Twin Valley defenders Cody Magnant (5) and Brayden Brown (15) move in on Bellows Falls guard Colby Dearborn (2) during first-half action in the boys’ championship game of the Green Mountain Holiday Tournament on Dec. 14 in Chester.
Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Twin Valley defenders Cody Magnant (5) and Brayden Brown (15) move in on Bellows Falls guard Colby Dearborn (2) during first-half action in the boys’ championship game of the Green Mountain Holiday Tournament on Dec. 14 in Chester.

Wildcat boys top Terriers in Green Mountain Tournament

The Twin Valley boys' basketball team swept last week's Green Mountain Holiday Tournament in Chester to take the trophy as champions.

In the opening round on Dec. 12, Bellows Falls rolled to a 70-38 win over Mount St. Joseph. A 15-0 run in the first quarter set the tone, and despite some improved play by the Mounties in the second quarter, the Terriers had a 29-11 lead at the half.

BF scored 24 points in the third quarter to take a 53-24 lead, which allowed the Terriers to give the reserves plenty of playing time in the final quarter. Thirteen different players scored, led by Colby Dearborn with 19 points. Cole Moore added 10 points, Jaxon Clark scored eight, and reserves Blake Bertrand and Will Hallock each chipped in seven.

In the other opening round game, Twin Valley beat Green Mountain, 67-43, to set up a championship game between the Wildcats and the Terriers on Dec. 14.

The championship was a dandy as two evenly matched teams played a game that, despite being a mid-December early season contest, had a March playoff level of intensity.

Twin Valley freshman guard Brayden Brown was the hero in this game, leading all scorers with 23 points. Sixteen of those points came in the second half, including a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds left in regulation to give the Wildcats a 51-48 victory.

Bellows Falls trailed 14-9 after the first quarter, but outscored Twin Valley 11-6 in the second quarter to take a 20-19 lead at the break. BF got the lead up to seven early in the third quarter before the Wildcats rallied to tie the game, 30-30, with three minutes left in the third. From that point on, it was close all the way to the end with four lead changes and three ties in the fourth quarter before Brown's last-second free throws settled the matter.

Besides Brown's performance, the other keys to the Wildcats' victory were going 10-for-13 from the free throw line and Noah Dornburgh sinking five three-pointers - three of them during the third quarter, on the way to a 17-point night. Bertrand, Clark, and Moore each scored 11 points to lead the Terriers.

The Wildcats improved to 3-1 with the victory, while Bellows Falls finished the week at 2-1.

Girls' basketball

• Leland & Gray lost to Long Trail School, 32-28, in the championship game of the Green Mountain Holiday Tournament on Dec. 14.

The Rebels advanced into the final by beating Green Mountain, 48-33, on Dec. 12, while LTS topped Mount St. Joseph, 49-25, to set up the title matchup. In the win over GM, Samantha Morse led the Rebels with 18 points, while Maggie Parker added 15.

It was a defensive game, with neither Long Trail nor Leland & Gray able to do much scoring. The Rebels led 21-17 at halftime and had a 24-20 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

But with two minutes to play, LTS guard Olivia Cole-Bugay took control of the game, setting up Meara Morgan for the go-ahead basket for a 27-26 lead. Cole-Bugay then connected on a jump shot to make it 29-26 with 1:14 left. Parker scored on a lay-up with 12.7 seconds left to cut the LTS lead to 30-28, but Cole-Bugay sank a pair of free throws two seconds later to clinch the victory.

Cole-Bugay finished with 20 points to lead LTS, while Parker was the Rebels' high scorer with 11 points. Morse had eight points for the Rebels in the first half, but sat out the second half after colliding with LTS forward Rose Johnson just before halftime and taking an elbow to the head. The Rebels ended the week with a 1-3 record.

• Things have beenrough for Twin Valley, who are gamely trying get through a season with only eight players on the team.

Against Proctor on Dec. 12, Isabel Greb had 42 points, 10 steals, and eight rebounds as the Phantoms beat the visiting Wildcats, 51-30. Junior forward Alana Bevilacqua led the Wildcats with 15 points, while eighth-grader Kate Oyer added 10 points.

Only six Twin Valley players were available for their game against Bellows Falls on Dec. 15 at Holland Gymnasium, and the result was a 61-22 loss to the Terriers.

BF led 31-3 at the half, as Twin Valley struggled to score. Oyer led the Wildcats with 14 points and went 8 for 18 from the free throw line, while Bevilacqua added seven points.

Abby Nystrom led the Terriers with 19 points, Veronica Moore added 13 points, and Laura Kamel chipped in with 12 points. Eight of the 10 Terriers who played got into the scoring column as first-year coach James Pecsok spread the minutes around.

• Brattleboro went up to St. Johnsbury on Dec. 15 and lost to the Hilltoppers, 50-35. Kaia Anderson led the Hilltoppers with 18 points. Reese Croutworst was the Bears' high scorer with 10 points, while Aliza Speno added nine points. The 2-1 Bears have another long road trip on Dec. 21 when they travel north to face Champlain Valley.

Boys' basketball

• Brattleboro had a mostly positive week, with wins over Mount Greylock and Woodstock and a loss to St. Johnsbury.

Hosting Mount Greylock on Dec. 11, the Bears came away with a 51-38 victory. Guards Johnathan Haskins and Keagan Systo each scored 11 points and were part of a defensive effort by the Bears that forced 23 turnovers.

On the road against Woodstock on Dec. 13, Jackson Emery, Haskins, and Systo combined for 50 points as the Bears picked up a 66-62 win. Emery had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Haskins had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Systo scored 17 points, including eight free throws in the final quarter.

The down note was a 90-49 loss to the St. Johnsbury Hilltoppers in a Saturday matinee at the BUHS gym on Dec. 16. The Hilltoppers were too big, too quick, too skilled, and too much for the Bears. St. Johnsbury opened with a 9-0 run in the first two minutes of the game, led 30-12 at the end of the first quarter, and built up a 57-23 advantage by halftime.

Rex Hauser led St. Johnsbury with 31 points. Harry Geng added 25 points, and Kerrick Medose scored 10 points. Haskins led the Bears 18 points, while Karson Elliott and Jackson Emery scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Don't read too much into the loss to the Hilltoppers, since it was a mid-December game against one of the best teams in Division I. The Bears, now 2-2 under their new coach Winston Sailsman Jr., have lots of talent, and will keep getting better as the season progresses.

• Leland & Gray lost to Springfield, 51-32, on Dec. 11. They then picked up their first win of the season with a 60-38 victory over Arlington on Dec. 14 in Townshend to improve to 1-2.


• Brattleboro had its first home match of the season at Brattleboro Bowl on Dec. 16, and the defending state champs defeated Fair Haven and Windsor.

The Bears came out on top in individual match play with a cumulative team score of 1,632. Windsor was second with 1,551 and Fair Haven was third with 1,371.

The varsity quintet was led by Alyssa St. Louis, who had a 218 in her first game and a 162 in her second. Close behind were Thomas Bell (149, 196), Mateo Lopez Corse (138, 190), Austin Pinette (137, 176), and Charlie Forthofer (138, 128).

In best-of-three Baker play, second-seed Windsor swept No. 3 Fair Haven, 132-128, in the first game and 139-102 in the second game. In the championship round, Brattleboro swept Windsor, 186-128, in the first game and 202-180 in the second game.

The Bears will be back in action on Dec. 30 at Valley Bowl in Randolph when they have a match with Burlington, Craftsbury, and Randolph.

Ice hockey

• The Brattleboro boys got their season off to a rough start with an 8-2 loss to the Burr & Burton Bulldogs in Manchester on Dec. 13 and a 10-1 loss to the Hartford Hurricanes on Dec. 16 in the home opener at Withington Rink.

Things looked promising for the Bears in the first period against Burr & Burton. They had a 2-1 lead on goals by Evan Wright (assisted by Henry Schwartz) and Rowan Lonergan (unassisted). But the game slipped away from the Bears in the second and third periods as the Bulldogs scored seven unanswered goals, including a pair of shorthanded goals late in the game.

Senior goaltender James Fagley made 21 saves in goal for the Bears, with freshman goalie Silas Gooding recording one save in mop-up duty in the final minutes of the game.

Against Hartford, the Hurricanes had no problems lighting the lamp against the Bears as Ezra Mock had three goals and Cavan Benjamin and Nate Clark had two goals each. Jaden Poirier, Nolan Morlock, and Tighe Hrabchak each added a goal. Nunu Mayer and Nick Facto combined for 19 saves in goal for the Hurricanes.

• The Brattleboro girls got shut out by Woodstock, 8-0, at Withington Rink on Dec. 13. Woodstock goaltender Meridan Bremel earned the shutout as Hannah Gubbins had three goals and two assists to lead the Wasps. Gracelyn Laperle added a pair of goals, Fiona Piconi and Margaret Mello each had a goal and an assist and Ryann Hughes also scored.

Now 0-2, the Bears go on the road to face Hartford on Dec. 20. The Hurricanes beat the Bears, 10-1, in Brattleboro's season opener on Dec. 9.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 15 of the fall/winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Dec. 14 saw Four Seasons (51-24) and No Splits (48-27) remain in the top two spots. There is a four-way tie for third between High Rollers, Skippers, Stepping Stones, and Hairiers (all 43-32), followed by Four Pins (35-40), Dumblebor (34-41), and PEWJ (27-48).

Debbie Kolpa had the women's high handicap game (282) and series (661), while Peter Deyo had the men's high handicap game (276) and series (719). No Splits had the high team handicap game (920) and series (2,632).

Deyo had the men's high scratch series (632) with games of 247, 198, and 187, while Robert Rigby had a 624 series with games of 258, 186, and 180. Warren Corriveau Sr. had a 594 series with games of 213, 196. and 185, John Walker had a 591 series with games of 213, 192, and 185, and Duane Schillemat had a 547 series with games of 215 and 186. Gary Montgomery had a 526 series with a 182 game, while Al Dascomb had a 188 game and Fred Ashworth had a 184 game.

Kolpa had the women's high scratch series (494) and game (218). Mary Parliman had games of 170 and 151, Carol Gloski had a 157 game, and Nancy Dalzell had a 153 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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