Boys hoopsters back home for New Year1/8/09

Losers of three of their last four games in 2008, coach Scott Bliss and his 4-4 Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team will be out to start 2009 in a positive fashion when they host St. Johnsbury Academy (1-8) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at Bremner Gymnasium.

The contest opens a busy stretch for the Redhawks, scheduled to entertain 6-3 Essex High on Saturday before motoring to 4-5 Colchester High for a Monday night matchup.

Last Saturday’s home contest with North Country Union High was postponed and rescheduled for Feb. 14, the last day of the regular season.

The Redhawks were an enigma wrapped in a riddle in their last two outings of the outgoing year. On Dec. 27, they fell at home to Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans when the underdog Bobwhites — CVU had crunched them 75-52 in St. Albans — racked up a 27-9 fourth quarter outburst to triumph, 71-62.

Then, on Dec. 30, they gave a veteran 8-1 Rice Memorial High team some serious concerns before being nipped 50-47 on the Green Knights’ home court. CVU’s Three J’s — John Donnelly, Jack Jesset and Jake Donnelly — garnered 13, 12 and 11 points for the Hawks.

— Mal Boright, Observer correspondent