Courtesy photo by David Yandell
The Champlain Valley Union High boys hockey team celebrates after a 6-3 playoff win against South Burlington High on Saturday. See story under Sports.
Following a solid tune-up last weekend in Jericho, the Champlain Valley Union High Nordic ski team will go for the gold in state meets Friday in Bennington and Monday at Craftsbury.
It will be classic racing at Mount Anthony Union in Bennington, with the boys hitting the trail at 10:30 a.m. and the girls at 11:30 a.m. Relays are set for the afternoon.
A similar schedule is set for freestyle in Craftsbury, with girls starting at 10:30 a.m. and boys at 11:30 a.m., again with relays in the afternoon.
Last weekend, the girls rolled to a 12-51 victory over second-place host Mount Mansfield Union High and four other teams.
Kylie deGroot (18 minutes, 40 seconds) earned the victory, with teammate Johanna Fehrs (18:53) taking second place. Joining them in the top six were Redhawks Sienna Searles, (4), Abby Stoner (5) and Anya Rose (6).
The boys took second to Mount Mansfield in the team totals. The Cougars were led by winner Nick Marshall in totaling 16 points to 40 for CVU.
The Redhawks' Andrew Childs was third and Sam Epstein fourth.
— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent
Feb. 25, 2010
By Mal Boright
The game was over, the advance to the Division 1 semifinals at the University of Vermont’s Roy L. Patrick Gymnasium belonged to underdog St. Johnsbury, and still the 2009-2010 edition of the Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team did not depart from Bremner Gym until long after most others had left.
Despite Saturday afternoon’s 40-37 defeat at the hands of a 9-13, Cinderella-like Hilltopper five, the Redhawks finished a solid 17-5 campaign that far exceeded many preseason expectations. No one wanted it to end.
St. Johnsbury, in the midst of a rise from the nether-land of a low seed (12th) to the division’s final four for a second straight season, contained CVU’s offense with a stifling defense and played loose and within itself in front of a large and raucous band of supporters.
The fourth-seeded home team’s only lead was 1-0 on a Shae Hulbert free throw in the opening minute. The Hilltoppers opened a 12-4 edge by the end of the first period as CVU, appearing somewhat tight, hit only one of seven shots. Nine turnovers in the physical contest contributed disruption to an offense struggling to get into gear.
St. Johnsbury was not exactly an unstoppable offensive force against a tough CVU defense, but the Hilltoppers were able to sink five treys at opportune times to stay in front by six to seven points before the Redhawks made a late charge that nearly turned matters around.
Down 37-29 and apparently out of it with 1:40 remaining, coach Stan Williams’ gritty crew created a furious rally, started by an Allison Gannon put back at 1:37.
Two free throws by St. Jay’s Adama Kay (14 points) put the Green Clads back up 39-31 with 50.5 seconds showing.
Game over, right?
Wrong, stated CVU’s Carlee Evans with a three-point bomb at 35.4 seconds to get the Redhawks to within five points.
Moments later, after a Hilltopper turnover, Kendal Kohlash, who assisted on Evans’ trey, got the ball to Gannon in the corner. Gannon knocked down another threebie that cut the lead to 39-37 and forced St. Jay to call a timeout with 15.8 seconds left.
When play resumed, the Hawks had to foul and sent Britney Lane to the line to make one of two for the 40-37 lead. A CVU three-point try at the buzzer fail to connect.
It was the final appearances for the Redhawks’ senior co-captains Gannon and Kohlasch. Both had strong games with Kohlasch (10 points, 3 assists, 2 steals) providing a strong floor game. Gannon, heavily defended, had 10 points and four rebounds, exploding for eight of her points and three rebounds in the fourth quarter comeback.
Hulbert, a junior, also contributed 10 points to go with a game-leading eight rebounds.
St. Johnsbury held a serious advantage on the glass (26-20 for the game) and in bagging loose basketballs until the fourth period, when the Redhawks collected an 8-4 edge in rebounding.
ST. J 12 6 10 12 – 40
CVU 4 9 9 15 – 37
St. Johnsbury Academy (9-13)
Calkins 1-2 2-2 4, Regis 1-5 0-0 3, Kay 5-13 3-7 14, Bruckner 0-0 0-0 0, Lane 3-8 5-6 13, Moran 1-6 1-1 3, Rowe 1-5 0-0 3, Driscoll 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 12-40 11-16 40.
Kohlasch 3-8 3-7 10, Hulbert 3-7 4-6 10, Gannon 4-12 1-3 10, Evans 1-1 2-2 5, Kinneston 1-3 0-2 2, Donnelly 0-1 0-0 0, Bayer-Pacht 0-3 0-0 0, Schenk 0-0 0-0 0, Hawley 0-0 0-0 0, Giles 0-0 0-0 0, Riordan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-35 10-20 37.
Feb. 25, 2010
By Mal Boright
After completing their first 15-victory regular season since 2000, the 15-5 Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team had a first round home Division 1 playoff round against 12-8 Spaulding High of Barre on Wednesday night. A win would allow the Redhawks to advance in the quarterfinals.
Success against the Crimson Tide would put the Redhawks against second-seeded, 17-3 Essex High at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the Hornets’ nest. CVU scored a pulsating 58-54 win at Essex a couple of weeks ago to even the season series at 1-1.
Coach Scott Bliss’ unit was seeded seventh. Spaulding, seeded 10th, nipped the Hawks 62-57 in early January in Barre.
Top Division 1 seed went, as expected, to 19-1 Burlington High, which pulled out a 51-44 triumph over CVU on Friday night at Bremner Gymnasium.
With 38 seconds to go, the Redhawks had the ball under their basket and trailed just 46-44. But a bobble on a pass-in turned the sphere back to the Seahorses and their captain Joe O’Shea sank five of six charity shots to clinch the win.
A 6-foot-4 guard, O’Shea was the triggerman for Burlington.
The Redhawks led 24-19 at the half and 33-31 entering the final reel when the veteran BHS star took charge and unloaded 11 points.
His long bomb from the side put Burlington up 34-33 and, moments later, another trey from out front put BHS ahead for good, 40-38. CVU, led by Jake Donnelly, twice got back to within a point but the Seahorses made their free throws to maintain the lead.
O’Shea finished with 25 points after CVU defenders, led by Chris Nigh, held him to two hits in seven tries and six points in the first half. It was obvious that O’Shea — lean, fast and athletic — can be contained, but only for a while.
Donnelly finished with 19 points and six-for-12 from the floor and seven-of-nine at the line. Despite a sore left arm (his shooting iron), center Will Hurd hit five-of-eight from the floor for 13 points, including a trio of treys.
Along with O’Shea, Burlington had 6-foot-5 Jackson Grady and 6-foot-5 Mackenzie Heimert on its front line. That assortment of redwoods packed defensively around the hoop gave CVU problems for its usually effective drives to the hoop.
“It was the biggest front line we’ve seen this year,” Donnelly said.
But the Redhawks were right there at the end and for the second time this season (the first a 56-50 loss at BHS) proved they can play with the number one seed.
BHS 12 7 12 20 – 51
CVU 10 14 9 11 – 44
Burlington High (19-1)
O'Shea 7-16 7-9 25, Heimert 1-5 0-0 3, Grady 3-7 2-2 8, Dailey 1-1 2-2 4, Corriveau 2-8 1-2 6, Zabili 0-1 0-0 0, Vachereau 1-4 0-1 3, Rodgers 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 16-45 12-16 51.
Nigh 0-1 0-0 0, Rensch 1-2 0-0 2, Hurd 5-8 0-4 13, Hart 0-0 0-0 0, Beaton 0-1 0-2 0, Donnelly 6-12 7-9 19, Russ 3-7 2-2 8, Clayton 1-1 0-0 2, Gale 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-32 9-17 44.
Feb. 25, 2010
By Mal Boright
Going for their seventh Division 1 girls ice hockey crown in the last nine years, the Green and Gold of Bellows Free Academy team from St. Albans proved unflappable Monday night at Kreitzberg Arena at Norwich University in Northfield.
The Champlain Valley Union High Redhawks, in only their second ever semifinal appearance, gave the seasoned BFA unit some serious challenges — but the Comets had answers, and took charge in the final minutes of the game for a 6-3 victory.
Now 14-4-4, third-seeded BFA moves on to Friday night’s title test against top-seeded Spaulding High of Barre, which won 5-2 over Essex High in Monday night’s second semifinal contest.
CVU coach Tom Ryan told the news media after the game that his team “did a great job this season,” reminding all that the Redhawks went 1-19 just three seasons ago.
One of several CVU players who had BFA coaches reaching for the ulcer medicine was sophomore blazer Sophia Steinhoff, who authored a three-goal hat trick that kept the Redhawks in contention until the final five minutes.
The deftly skating Steinhoff opened the scoring with almost six minutes gone in the first period, taking the puck at mid-rink, escaping a trap along the left boards and cutting in on the net from a sharp angle before firing it past BFA net minder Shanley Howrigan.
Less than two minutes later, BFA tied it with a rebound shot from out of a crowd in front of CVU goalie Nicole Sisk.
The Comets were in front 2-1 when Steinhoff struck again, knocking in a rebound at 10:57 of the second period, assists going to KK Logan and Kate Ford.
But the unfazed Comets came right back just 17 seconds later to take the lead on an Allie Berno tally.
After BFA went up 4-2 on a power play goal 44 seconds into the final period, Steinhoff, assisted by Ford, got the Redhawks back to within a single score at 9:21.
But BFA second team Metro All-Star Katelynn Morneau, a speedy forward, knocked in goals at 8:14 and 5:19 to reassert Comet control.
Trailing by two with 7:13 left, CVU had a golden opportunity with two BFA players off for penalties, but the five-three advantage did not result in a score and was lost a minute later on a CVU penalty. Morneau’s second goal came on a shorthanded breakaway at 5:19.
CVU had a slight 22-19 edge in shots on goal.
Junior Molly Howard, who scored her 100th point with a goal and assist in CVU’s solid 3-2 quarterfinal win over South Burlington High on Saturday at Cairns Arena, had some solid chances Monday but narrowly missed corners on breathtaking breakaway opportunities.
Steinhoff and defender extraordinaire Alyx Rivard also racked up goals for CVU in the victory over the Rebels.
HONORS FOR HOCKEY PLAYERS, COACH
Four members of the Champlain Valley Union High girls semifinal hockey team have been named to the 2010 metro Division All-Star team as chosen by the coaches.
In addition, head coach Tom Ryan was named coach of the year after guiding the Redhawks to a 16-5-1 record and second seed in the Division 1 playoffs.
All-Metro second team selections went to junior forward Molly Howard and junior defender Alyx Rivard.
Sophomore Sophia Steinhoff, a forward, was named to the third team, while senior forward KK Logan earned an honorable mention.
— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent