Brattleboro guard Reese Croutworst scored 16 points in the Colonels’ 45-31 loss to Burr & Burton in a Division I girls’ basketball first-round playoff game on Feb. 21 in Manchester.
Randolph T. Holhut/Commons file photo
Brattleboro guard Reese Croutworst scored 16 points in the Colonels’ 45-31 loss to Burr & Burton in a Division I girls’ basketball first-round playoff game on Feb. 21 in Manchester.

Rebel girls reach Division IV semis

BF, Colonels get home games as boys’ playoffs begin

The Leland & Gray Rebels girls' basketball team is going to Barre.

After dominant wins in the first two rounds of the Division IV playoffs, the Rebels will face No. 2 Blue Mountain in a semifinal game at the Barre Auditorium on March 1.

Leland & Gray's success this season has been built on good defense and rebounding, the ability to control the tempo of the game, and lots of points from junior forward Maggie Parker.

• In the first-round game against the No. 14 Rivendell Raptors on Feb. 22 in Townshend, Parker scored 19 pointsin the first half as the Rebels rolled to a 40-13 win.

Leland & Gray led 30-0 at the half, as the overmatched Raptors had no chance against the strong rebounding of the Rebels that gave them multiple chances to score on offense.

• The going was slightly tougher against the sixth-seeded Poultney Blue Devils on Feb. 25 in Townshend, but the Rebels ultimately prevailed, 55-31.

In this game, Parker had plenty of help from guards Samantha Morse and Mary Sanderson in keeping the Blue Devils at bay. The Rebels opened with a 10-1 run in the first three minutes and led 18-5 by the end of the first quarter.

Poultney buckled down on defense and chipped away at the lead in the second quarter. They outscored the Rebels, 15-8, to close the gap to 26-20 with two minutes to play in the first half. The Rebels' offense then got back in gear as Parker hit a pair of three pointers and Sanderson sank a pair of free throws. The half ended with Leland & Gray in front, 34-22.

Despite having four of their five starters in foul trouble in the third quarter, the Rebels maintained their lead and were in front, 40-30, heading into the final quarter. The fourth was all Rebels, as they held the Blue Devils to a single free throw as they slowed down the pace of the game and turned up the defensive pressure.

Parker led the Rebels with 18 points, Morse finished with 17 points, and Sanderson got nine of her 11 points from the free throw line.

The Rebels are now two wins away from a Division IV championship, and will have to beat the top two teams - Blue Mountain and West Rutland - to do it. It's a big task, but considering how many players on this team were on the team that won a state championship in soccer back in November, these girls know what playoff pressure is like and what is needed to overcome it.

• The Burr & Burton Bulldogs avenged their 36-32 loss to Brattleboro in the regular season finale on Feb. 16 with a 45-34 win over the Colonels in a Division I first-round playoff game on Feb. 21 in Manchester.

The teams were tied 21-21 at halftime, but fifth-seeded Burr & Burton pulled away from No. 11 Brattleboro with a 12-3 burst in the third quarter and a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter. Nevaeh Camp led the Bulldogs with 11 points, while Reese Croutworst scored 16 points and Abby Henry added eight points for the Colonels.

Brattleboro finished the year at 6-15. They will only lose one player to graduation, senior guard Emily Worden.

• Bellows Falls, the 10th seed in the Division III playoffs, fell to the seventh-seeded Oxbow Olympians, 68-38, in a first-round game on Feb. 21.

Tela Harty led the Terriers in scoring with 13 points off the bench, while Laura Kamel and Delaney Lockerby added nine and six points, respectively. Libby Swift led the Olympians with 26 points.

BF trailed 14-12 after the first quarter, but Oxbow turned up the defensive pressure and raced out to a 34-19 lead by halftime. The Terriers would get no closer as they ended their season with a 6-15 record.

Boys' basketball

• The boys' basketball playoffs begin this week, with two of the four local teams getting a home game in the first round.

• Brattleboro wrapped up the regular season with a 68-49 win over the Mount Anthony Patriots in Bennington on Feb. 20. Unlike the overtime thriller at the BUHS gym on Feb. 9, the Colonels led from start to finish in a dominating performance over their Route 9 rivals.

The Colonels had a balanced scoring attack as Paul McGillion (16 points), Cam Frost (14 points, with four three-pointers), Tristan Evans (13 points), and Tate Chamberlin (12 points) all in double-figures. These four will need to duplicate this effort in the playoffs. MAU's Carter Thompson led all scorers with 20 points.

Brattleboro finished the regular season at 12-8 and earned the sixth seed in the Division I playoffs. At press time, the Colonels were scheduled to host No. 11 Burr & Burton in a first-round game on Feb. 28.

• Alex Parker-Jennings scored 20 points as Leland & Gray beat Mill River, 67-30, on Feb. 20 in North Clarendon. Parker-Jennings also had a great night against Arlington as he scored 27 points to lead the Rebels to a 53-52 win on Feb. 22.

Leland & Gray closed out the regular season on Feb. 25 in Townshend with a 50-48 loss to Bellows Falls to finish with a 10-10 record and the seventh seed in the Division IV playoffs. At press time, the Rebels were scheduled to host No. 10 Poultney in a first-round game on Feb. 28.

• With the win over Leland & Gray, Bellows Falls finished 15-5 with the No. 5 seed in Division III. They will host No. 12 Windsor in a first-round game at Holland Gymnasium on March 1.

• Twin Valley stayed close for three quarters, but Green Mountain used five three-pointers in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 33-19 win in Chester on Feb. 20. With a 60-24 loss to White River Valley on Feb. 24, the Wildcats finished the regular season with a 4-16 record and the 13th seed in Division IV. At press time, the Wildcats were scheduled to be in White River Junction to face No. 4 Mid-Vermont Christian in a first-round game on Feb. 28.

Ice hockey

• The Brattleboro boys started the final week of the regular season with a 4-2 loss to Rutland on Feb. 20 at Withington Rink. The Colonels had a 2-1 lead heading into the final period before Rutland scored three unanswered goals to win it. Evan Wright and Alex Dick were the Colonels' goal scorers and goaltender Darek Harvey made 32 saves.

Brattleboro finished the regular season at 6-13-1 and ended up with the 11th seed in the Division II playoffs. On Feb. 25, the Colonels headed north to play the sixth-seeded Burlington Seahorses in a first-round playoff game and lost in heartbreaking fashion, 1-0, in overtime.

The winning goal came with 1:20 left in the first overtime. Burlington's Jack Tomlinson scooped up a loose puck and dished it off to Sayre Fisher, who beat Brattleboro goaltender Darek Harvey to give the Seahorses their first home playoff win since 2010.

• The Brattleboro girls are sitting out the Division II playoffs after finishing the regular season with a 2-18 record.

Nordic skiing

• The Brattleboro boys were in fifth place, while the Brattleboro girls were in sixth place, after the opening day of the Division I state championships on Feb. 23 at Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

In the 5-kilometer classic races, the Mount Anthony boys continued their dominance as they placed three skiers in the top 10, including a first-place finish by Luke Rizio in 11 minutes, 37.7 seconds, to lead the Division I field. Mount Mansfield finished second and Champlain Valley was third.

Brattleboro's top five boys were Gabe Jeppesen-Belleci (18th,13:37.4), Nico Conathan-Leach (19th, 13:37.6), Oliver Herrick (32nd, 14:44.3), Desmond Longsmith (41st, 15:05.7), and Eben Wagner (43rd,15:24.5). The Colonel foursome of Jeppesen-Belleci, Herrick, Longsmith, and Conathan-Leach finished fifth in the 4x2K relay race.

Ava Whitney led the Brattleboro girls with an eighth-place finish in 15:26.8. Middlebury's Beth McIntosh won the race in a time of 13:32.9.

The rest of the Colonels top five included Katherine Normadeau (15th, 16:17.2), Maeve Bald (30th, 17:48.3), Anna Cummings (39th, 19:21.1) and Addison DeVault (44th in 19:54.4). The Colonel quartet of Whitney, Bald, Cummings, and Normandeau finished sixth in the 4x2K relay. Burlington ended the first day of competition in first place, followed by Mount Anthony and Champlain Valley.

At press time, the Colonel teams were scheduled to compete in the skate race on Feb. 28 at Rikert Nordic Center in Ripton.

Joe Shield named to VPA Hall of Fame

• One of Brattleboro Union High School's most versatile and accomplished student-athletes was selected to the Class of 2023 for the Vermont Principals' Association's Hall of Fame.

Joe Shield, who now lives in Avon, Connecticut, was a member of the BUHS Class of 1980 and is considered one of the best three-sport student-athletes in school history.

Shield played basketball, was a standout quarterback when Brattleboro went to the Vermont Division I football championship in 1978, and was a .400 career hitter in baseball. He was the Vermont Shrine football co-captain in 1980 in the team's victory over New Hampshire that year.

After high school, Shield was a multi-sport athlete in college, where he threw for over 6,600 yards at Trinity College in Connecticut, and was a member of the NFL's Green Bay Packers in 1985 and 1986.

Shield and the rest of the 2023 class will be formally inducted on Friday, May 12 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Montpelier. More information can be found at

CRVBL seeks new players and teams for 2023 season

• The Connecticut River Valley Baseball League (CRVBL), an amateur baseball league for players age 20 and up, is seeking individuals or teams to join the league for its upcoming 2023 season.

Founded in 2002, the CRVBL consists of 4-8 teams based in the Connecticut River Valley, between Brattleboro and White River Junction. The season begins in mid-May and runs through mid-August. Teams play one nine-inning game per week, usually on Sunday mornings. There are usually 12 regular-season games followed by single-elimination playoffs.

To be eligible to play in 2023, players must have a birth date of Dec. 31, 2003, or earlier.

The level of play is competitive but with an emphasis on having fun. Some players played baseball in college, and a very small number have had low-level professional experience. The majority of players played in high school. Most are now in their 20s and 30s, with a few in their 40s or 50s. To learn more about the league and to inquire about joining, visit

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