Feb. 18, 2010
By Mal Boright
With the all-important home court advantage, the Champlain Valley Union High girls’ basketball team was victorious in Tuesday’s 43-29 first round in the postseason Division 1 playoffs against Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans. The Redhawks were awaiting news on the winner of Wednesday’s St. Johnsbury Academy (7-13) at Rice Memorial High (14-6) contest as of press time.
CVU will play host to the winner Saturday afternoon (2 p.m.) at Bremner Gymnasium. The Redhawks split the home and home series with St. Johnsbury and lost twice by narrow margins to Rice.
BFA (7-14) gave coach Stan Williams’ fourth-seeded Redhawks some early problems before a 31-10 game-busting middle two quarters put CVU in control.
For supporters, the first quarter became white-knuckle time as the Redhawks missed their first nine shots and avoided being blanked for the entire eight minutes only because of a Carlee Evans’ bomb from three-point territory with six seconds left.
The long range bucket got the Redhawks in gear. Trailing 9-3 early in the second reel, CVU got a trey from foul-plagued Kendal Kohlasch and a hoop and two free throws by guard Amanda Kinneston to pull into the lead for the first time, 10-9.
After BFA had nudged in front 13-12, Kinneston became a force.The busy little backcourt junior popped a three with an assist from Evans. On BFA’s next possession, Kinneston intercepted a Comet pass and fed Lazrin Schenk for a layup. Kinneston later found Allison Gannon with a good outside look and assisted on Gannon’s threebie that gave the Hawks a 20-13 halftime advantage.
With the tall threesome of Shae Hulbert, Kohlasch and Gannon leading the way, CVU broke out of a 14-2 run in the third to ice the contest.
For the game, the Redhawks held BFA to eight baskets in 36 shots (22 percent) while knocking down 18 of 49 (37 percent). CVU had a coaches’ delight of at least 15 assists on 18 hoops.
Senior Shelby Labarge led BFA with nine points and nine rebounds before fouling out in the final period. Out-rebounded 9-5 in the opening quarter, CVU ended with a 28-25 advantage on the glass.
In helping CVU to a 52-47 triumph over BFA in the regular season finale in St. Albans last Thursday, Hulbert scored 17 of her 20 points in the second half as the Redhawks erased a halftime deficit.