The 4-6 Burlington High Seahorses will test the overtime-earned, two-game win streak of the 6-5 Champlain Valley Union High Redhawks boys basketball aggregation Thursday night at Bremner Gymnasium.
It’s the second session of the season for the Swimming Steeds and the Birds, with CVU capturing a 50-40 victory at BHS on Dec. 18, which snapped a season-opening three-game losing string.
Monday night at Colchester High, coach Scott Bliss’ Hawks climbed over the .5 mark with a second-straight overtime victory, 42-40 over the 2-8 Lakers.
This followed Friday evening’s raucous 58-55 double overtime triumph against a hefty 5-3 Essex High combine at the CVU nest.
At Colchester, it was CVU’s Big Luke getting the job done in the additional four-minute period. Center Lucas Aube, a huge contributor Friday, canned the only bucket in overtime for the victory.
Point guard Austin Busch coolly snapped the cords twice on free throws within the final 60 seconds of regulation to force the tie and additional minutes. CVU’s leading scorers in the game were Joe Chevalier and Brad Bissonette, each with 10 points.
In Friday’s game, it appeared that Essex would motor home with a two-to-six point victory until the final moments of regulation. Trailing 43-41 after a Tom Carton layup (20 points, eight rebounds), CVU had the ball with 16.7 seconds left.
A three-point attempt missed and Ryan Beaudry rebounded about eight feet from the hoop. His desperate attempt fell short but into the hands of teammate Scott Bissonette, who let fly with a layup, the buzzer sounding just after the ball left his hand. In perhaps the dramatic moment of the season, the ball rose and then fell through the basket and CVU had a 43-43 tie, the game deadlocked for only the second time. The first was at 41-41—otherwise, the Hornets led the entire night.
Aube, who notched a game-high of 21 points and hauled away 16 rebounds, hit a pair of free throws to give the Redhawks their first lead, 47-45 with 47.7 seconds to go. Essex’s Luke Salerno tied it with a driving layup to bring on the second additional period.
With the score tied at 53, Aube sank a driving layup and subsequent charity toss with 23 seconds to go. Aube was four-for-11 from the line, but when the game was up for grabs in the overtimes, the center swished three in a row.
The Hornets’ Tyler Warren connected on a layup to get the visitors within 56-55 with 15 seconds to go.
Brad Bissonette (15 points, four rebounds) appeared to salt the game away, sinking two foul shots with nine seconds remaining. But there was more drama as the Hornets’ Tyler Warren (10 points, four rebounds) had a three-point bomb nullified because a time out had been called, leaving the final score at 58-55.
CVU stayed in contention through much of the game with gritty defense that forced 14 Essex turnovers through the second and third periods, thus limiting Essex to 47 shots from the field, of which it sank 20. CVU was 21-for-61.
The CVU JVs rolled up a 37-25 win.