Brattleboro’s Austin Pinette (1) and Ben Stauffer (12) try to slow down Burr & Burton’s Dylan Skandera (40) during second half action in their Unified basketball playoff game on May 18 in the BUHS gym.
Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Brattleboro’s Austin Pinette (1) and Ben Stauffer (12) try to slow down Burr & Burton’s Dylan Skandera (40) during second half action in their Unified basketball playoff game on May 18 in the BUHS gym.

Burr & Burton edges BUHS Unified to win Southern title

When Burr & Burton and Brattleboro opened the Unified basketball season on April 3 in the BUHS gym, Brattleboro came away with a 46-38 win.

The Burr & Burton Bulldogs were the Southern Division champion in 2022, and Brattleboro coach Tyler Boone said he knew the two teams would meet again in the playoffs.

That return engagement came on May 19 at the BUHS gym for the Southern Division championship. This time, Burr & Burton came away with a 19-18 victory to end Brattleboro's run toward the state championship.

This was a grinding, frustrating game for Brattleboro as Burr & Burton slowed the pace down and made it difficult for Brattleboro to get into a rhythm on offense.

“I knew that was their strategy, to knock us off our game,” said Boone. “Our whole strategy today was stay together and play as a team. We didn't do that today.”

Both teams had trouble scoring in the first quarter, which ended in a 4-4 tie. Credit the defenses for making sure that every shot was contested and every loose ball would turn into a rugby scrum.

Brattleboro seized the momentum in the second quarter thanks to three straight baskets by Austin Pinette for a 10-4 lead at the midpoint of the quarter. A three-pointer by Ben Stauffer with 48.4 seconds left sent Brattleboro into halftime with a 13-7 lead.

That was the high water mark for the Brattleboro offense as they were shut out in the third quarter, while Burr & Burton went on an 8-0 run with Jillian Barton getting three baskets.

With a 15-13 lead heading into the final quarter, Burr & Burton slowed the game down further. Dylan Skandera, who scored the other basket turning the third period run, got another bucket to make it 17-13 with six minutes to play.

Pinette finally broke the Brattleboro scoring drought with 5:15 left when he stole the ball and raced to the basket for a lay-in. A minute later, he went down hard after colliding with Skandera diving for a loose ball. Pinette finished the game on the bench, holding an ice pack on his rib cage.

Lane Sargent scored on a lay-up to get the Bulldogs' lead back to four, 19-15, with 2:30 to play. Stauffer responded with a three-pointer from the corner as the BUHS student section erupted.

The Bulldogs' lead was now down to 19-18, but Brattleboro never got a chance to score again. Burr & Burton spent the remainder of the game passing the ball around and running out the clock to clinch their second straight trip to the state championship game.

It was a frustrating finish, but Boone said after the game that “I couldn't be more proud of all our kids. The goal at the beginning of the season was to make it to this game. Losing this one hurts, but we'll get them again next year.”

He also took the long view of what Unified sports means for BUHS.

“Kids are staying in school because of Unified,” he said. Kids are catching up with their work because of Unified. It's making a real difference in the school community and the school culture.”

• To get to the Southern Division final, Brattleboro had to survive a determined Springfield team and hang on for a 41-40 win in the Southern semifinals on May 17 at the BUHS gym.

Pinette was the top scorer for BUHS with 22 points, while Ashley Cleveland, who had 14 points in the opening playoff win against Otter Valley, added 10 points. Thomas Bell chipped in with five points, and Evan Velez scored four points. Sebastian Salls led Springfield with 20 points, including 10 in the final quarter.

• Before the tumultuous week for Boone, he was surprised on May 15 with the presentation of the Air & Space Forces' Sentry Educator Award. Created by the 313th Recruiting Squadron at Hancom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts, Boone was one of 10 educators in New England who received the award.

Interim principal Cassie Damkoehler nominated Boone for the award. Besides coaching Unified sports and girls' tennis at BUHS, Boone also works at the school in its Integrated Learning Services department, serves on the BUHS Leadership Council as well as its Diversity and Equity Committee, sits on the board of the Francis Hicks Foundation, and facilitates Dedicated Dads, a support group for fathers.

Boone has worked hard to support Unified sports at BUHS, as well as to help promote greater diversity and equity at the school. He said he hopes the award will bring more attention to work being done to make the school experience a positive one for every student, no matter who they are.


• Brattleboro had an up-and-down week, which began by being trounced by Mount Anthony, 16-0, on May 16 in Bennington. On May 18, they rallied for four runs in the sixth inning to pull out a 7-6 win against Rutland at Tenney Field. On May 20, BUHS was held to just four hits as they were shut out by Otter Valley, 3-0, to finish the week at 6-5.

• Green Mountain pitcher Tanner Swisher held Leland & Gray to a single hit in a 4-1 victory on May 18 in Chester. Swisher struck out nine batters and helped his cause with a pair of hits. Parker Richardson took the loss, giving up four runs on five hits. The Rebels are 8-5 on the season.

• Bellows Falls hammered Woodstock, 16-0, on May 16, and dropped a 6-5 decision to Fair Haven on May 19 to even their season record at 7-7.

• West Rutland defeated Twin Valley, 13-3, in five innings on May 16. The Wildcats are still searching for their first win.


• Brattleboro got shut out by Mount Anthony, 12-0, in six innings on May 16 in Bennington. On May 18, BUHS lost to Rutland, 14-1, in five innings as Rutland scored six runs in the first and five more in the second. On May 20, Otter Valley rolled to a 14-2 win over BUHS in five innings. Brattleboro ended the week with a 1-12 record.

• Bellows Falls broke out of its slump with 10-2 win over Woodstock on May 16. Jenna Dolloph went 3-for-4 with six RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Terriers and Emma Spaulding scored four runs and got a pair of hits.

Poultney then avenged an earlier loss to the Terriers with a 10-1 win on May 18, but BF rebounded as pitcher Izzy Stoodley struck out 14 batters as the Terriers held off West Rutland, 6-3, on May 20. BF finished the week with a 7-4 record.

• Savannah Cadrin had three hits, drove in two runs, and scored three runs to lead Leland & Gray to a 10-3 win over Springfield on May 16. Cat Shine also had three hits, stole three bases, and scored two runs and winning pitcher Hannah Greenwood held the Cosmos to just four hits over six innings.

The Rebels then took care of Green Mountain, 23-5, on May 18. Winning pitcher Kristen Lowe held GM to six hits with seven strikeouts and two walks. Leland & Gray took advantage of 13 walks and 11 errors to pile up the runs.

The following day, the Rebels ripped Twin Valley, 21-8. Greenwood and Molly Bingham split the pitching chores. Shine hit a three-run homer, Cadrin went 4-for-5 and scored four runs, and Jacy Stillwagon went 3-for-3 with a single, a double, and a triple as she drove in three runs and scored three runs. Leland & Gray finished the week with a 9-3 record.

• Twin Valley lost to Proctor 17-3, in five innings on May 16. They are still winless so far this season.

Ultimate disc

• After a loss to Leland & Gray on May 15, Brattleboro regrouped to beat Mill River, 15-5, on May 16, as BUHS players used the wind and their height advantage to secure the victory.

Track & Field

• Bellows Falls swept a three-team meet against Green Mountain and Twin Valley on May 16 at Hadley Field. It was a good tune-up for this week's Southern Vermont League championships, which took place on May 23.

New bike trail opens in Jamaica

• The Jamaica Area Mountain Bike Alliance (JAMBA), a chapter of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association (VMBA), was formed in 2019 with the goal of bringing quality single track mountain bike trails to the Jamaica area. While trail networks are being built and expanded all over the state, and fellow chapters such as Northshire Area Trails Systems (NATS) and Southern Vermont Trails Association (SoVTA) are making great progress, the Jamaica area is woefully underserved.

This will change on Friday, June 2, at 2 p.m., when JAMBA's first trail officially opens at Ball Mountain Lake on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land in Jamaica.

“We're thrilled by this amazing opportunity to be the first VMBA chapter to partner with the Army Corps of Engineers,” JAMBA chairperson Heidi Pancake said in a news release. “This is the first of hopefully many trails here at Ball Mountain.”

The trail, aptly named Having a Ball, is the upper of two companion trails. “We're fundraising for the lower section,” Pancake said. “Sustainable Trailworks of Poultney, who designed and built the stellar Slate Valley Trails network, built Having a Ball and are standing by to work their magic on the next section.”

You can support JAMBA's efforts by sending checks to P.O. Box 17, Jamaica, VT 05343 or making a PayPal donation via, or on the VMBA website at and choosing Jamaica Area Mountain Bike Alliance in the dropdown menu under “Chapter Donations.”

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 3 of the spring/summer season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on May 18 saw No Splits (14-1) have a 5-0 week to move into first place. Turkeys (13-2) is in second, followed by Five Pins (11-4), Stayin' Alive (9.5-5.5), The Bowlers (9-6), Slo Movers (8-7), High Rollers (5-10), Skippers (2.5-12.5), and Wrecking Crew (2-13).

Vikki Butynski had the women's high handicap game (247) and series (700). Jerry Dunham had the men's high handicap game (251), while Milt Sherman had the high handicap series (703). Five Pins had the high team handicap game (905), while The Bowlers had the high handicap series (2,498).

Sherman led the men's scratch scoring with a 607 series with games of 212, 205, and 190. Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 573 series with games of 203 and 200, Dunham had a 568 series with games of 216 and 205, John Walker had a 560 series with a 223 game, Chuck Adams ha a 553 series with a 190 game, and Robert Rigby had a 544 series with a 204 game. Bob Uccello hasda 203 game.

Nancy Dalzell had the women's high scratch series (473) and game (167). Shirley Aiken had a 160 game.

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