CVU girls basketball squad hustles to opening night win12/11/08

Dec. 11, 2008

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

The 2008-2009 edition of the Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team sent a sharp message to its upcoming foes with an opening night rumble past visiting Middlebury Union High.

It was simply that the Giddyap Gang’s unrelenting pressure is coming soon to a court near you.

Fueled by the all-out aggressive court-long play of guards Kendall Berry, Katie Bashaw, Carlee Evans and Amanda Kinneston, the Redhawks broke from the season’s starting gate Monday evening with a blowout 69-38 victory over visiting Middlebury Union High.

Next up for the youthful CVU combine is a Thursday night home contest with 1-0 Vergennes Union High (7 p.m.), followed by a visit from 1-0 South Burlington High at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

According to Middlebury coach Jared Bailey, the Tigers had three-plus starters back from a year ago. The Redhawks lost four of five starters from their Division 1 runner-up club, but the new edition’s hustle and bustle left the alleged more experienced but bewildered visitors looking up from behind all night.

The hard-nosed defenses by CVU, both full and half-court, produced 29 turnovers, which prevented Middlebury from running any sustained offensive patterns. The Tigers hit on just nine of 43 shots from the floor, an icy 21 percent.

While The Gang was creating chaos in the Middlebury backcourt, starters Kendal Kohlash, Renick Lalancette and Allison Gannon, and reserves Becca Russ, Shea Hulbert, Abbie Giles and Caitlin Rock took care of the inside work with effective rebounding and steady scoring.

Kohlasch led the list of 10 — count ‘em, 10 — scorers with 14 points on six-of-nine shooting. Russ had 12 points and Kinneston 10.

The veteran Gannon, a junior and third-year starter, sat out most of the first 16 minutes with foul trouble but played much of the second half and shared the rebound lead with Lalancette. Each had eight grabs from the glass.

High points in the win included:

•    Eleven players got into the game and 10 scored. The starters produced 36 points while the reserves knocked in 33.

•    The Redhawks were moving the ball well as their 29 baskets (64 shots) came with 16 assists, led by Berry with seven helpers.

•    The defensively motivated Hawks never allowed Middlebury to launch any kind of run. Four consecutive points in the second quarter was its best stretch, going from a 29-11 deficit to 29-15.

A potential red flag was the 20 fouls committed, 12 in the first half. The Tigers got to the line for 29 free throws (18 made), compared to nine-for-12 by the Redhawks.

“We were doing some reaching,” coach Stan Williams said.

Overall, the coach was pleased with the performance, noting that the team showed both flexibility and depth.

Coach Matt Lutz’ jayvees did some jiving and rambling of their own as they racked up a 57-25 triumph in the evening’s opener.

MIDDLEBURY (38)

L. Kelley 0 5-10 5, Ritter 3 6-7 12, Brown 0 1-2 1, Whittemore 4 1-1 11, J. Kelley 0 1-3 1, Anecharico 1 1-2 3, Scholten 0 1-2 1, Kirkaldy 1 0-0 2, Cox 0 2-2 2. Totals 9 18-29 38.

CVU (69)

Kohlasch 6 2-2 14, Lalancette 2 2-2 6, Gannon 2 0-0 5, Berry 4 0-1 8, Bashaw 1 0-0 3, Russ 5 2-2 12, Kinneston 5 0-0 10, Hulbert 1 0-0 2, Rock 0 0-0 0, Giles 1 3-5 5. Totals 29 9-12 69.

Middlebury       8    11    10    9 — 38

CVU      16    21    17    15 — 69