Redhawks face BFA Friday
Dec. 22, 2011
By Mal Boright
In high school basketball, there is little time to rejoice in a victory.
Just after his Redhawks put away visiting Burlington 53-45, at Bremner Gymnasium Tuesday night, Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball coach Scott Bliss was thinking about coming attractions.
“It’s going to be tough,” he said of Friday’s trip to St. Albans and Bellows Free Academy.
CVU returns home this Tuesday to tangle with South Burlington, which is off to an 0-3 start.
Then, on Friday (Dec. 30), the Mount Mansfield Union Cougars invade the ‘Hawks Hinesburg nest. At 3-0, the veteran Mount Mansfield team may very well be the elephant in this season’s Division I room.
The victory over Burlington had plenty of significance for Bliss, starting his fifth campaign at the Redhawks helm.
It was CVU’s first win over the Seahorses in at least five seasons and, according to the coach, his 50th triumph at the varsity post.
The Redhawks used accuracy at the free throw line in the closing minutes to put away Burlington, which sank eight three-pointers to stay with the ‘Hawks until late in the final reel.
With his team leading by a shaky 43-40 with just over one minute and 50 seconds left, junior Brad Bissonette unerringly nailed six straight pressure free throws while Tucker Kohlasch and John Keen each sank a pair to keep CVU in the van.
Bissonette and Joe Chevalier led a vital 11-8 fourth period edge on the boards, which were also crucial to the victory. Chevalier unloaded a big trey plus a deuce hoop early in the closing stanza to boost the Redhawks into the lead.
Bliss was pleased with his team’s work down the stretch, noting that the Redhawks had trouble holding onto late leads in two earlier contests — a home win over Missisquoi Valley Union and a narrow defeat at Vergennes.
Bissonette had a solid all around performance that included a game-high 22 points. The slim junior was 9-for-10 at the line. He tore down seven rebounds, added at least one assist blocked two shots.
Keen, wearing a noseguard to protect a recently broken nose, contributed a nifty six points, five rebounds and an assist. Inside musclemen Ryan Beaudry and Lucas Aube each got four points, with Beaudry grabbing seven rebounds and Aube six.
Scott Bissonette had the shot of the night when he picked up a contested loose ball just over mid court and unleashed a long bomb that banked off the glass and into the basket as the horn sounded at halftime. The shot gave the Hawks a 20-17 lead.
Burlington was paced by lanky center Sean Radan with 17 points and seven rebounds. Sniper Alex Carrier had 12 points and Ho Nguyan added 10 points.
CVU 53, Burlington 45
Grady, 2 0-0 4; Carrier, 4 0-2 12; Radan, 5 5-7 17; Nguyen, 2 4-9 10; Rodgers, 0 0-0 0; Boera, 0 0-0 0; Montgomery, 0 0-0 0; Hale, 1 0-0 2; Wright, 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 14 9-18 45
B. Bissonette, 6 9-10 22; Keen, 2 2-2 6; Beaudry, 2 0-2 4; Whitbeck, 0 0-0 0; Kohlasch, 0 7-8 7; Aube, 2 0-2 4; Gilstedt, 0 0-0 0; Chevalier, 3 0-0 7; S. Bissonette, 1 0-0 3; Lynn, 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 16 18-24 53
BHS 9 8 16 12 – 45
CVU 12 8 16 17 – 53