12 points, while Taylor Bird added 10 for the 3-2 Colonels.
• Bellows Falls is struggling at the start of the season with a 1-3 record. The Terriers only win came on Dec. 21: a 46-31 victory over Leland & Gray. Chelsea Wilder led BF with 14 points.
• After losing its opener to Mount Mansfield, Brattleboro has won two straight. They enjoyed a 56-28 win at Windsor on Dec. 19, and pulled out a 59-57 win at Mill River last Friday.
• Leland & Gray beat Hinsdale, N.H., 43-23, in the first round of the Keene State College Tournament on Dec. 26. Josh Donna finished with 10 points to lead the 3-0 Rebels. Corey Nystrom and Bobby Culver added nine and seven points, respectively.
• Bellows Falls is off to a slow start. After clobbering Black River in the season opener at home, the Terriers have lost to Green Mountain and Windsor on the road.
• Brattleboro entered the holiday break on a high note, with the boys’ and girls’ teams finishing second and third, respectively, at a five-team meet at Prospect Mountain in Woodford.
With the Mount Anthony boys sweeping the top three spots to win the meet, the Colonels were close behind as Declan King finished fourth, Oliver Pomazi came in sixth, Spencer Loggia took eighth, and Jonathon Burdo came in 11th.
The Colonel girls finished third behind Mount Anthony and Rutland. Brattleboro’s Nevada Powers finished fifth overall, while teammates Catey Yost and Eve Pomazi placed 15th and 18th, respectively.
Reindeer Run in BF a success
• Despite a temperature reading in the single digits, 24 runners turned out for the recent Reindeer Run 5K to support Our Place Drop in Center and a local student’s senior project.
Bellows Falls Union High School student Chapin Reis organized the event, which netted $785 and 50 donations of canned goods for the food pantry. Reis was assisted by her project mentor, Tim Eno.
Top finishers in the men’s division were Josh Ferenc (16.25), Willie Moore (18.36), and Tim Jones (19.48). Women’s division results were Heidi Westover (19.13), Anna Clark (20.42), and Donna Jones (26.17).
First-place winners received cutting boards made and donated by Larry Sayers of Bellows Falls.