October 21, 2014

CVU boys basketball struggles continue

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Feb. 24, 2011

By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

The Champlain Valley Union boys basketball combine got a second look at the high-flying 15-2 Rice Memorial Green Knights Tuesday at Bremner Gymnasium – and a second loss.

Rice, likely the playoff’s top seed, handed 5-12 CVU its seventh consecutive loss, 55-37.

Coach Scott Bliss’ squad will try to heat things up for the playoffs Friday night (7 p.m.) at Colchester. The final home contest of the season is Tuesday night when North Country comes to Hinesburg for a 6:30 p.m. tap.

CVU bowed 56-55 at home to Colchester a little more than a week ago. North Country nudged the Redhawks 47-44 on Feb. 11 in Newport.

The Hawks hung with Rice until the final two minutes of the second quarter. Ahead by just 19-16, The Knights unleashed a 16-0 run that carried into the second half, taking advantage of CVU turnovers to fuel an effective transition game.

Chief culprit for Rice at the start of the third quarter was 6-6 center Tim Rensch, who popped in four straight inside shots to help carry the Green Guys to a commanding 36-18 edge with more than five minutes to go in the period.

By the end of a 21-point third reel, the Knights were up 47-26 with the Redhawks unable to create a serious multi-point run on the tough Rice defense. For the game, the Hawks shot a reasonable 36 percent but pegged just 39 shots at the hoop, hitting 14. Rice was 23-for-53 (43 percent).

The Knights also held a 27-18 advantage on the boards.

Sophomore guard Casey Tipson led scorers with 17 points including three treys. Austin Robinson had 11 points and Rensch finished with 10.

Robert Russ hit 4 of 6 shots from the floor to lead CVU with 10 points. Jake Donnelly had eight points, four rebounds and two assists. Ryan Pierson came off the bench to hit six points.

Essex drops CVU

Russ and Donnelly had solid nights Friday when the Redhawks fell to 8-8 at Bremner Gym, 46-42.

Essex, which had rapped CVU in the Junction a couple of weeks ago, had no easy time Friday, winning on a late 3-point play from out-of-bounds that had Ben Ferris (24 points) get to the hoop and convert the deuce plus a free throw to snap a tie with 25 seconds left.

Russ fired in 15 points for the Redhawks. Donnelly had 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Tuesday’s Box Score

Rice Memorial (55)

Robinson, 5 1-3 11; McCormick, 3 2-2 8; Willingham, 1 0-0 2; Rensch, 5 0-1 10; Tipson, 7 1-2 18; Maynard, 1 2-2 4; Poland, 0 0-0 0; Bellows, 0 0-0 0; Conroy, 1 0-0 2; Langlais, 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 6-10 55

CVU (37)

Donnelly, 2 4-4 8; Bissonnette, 1 0-0 2; Gale, 2 0-0 4; Kohlasch, 0 0-0 0; Russ, 4 2-4 10; Lambert, 0 1-2 1; Karmes, 1 0-0 2; Boland, 0 0-0 0; Spencer, 1 0-0 2; Pierson, 2 1-2 6; Keen, 1 0-0 2; Burns, 0 0-0 0; Whitbeck, 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 8-12 37

Rice 12   14   21    8  -  55

CVU 7     9   10   11  -  37

Junior varsity: CVU (12-5) 47, Rice 39.

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