Brattleboro guard Abby Henry (3) reaches in to try and steal the ball from Burr & Burton guard Ainerose Souza (2) during the first half of their girls’ basketball game in Townshend on Dec. 8. Looking on are Brattleboro guard Kate Pattison (11) and Burr & Burton guard Macy Mathews (23).
Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Brattleboro guard Abby Henry (3) reaches in to try and steal the ball from Burr & Burton guard Ainerose Souza (2) during the first half of their girls’ basketball game in Townshend on Dec. 8. Looking on are Brattleboro guard Kate Pattison (11) and Burr & Burton guard Macy Mathews (23).

Bears sweep L&G Tip-Off Tourney

The Brattleboro Bears girls' basketball got their season off to a great start with wins over the Burr & Burton Bulldogs and Arlington Eagles in the Leland & Gray Tip-Off Tournament on Dec. 8 and 9 in Townshend.

The hosts were not as fortunate, as the Rebels started their season with a 30-23 loss to Arlington and a 42-28 loss to Burr & Burton in the tournament.

• The opening night of the tournament saw the Bears grind out a 36-24 win over the Bulldogs. Brattleboro led 18-12 at halftime, and outscored Burr & Burton by the same margin in the second half.

Reece Croutworst led the Bears with 10 points. Abby Henry and Aliza Speno each added seven points, while Kate Pattison, Mallory Newton, and Montana Frehsee each chipped in four points.

Josie Powers led the Bulldogs with 11 points, but only three of them came in the second half as the Bears' defense never let Burr & Burton gain momentum.

Bears coach Karen Henry, who is replacing Chris Worden this season, said she didn't know what to expect from her team against Burr & Burton.

"Last year, they knocked us out of the playoffs, so it is huge boost for us," she said.

Henry said the Bears are putting more emphasis on defense. "We're still trying to figure it out," she said.

There were some first game jitters, but Henry said she was impressed with how Croutworst, Henry, and Pattison attacked the basket, particularly in the second half, as well as the inside play of Frehsee.

Henry and assistant coach Barb Barrett say they are working to get the Bears to play a more up-tempo game on offense. With all five starters back from last season's team and the speedy Croutworst and Henry running the offense, they gave a preview of what the offense will look like against the Bulldogs.

"You can always clean things up a little bit," said Henry.

• Against Arlington in the other tourney opener, Leland & Gray kept it close in the first half as the Eagles had a slim 16-13 lead at the break, but the Rebels were held to just 10 points in the second half as they struggled on offense.

Sidney Herrington led the Eagles with 15 points, while Mary Sanderson (nine points), Maggie Parker (eight points), and Samantha Morse (five points) accounted for all but one point of the Rebels' offensive output.

The Rebels, who made it to the Division IV semifinals last season, lost a lot of their front court strength with the graduation of Hannah Greenwood and Abby Towle. Parker and Sanderson, both seniors, are charged with picking up the slack and providing leadership.

Morse, Sanderson, and Abigail Emerson are the Rebels' backcourt rotation. All three played lots of minutes last season, and played most of the game against Arlington. Parker is anchoring the front court, with Jacy Stillwagon, Kianelise Pena, and Molly Bingham in the mix. On defense against Arlington, the Rebels mostly played a 2-3 zone, which had limited success against the Eagles.

• In the championship game, Brattleboro took care of Arlington, 48-35. The Rebels lost the consolation game to the Bulldogs, 42-28. Julia Decker had 14 points to lead Burr & Burton, while Ainerose Souza chipped in nine points.

While the Rebels are starting the season 0-2, they have the talent to bounce back quickly and be in the hunt for another long playoff run.

Boys' basketball

• St. Johnsbury had four players in double-figures as the Hilltoppers rolled over the visiting Brattleboro Bears, 84-28, on Dec. 8.

The Hilltoppers were led by Harry Geng with 16 points. Kerrick Medose chipped in 14 points, Rex Hauser scored 13 points, and Carter Bunnell added 10 points. Jackson Emery led the Bears with seven points.

• Twin Valley had mixed results in the Bob Abrahamson Tip-Off Classic in Proctor on Dec. 8 and 9. In the first game, the Twinfield/Cabot Trojans handed the Wildcats a 77-53 loss.

The Trojans opened the game with 12-3 run, and stayed in control the rest of the way. They led 38-30 at halftime and 63-42 after three quarters.

Three-point shooting paced the Trojan attack as Tej Stewart scored 31 points, with four threes. Meles Gouge added 19 points. Brayden Brown led Twin Valley with 19 points.

Twin Valley bounced back with a 55-51 win over the Poultney Blue Devils in the tourney's consolation game. Poultney led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter before the Wildcats rallied for the victory.

Brown had a big night for the Wildcats, scoring 22 points. Noah Dornburgh added 14 points and Steven Oyer scored seven points for the 1-1 Wildcats.

Proctor defeated Twinfield/Cabot, 81-72, to capture the tourney title.

• Bellows Falls opened their season with a 61-43 win over Leland & Gray on Dec. 8 at Holland Gymnasium. It was the season opener for both teams.

Girls' basketball

• Bellows Falls picked up a big road victory in their opener with a 61-17 win over Mill River on Dec. 9. The Terriers opened up a 16-3 lead after one quarter and led by 21 at the half. BF hosts Twin Valley on Dec. 15, at 6 p.m., in the home opener for the Terriers.

• Twin Valley narrowly lost their season opener to Sharon Academy, 36-29, on Dec. 9. Alanna Bevilacqua was the Wildcats' leading scorer with 13 points.


• Top-seeded Brattleboro was upset by Fair Haven, 2-1, in the Kickoff Classic on Dec. 9 at the Rutland Bowlerama. Burlington took home its first victory in the event, defeating Essex 2-1 in the finals. Fair Haven was a semifinalist, losing to Essex 2-0. Hartford lost to Burlington 2-0 in the semifinals as well.

Brattleboro will host Fair Haven and Windsor in the Bears' home opener at Brattleboro Bowl on Dec. 16 at 10 a.m.

Girls' hockey

• Brattleboro opened the season with a 10-1 loss to Hartford at Withington Rink. The Bears host Woodstock on Dec. 13 in the home opener at Withington Rink.

Skating through the holidays

• If you're looking for a great holiday gift, how about giving a season pass for ice skating at Withington Rink at Living Memorial Park?

Season passes for Brattleboro residents are $40 for students, $50 for adults, and $80 for families. If you live outside of town, the cost is $55 for students, $65 for adults, and $105 for families. If you don't have skates, you can rent them for $3 a day.

The Recreation & Parks Department offers a variety of programs for skaters of all ages, from figure skating lessons to speed skating sessions. For more information, give the rink a call at 802-257-2311, call the Rec. Dept. at 802-254-5808, or visit the Rec. Dept.'s website at

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 14 of the fall/winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Dec. 4 saw Four Seasons (47-23) remain in first place, while No Splits (43-27) went 5-0 to stay in second place. High Rollers and Skippers (both 41-29) are tied for third, followed by Stepping Stones (40-30), Hairiers (38-32), Dumblebor (32-38), Four Pins (30-40), and PEWJ (25-45).

Mary Parliman had the women's high handicap game (239) and series (673), while Norm Corliss had the men's high handicap game (257) and series (673). High Rollers had the high team handicap game (881) and series (2,548).

Robert Rigby had the men's high scratch series (562) with games of 204 and 200, while John Walker had a 558 series with games of 219 and 192. Gary Montgomery had a 554 series with games of 204 and 192, Skip Shine had a 532 series with games of 182 and 181, and Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 516 series with games of 202 and 182. Fred Ashworth had a 206 game and John Laamanen had a 188 game.

Carol Gloski had the women's high scratch series (510), with games of 191 and 172. Pam Greenblott and Shirley Aiken each had a 173 game, while Nancy Dalzell had a 168 game.

Randolph T. Holhut, deputy editor of this newspaper, has written this column since 2010 and has covered sports in Windham County since the 1980s. Readers can send him sports information at [email protected].

This Sports column by Randolph T. Holhut was written for The Commons.

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