Twin Valley defenders Alanna Bevilacqua (12) and Kate Oyer (22) attempt stop Bellows Falls forward Laura Kamel as she drives toward the basket during their Dec. 15 game at Holland Gymnasium. Bevilacqua and Oyer led Twin Valley to a pair of wins to close out the regular season.
Randolph T. Holhut/Commons file photo
Twin Valley defenders Alanna Bevilacqua (12) and Kate Oyer (22) attempt stop Bellows Falls forward Laura Kamel as she drives toward the basket during their Dec. 15 game at Holland Gymnasium. Bevilacqua and Oyer led Twin Valley to a pair of wins to close out the regular season.

Girls’ teams begin basketball playoffs

The Vermont girls' basketball playoffs began this week with road trips for three of our four local teams.

• With an 11-9 record, Brattleboro ended up with the No. 9 seed in Division I and faced No. 8 Mount Mansfield (11-9) in a first-round game on Feb. 26 in Jericho. The Bears lost that game, 70-39, and we'll have the full details in next week's roundup. In their regular season finale on Feb. 24 at Fair Haven, the Bears lost, 46-36. Brattleboro guard Reese Croutworst led all scorers with 23 points as the Bears rallied back from a 20-9 halftime deficit, only to fall short in the fourth quarter.

• Bellows Falls (14-6) got the No. 6 seed in Division III and will host No. 11 Green Mountain (4-16) for a first-round playoff game on Feb. 28. The Terriers lost their regular season finale to visiting White River Valley, 54-36, on Feb. 22.

• Leland & Gray finished 10-10 to capture the No. 7 seed in Division IV and earn a home playoff game. The Rebels will host 10th-seeded Proctor (9-11) in a first-round game in Townshend on Feb. 28. The Rebels closed out the regular season with a 52-14 win over Woodstock on Feb. 22 in Townshend.

• Twin Valley ended the regular season with a pair of home victories to snap an 18-game losing streak and pick up the No. 14 seed in Division IV. The Wildcats will face a familiar foe when they travel to Arlington to take on the No. 3 Eagles (18-2) in a first-round game on Feb. 28. Alanna Bevilacqua and Kate Oyer, the two mainstays for Twin Valley, combined for 22 points in a 35-22 victory over visiting Sharon Academy on Feb. 20. Two nights later, Bevilacqua scored 23 points to lead Twin Valley to a 40-29 over Mill River to give the Wildcats a 2-18 record.

Bears open boys' hockey playoffs at home

• Thanks to a six-game winning streak to close out the regular season, Brattleboro clinched the No. 4 seed in Division I with a 11-6-3 record and will get to host a quarterfinal game at Withington Rink.

The Bears will take on No. 5 Mount Mansfield in a quarterfinal game on Feb. 28 at 7:15 p.m. Mount Mansfield needed double-overtime to beat No. 12 Rutland, 4-3, in a first-round game on Feb. 24 to earn their date with the Bears.

Brattleboro finished the regular season with a 10-1 whipping of Northfield on Feb. 21. Henry Schwartz and Andy Cay led the Bears with three goals each.

Bell wins state bowling title

• Brattleboro's Thomas Bell won the state individual bowling title, finishing on top in a tournament featuring 32 of Vermont's top high school bowlers on Feb. 24 at Rutland Bowlerama.

According to his coach, Will Bassett, Bell had games of 190, 176, and 193 in the opening round to get the No. 9 seed heading to bracket play. "[Thomas] then bowled a 217 to win the first round of bracket play, and then won with a 183 to move into the stepladder [format]. Thomas was seeded fourth in the stepladder which meant he had to win three straight head-to-head matches to win it all. He proceeded to bowl with such focus and power throughout the stepladder, bowling scores of 238, 248 and 238 to win."

Bassett said three other team members - Alyssa St. Louis, Austin Pinette and Charlie Forthofer - were in the event but "did not make it past the first cut to 16, but bowled well in tough conditions. Qualifying for this tournament alone is a very impressive accomplishment and they should be proud."

The four Brattleboro bowlers who participated in this tournament will be joined by Mateo Lopez Course, Cayden Gilson, Nick Carnes, and Taylor Jillson as the Bears defend their state bowling title on March 2 in the team tournament at Spare Time in Colchester. Brattleboro is seeded third in the tournament.

Early exits for local teams in boys' hoop playoffs

• All four local teams were eliminated last week in the first round of the boys' basketball playoffs. The biggest upset came on Feb. 20 in Whitingham, as the No. 4 Twin Valley Wildcats were knocked out by the No. 12 Arlington Eagles, 61-54, in a Division IV matchup.

Arlington took a 29-17 lead into halftime thanks to seven three-pointers, four of them coming from Mason Hill-McDermott. He scored all of his 14 points in the first half, as he keyed a 13-4 run by the Eagles in the second quarter. Twin Valley never recovered. Arlington's defense took away the long-range shooting of Twin Valley's Noah Dornburgh and Brayden Brown, and prevented any second-chance baskets with a strong rebounding effort.

Cameron Clark led Arlington with 17 points, while Steven Oyer led the Wildcats with 18 points. The Wildcats finished with a 12-9 record and will lose only two seniors to graduation, Cody Magnant and Dornburgh. This year's team was mostly freshmen and sophomores, so Twin Valley is well positioned for success next season.

• In a rematch of two of last year's Division III semifinalists, the No. 4 Winooski Spartans used a fourth-quarter rally to beat No. 13 Bellows Falls, 58-46, on Feb. 21.

"We battled, we clawed, we gave ourselves a chance to win," wrote BF coach Evan Chadwick on the team's Purple Pride Hoops blog. "Can't ask for anything more than that from these men."

The visiting Terriers kept it close, but could not hold off the Spartans in the late going. Colby Dearborn and Cole Moore led BF with 15 points each, while Will Hallock chipped in with 6 points and 9 rebounds. Bellows Falls finished the season and will lose six seniors to graduation in Moore, Dearborn, Jaxon Clark, Jesse Darrell, Walker James, and Ben Perry.

• Sixth-seeded Burlington took a 28-7 lead after one quarter and a 52-24 lead by halftime on the way to a 101-56 win over No. 11 Brattleboro in a Division I game on Feb. 20.

Khamis Ali and Sawyer Judkins each scored 14 points for the 12-9 Seahorses. Brattleboro finished the season with a 7-13 record and will lose Karson Elliott, Cam Cruz, Trevor Gray, Dillyn Warner, Jackson Emery, and Johnathon Haskins to graduation.

• No. 4 Williamstown led from start to finish in a 71-38 win over No. 13 Leland & Gray in a Division IV game on Feb. 20.

Williamstown had a 27-8 advantage at the end of the first quarter, led 45-19 at the half, and had a 64-32 after three quarters. Evan Bailey led the way with 23 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. Cody Hescock led the 3-18 Rebels with 12 points. They will lose Chip Winkler, Finch Holmes, Peyton Butynski, Theo Kelloway, Paul Persson, and Jackson Fillion to graduation.

BUHS gymnasts do well in state meet

• Brattleboro may not have a gymnastics team, but that has not stopped a pair of BUHS ninth-graders from pursuing their dreams.

Sadie Cheslawski and Lauren Chute competed as independents this season, traveling with the Burr & Burton varsity gymnastics team. On Feb. 17, they were at the Vermont high school gymnastics state meet at St. Johnsbury. Chute was second in Vault and Bars, second in the All Around with a score of 36.725, and eighth on the Beam. Cheslawski placed fourth in Beam and Vault.

Both worked very hard this season, with their ultimate goal to see a varsity gymnastics program established at BUHS.

"Being an independent at the high school state meet was a lot of fun," Chute said in an email to The Commons. "Even though we didn't have a team, all the girls there were very supportive and cheered everyone on. Having a high school team at BUHS would be amazing. We have a lot of interest and I think it would be a great addition to the school."

Cheslawski agreed, saying that the state meet "was a different experience from a state meet with USA Gymnastics. This meet we had cheers, handshakes, and a lot of fun. I felt that the state meet was a great team experience and it brought a bunch of girls together that either have been doing gymnastics for a while or just started. Everyone had a smile on their face and all the teams were very encouraging. It was such an enlightening experience. I would recommend gymnastics to anyone who wants a team experience or is willing to give a sport a try."

The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department has had an active gymnastics program at the Gibson-Aiken Center for years, which would be a perfect feeder system for a varsity program, just as the Brattleboro Hockey Association does for the BUHS varsity hockey teams. Here's hoping Sadie and Lauren have some company when next season rolls around, and build some momentum toward a gymnastics program at BUHS.

Bears girls' hockey team finishes season

• The Brattleboro girls ended their season with a 7-0 loss to Stowe at Withington Rink. After taking a 1-0 lead after the first period, Stowe scored six goals in the second period to clinch the win. Kate Tilgner scored three goals, while Isabel Donza scored two, including her 100th career goal.

On Feb. 17, the Bears were beaten by Missisquoi, 8-0, in their annual "Pink the Rink" game at Withington Rink. The team raised $1,060 for Brattleboro Memorial Hospital's Oncology Department to help breast cancer patients undergoing treatment. The money will go toward gas cards, grocery store cards, and other resources.

The Bears finished with a 2-18 record, and will sit out the playoffs. They will lose three seniors to graduation: Greta Koenig, Lily Carignan, and Alex Gregory.

Rec. Dept. news

• The Brattleboro Recreation and Parks Department will offer "Intro to T-ball" for those born between Sept. 1, 2019, and Aug, 31, 2020. Sign-ups begin on March 4. The fee for this program is $20 for Brattleboro residents and $35 for non-residents, with a $10 late fee added for those who sign up after March 29.

Intro to T-ball players will meet once a week for practice beginning the week of May 6 and will continue through the week of June 3 . The practice day, time, and location is to be determined based on the schedule of the volunteer coaches. Intro to T-ball will only run if there are multiple volunteer coaches to help run this program.

• Sign-ups also begin on March 4 for Youth T-Ball, for those born between Sept. 1, 2017, and Aug. 31, 2019. During the T-ball season, youths will properly learn the fundamentals of baseball, stressing safety, skills, and fun. Players will be assigned to a team and will have one practice and one game per week.

Each child will need to bring their own glove, water bottle, and appropriate footwear (sneakers or cleats) to each practice and game. The fee is $35 for Brattleboro residents and $50 for non-residents, with a $10 late fee charged after March 29. Each player will be assigned to a team as well as a practice location. Practices will begin the week of April 22 (weather permitting). Games will begin the week of May 6 and continue until early June.

• Registering for either T-ball program may be done online to, or in person Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Gibson-Aiken Center on Main Street. For more information call the Gibson-Aiken office at 802-254-5808.

• The Nelson Withington Skating Facility at Living Memorial Park will be closing for the season on Sunday, March 3, following the last program of the day. The Rec. Dept. says it thanks everyone "for another wonderful season!"

Grace Cottage presents 'Make Tracks for Health'

• Grace Cottage will host the inaugural edition of "Make Tracks for Health" a snowshoe/cross-country Ski event, on Saturday, March 2, from 1 to 3 p.m., at the Stratton Nordic Center on Sun Bowl Road in Stratton.

Participants can choose to snowshoe or cross-country ski on the Nordic Center's beautifully groomed trails. Afterward, reward yourself with treats by the fire at the Warming Lodge. Rental equipment will be available by advance registration. Register now at

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 8 of the winter/spring season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Feb. 22 saw no changes at the top of the standings as High Rollers (29-11) remained in first place, followed by Good Times and Four Seasons (both 19-21), Stepping Stones II and Stayin' Alive (both 18-22), Hairiers and Four Pins (both 17-23), and Slow Movers (11-29).

Pam Greenblott once again had the women's high handicap game (244) and series (660), while Norm Corliss had the men's high handicap game (270) and Stan Kolpa had the high handicap series (674). High Rollers had the high team handicap game (889), while Four Seasons had the high handicap series (2,497).

Warren Corriveau Sr. had the men's high scratch series (597) with a 244 game. Robert Rigby had a 594 series with games of 214 and 192, while John Walker had a 559 series and Peter Deyo had a 555 series. Gary Montgomery had a 524 series with a 190 game. Notable games included Stan Kolpa (195), Duane Schillemat (194) and Corliss (190).

Nancy Dalzell had the women's high scratch series (497) and game (186), while Greenblott had a 178 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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