Hartford’s Christian Hathorn (4) pulls down a rebound in front of Bellows Falls defender Jesse Darrell during first half boys’ basketball action on Jan. 20 at Holland Gymnasium. Looking on are Jaxon Clark of Bellows Falls (12) and Hartford’s Ayodele Lowe (12).
Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Hartford’s Christian Hathorn (4) pulls down a rebound in front of Bellows Falls defender Jesse Darrell during first half boys’ basketball action on Jan. 20 at Holland Gymnasium. Looking on are Jaxon Clark of Bellows Falls (12) and Hartford’s Ayodele Lowe (12).

After five losses in a row, BF boys try to break out of their slump

We're heading into the final three weeks of the high school basketball season in Vermont. It's the time when teams learn whether they have what it takes to succeed in the playoffs.

The Bellows Falls Terriers have aspirations for a long run in the Division III boys' basketball tournament, but they have lost five straight games to finish last week with a 5-7 record. They hadn't won since a 68-53 victory over Twin Valley on Jan. 4.

In BF's defense, they are playing a tougher schedule this season and are facing more Division I and II teams than in the past. For BF coach Evan Chadwick, it's a schedule designed to toughen up his team for the postseason. But this strategy can also lead to some lopsided losses.

On Jan. 20 at Holland Gymnasium, the Terriers faced the Hartford Hurricanes, currently the top-ranked team in Division II. The result was a 82-32 rout, as the depth and talent of the Hurricanes were just too much for BF to handle.

Hartford, which improved to 11-1 with the victory, put the game away early. They opened with a 7-2 run in the first two minutes and finished the first quarter with a 26-12 lead. By halftime, it was 44-20. By the end of the third quarter, it was 64-25.

The keys to Hartford's win were making 11 three-pointers - including four by Noah Danieli, three by Kole Folton, and two by Christian Holton - and going 11-for-14 from the free throw line. All 10 of Hartford's players scored at least one basket with Danieli leading the way with 16 points, followed by Folton with 14 points and Brody Tyburski with 12 points.

Only five players scored for BF. Jaxon Clark had 16 points, Colby Dearborn had eight, Cole Moore added five, Eli Albee scored two, and Jesse Darrell made one free throw, the only one in six trips to the line for the Terriers. BF made only three three-pointers - two from Clark and another from Moore.

Three days earlier, on Jan. 17, the Terriers lost to the Rivendell Raptors, 76-69. Despite a career-high 34 points by Dearborn, BF came up short as Rivendell converted all their free throws in the final minute of the game to win it.

Dearborn and Clark, who finished with 14 points, combined for 30 of the Terriers' 40 points in the first half, but the Raptors ended up with a 41-40 lead at the break.

Going two weeks without a victory is frustrating, but there still is time for the Terriers to get it together for the playoffs.

Boys' basketball

• Brattleboro finished strong in a 56-45 win over Mount St. Joseph in Rutland on Jan. 20. The win ended a three-game losing streak for the 4-8 Bears. The quartet of John Satterfield (13 points), Jack Cady (12 points), and Keagan Systo and Jonathan Haskins (11 points each) all had a hand in a closing 9-1 run for the Bears in the fourth quarter.

The victory over MSJ took some of the sting out of a 68-65 overtime loss to Windsor on Jan. 18 at the BUHS gym. Cady hit a three-pointer with two seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime, but Windsor's Cory Lockwood scored five of his game-high 20 points in OT to win it. Cady finished with 17 points, Jackson Emery added 16, and Satterfield chipped in 13.

• Green Mountain rolled over Leland & Gray with a 96-33 win on Jan. 17 in Chester. Austin Kubisek led GM with 22 points, Caleb Merrow followed with 16, and Tanner Swisher added 15 as the hosts took a 52-13 lead by halftime.

Cody Hescock had 19 points for the Rebels, with 12 of them coming in the fourth quarter. Ely White scored 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers.

• Twin Valley topped Springfield, 48-35, in Whitingham on Jan. 15. Brayden Brown had 15 points and five steals for the Wildcats, while Noah Dornburgh added 12 points.

The Wildcats then lost to Woodstock, 61-47, on Jan. 17 in Whitingham. Dornburgh led the Wildcats with seven three-pointers for a game-high 21 points, while Brown added 11 points.

Twin Valley finished the week at 7-5 after a 64-56 road win over Long Trail on Jan 20.

Girls' basketball

• The top team in Division III, the Windsor Yellowjackets, defeated the visiting Brattleboro Bears, 47-36, on Jan. 15. Sophia Lockwood led Windsor with 18 points, while Sydney Perry had 15 points and 13 rebounds. Reese Croutworst led the Bears with eight points.

The Bears ran into another hot team on Jan. 19 as Rutland beat Brattleboro, 56-37. Sophomore point guard Anna Moser scored 30 points to lead Rutland, while Abby Henry and Mallory Newton led the visiting Bears with 10 and eight points, respectively. Brattleboro ended the week at 4-5.

• Twin Valley fell to 0-10 on the season after a 68-20 road loss to Long Trail School on Jan. 17, and a 51-13 loss at home to Bellows Falls on Jan. 20. Along with a 45-42 win over Rivendell on Jan. 19, Bellows Falls improved to 7-2 on the season.

• Leland & Gray lost to White River Valley, 67-49, in Townshend on Jan. 19 to fall to 4-8.

Ice hockey

• The Brattleboro boys won their second straight game on Jan. 20 with a 3-0 victory over Stowe at Withington Rink.

Rylan Ernst, Alex Dick, and Rowan Lonergan were the goal scorers for the 4-5-2 Bears as goaltender James Fagley made 24 saves to clinch Brattleboro's first shutout victory of the season. The Bears host Lyndon Institute this Saturday at 4:45 p.m.

• The Brattleboro girls fell to 0-11 after a 9-1 loss at Rice on Jan. 20. The Bears started out playing competitively, but Rice blew the game open with seven goals over an 11-minute span of the second period.

Emery Rasco had three goals and an assist to lead Rice, as goaltender Tayton Barrett made 11 saves for the win. Alex Gregory had the lone goal for the Bears, who will travel to Manchester to face Burr & Burton on Jan. 24.

Snowmaking begins on Harris Hill

• Last week's cold temperatures gave the Harris Hill Ski Jump snowmaking team a chance to begin making snow in preparation for the 102nd edition of Brattleboro's signature winter event on Feb. 17 and 18.

Given the vagaries of Vermont winters in the age of climate change, snowmaking has become critically important to making sure the hill on Cedar Street is ready for competitors by stockpiling man-made snow in case the real stuff is unavailable.

"With our new fan gun, we were successful in making snow during last year's 'snow drought' and getting the jump in great shape for the weekend, and we anticipate doing the same this year," Jason Evans, head of snowmaking, said in a news release. "Our new fan gun can make everything we need."

Evans said the snowmakers will take advantage of cold weather "as often as we can leading up to the Jump weekend. Sometimes, it may only be one or two days; it really just depends on the temperatures and the humidity. But our team is geared up to give it all we have during the various windows of opportunity over the next month. Locals will see the snow stockpile continue to grow at the base of the jump."

Full details on the Harris Hill Ski Jump weekend - including purchasing tickets - can be found online at harrishillskijump.com.

Girls on the Run Vermont seeks volunteer coaches

• Girls on the Run Vermont (GOTRVT), a physical activity-based, positive youth development program for students in grades 3-8, needs coaches to help lead its spring 2024 program

According to organizers, the 10-week program "incorporates movement into its curriculum to empower participants to develop critical life skills, build confidence, cultivate positive connections with peers, manage their emotions, and stand up for themselves and others."

Volunteer coaches utilize a curriculum to engage teams of girls in fun, interactive lessons. The spring season begins the week of March 18. Teams meet twice a week for 90 minutes and the program culminates with all teams participating in one of two noncompetitive, celebratory 5K events in Essex and Manchester.

Coaches do not need to be runners. GOTRVT provides training so volunteers have all the tools needed to help create a great experience for all participants. All volunteer coaches must complete a background check. GOTRVT welcomes high school students to volunteer as junior coaches. Visit gotrvt.org/coach for full details or email [email protected].

Schools in Windham County that are still in need of coaches include Academy, Green Street, and Oak Grove schools in Brattleboro, Central Elementary in Bellows Falls, Dover Elementary, Dummerston Elementary, Flood Brook Union School in Londonderry, Grafton Elementary, The Grammar School in Putney, Guilford Central School, Hilltop Montessori in Brattleboro, Jamaica Village School, Leland & Gray in Townshend, NewBrook Elementary in Newfane, Saxtons River Elementary, St. Michael's School in Brattleboro, Townshend Elementary, Twin Valley Elementary in Wilmington, Vernon Elementary, and Wardsboro Elementary.

Participant registration opens on Wednesday, Feb. 28, for Southern teams attending the Manchester 5K. Join them for a virtual Q&A session on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 6:30 p.m. More information about the Jan. 25 session and GOTRVT can be found at gotrvt.org.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 3 of the winter/spring season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Jan. 18 saw Good Times (13-2) remain in first place. Stepping Stones II and High Rollers (11-4) are tied for second, followed by Stayin' Alive (9-6), Four Seasons (7-8), Slow Movers and Hairiers (both 4-11), and Four Pins (1-14).

Diane Cooke had the women's high handicap game (262) and series (674). Milt Sherman had the men's high handicap game (251), while Gary Montgomery had the high handicap series (654). Harriers had the high team handicap game (873), while High Rollers had the high team series (2,456).

Warren Corriveau Sr. had the men's high scratch series (579) with games of 204, 192, and 183. Peter Deyo had a 559 series with a 226 game, John Walker had a 561 series with a 213 game, Montgomery had a 558 series with games of 212 and 195, and Sherman had a 539 series with a 222 game. Marty Adams had a 186 game.

Diane Cooke had the women's high scratch series (488) and game (200). Notable games included Debbie Kolpa (172), Pat Bentrup (170), Carol Gloski (164), and Nancy Dalzell (162).

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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