By Mal Boright
The defending Division 1 champion Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team closed out a four-game home stand Tuesday night by easing past visiting 2-4 North Country Union High, 73-20.
The Redhawks will take their 8-0 record to Barre Friday night for their first clash this season with 2-5 Spaulding High.
Tuesday’s triumph followed Friday’s 65-30 crunching of 3-2 Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans.
Matters were settled early against North Country. The Redhawks led 11-0 by the time the Falcons were able to get off a shot against the CVU pressure defense some three minutes into the game.
The Redhawks were up 17-0 before NCU’s Nicole Therrien got the Falcons’ first hoop, a layup with 2:26 remaining in the quarter.
It was pretty much Easyville for CVU after those opening minutes as all 12 members of the team played, scored and hauled in at least one rebound. The Redhawks shot an even 50 percent from the floor (22-for-44) over the first three periods and went a neat 14-for-17 from the free flip line.
Emily Kinneston once again was busy, busy all over the floor with limited playing time. In the first five minutes she scored four points, swiped the ball four times, tore down two rebounds and added an assist. She played less than a half and had eight points, five assists and five rebounds.
Sadie Otley bagged 14 points including a pair of treys. Kaelyn Kohlasch had 12 points with two threebies. Seven players collected five or more points with the bench contributing 24 plus 15 rebounds.
BFA hauled a 3-1 record to Bremner Gymnasium Friday night and was within 16-14 of the Redhawks when the champs unleashed their disarray-creating mobocracy defense that turns the place into a house of horrors for CVU foes.
Forcing some seven Comet turnovers in the second period alone, CVU thundered to a 32-2 rampage that BFA broke into with a free throw and hoop only after nearly four minutes had gone by in the third quarter. By then the Redhawks were up 50-19 and any questions as to the outcome long settled.
The Redhawks’ worker bees made at least 17 steals, led by Kinneston, Otley and Kohlasch, the Pilfer People. Laurel Jaunich got her mitts on three from her inside position.
CVU also had a solid night on the offensive end, shooting better than 50 percent (23-44) from the floor over the first three quarters. In those same 32 minutes, BFA was limited to just seven baskets in 28 tries.
Kinneston had one of her usual low-key but spectacular all-around nights. She connected on seven of her nine shots from the field in her game-high 16 points. She also handed out nine assists, hauled down six rebounds and was a go-getting thief of the ball on at least four occasions.
Jaunich had 15 points and four rebounds, while Kohlasch fired in nine points to go nicely with four steals, three rebounds and two helpers.
Off the bench popped Jenna Brassard to pitch in with nine points and five rebounds. BFA was led by forward Lauren LaRose with 13 points (three treys) and six rebounds.
The junior varsity team lifted its record to 8-0. The young ‘Hawks rapped BFA 60-14 and handled North Country, 56-18.