Essex knocks Redhawks from playoffs (3/4/10)


CVU boys close hoops season at 16-6

March 4, 2010

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Even though they fell one victory short of making it to the Division 1 final four at the University of Vermont’s Roy L. Patrick Gymnasium, there were few if any complaints Saturday afternoon in Essex Junction, where the 16-6 Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball season ended with a 60-46 quarterfinal loss to a talented 18-3 Essex High unit.

 


    Observer photo by Shane Bufano
Champlain Valley Union High’s Will Hurd (22) is fouled on his way to the hoop during the Redhawks’ 60-46 quarterfinal loss to Essex High.

 


    Observer photo by Shane Bufano
Eoin Karnes (0) of CVU blocks a shot during the Redhawks’ win over Spaulding High on Feb. 25.

The second-seeded Hornets brought their A game and a vexing zone defense, which flustered the Redhawks’ offense enough for Essex to maintain control of the game from early in the second period.

CVU head coach Scott Bliss complimented the Hornets’ ability and athleticism after the game but was also pleased with his team’s effort.

“The effort was there,” the coach said. “But we had, what, 16 turnovers. You can’t beat a team like Essex with that many turnovers.”

Oddly enough, CVU turned the ball over 16 times in Thursday’s 50-41 home playoff victory over 12-9 Spaulding High of Barre. The Crimson Tide used a zone defense that caused CVU some problems and kept the game close (36-33) until Robert Russ exploded for four hoops to spark a 14-8 run to end the contest.

Essex coach Jeff Goodrich was in the stands taking notes.

On Feb. 5, the Redhawks had come to Essex to issue a 58-54 defeat of the Hornets, and for the first part of Saturday’s contest, it looked like another seesaw affair.

But after CVU drew into a 17-17 deadlock early in the second period, Essex reserve Chris Bogue nailed three straight hoops to ignite a 13-2 run that put the Hornets up by a comfortable 30-19 edge at intermission. Three of the Essex baskets followed CVU turnovers.

The Redhawks were never able to cut the Essex lead under double digits and at one point in the final reel the Hornets were up by 21 points.

The key for Essex was balance. While defensive stalwarts Chris Nigh, Nick Hart and others held Essex ace Demir Smajovic to 10 points (he had had 27 on Feb. 5), Bogue wound up with 16, guard Ben Ferris fired in 11 and Josh Stewart 10. Smajovic skied for 13 rebounds.

Will Hurd popped 16 points and ripped down nine rebounds for CVU. Jake Donnelly had 15 points and four assists.

Essex shot a warm 52 percent (22-42) from the floor while CVU was 19-for-50, a 38 percent clip.

In the victory over Spaulding, the Redhawks hit 19 of their 35 shots — just over 50 percent, which is a big help in cracking a zone. Donnelly and Russ led scorers with 14 points each, with Donnelly adding nine assists.

Hurd had five points but hauled in seven rebounds and blocked four Spaulding shots in a role as Mr. Inside Smash Back.

A huge contribution came from Mike Clayton, who came off the bench to fire in 15 points from contact land under the basket, grab five rebounds and a pair of steals.

 

CVU-Essex, Score (Feb. 27)

CVU             11             8             11            16 – 46

Essex            12            18            15            15 – 60

             CVU (16-6)

            Donnelly 7-17 1-2 15, Nigh 0-1 0-0 0, Hurd 6-12 4-8 16, Russ 2-9 0-0 4, Beaton 1-4 1-2 3, Hart 1-1 0-0 2, Gale 0-0 0-0 0, Clayton 0-1 0-0 0, Karnes 0-2 0-0 0, Leckerling 1-1 0-0 2, Boland 0-0 0-0 0, Rensch 1-1 2-3 4, Pierson 0-0 0-0 0, Lambert 0-1 0-0 0, Spencer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-50 8-15 46.

             Essex High (18-3)

            Smajovic 3-10 4-8 10, Valley 1-3 2-2 5, Begin 2-4 0-0 5, Stewart 3-4 3-3 10, Ferris 5-9 0-1 11, Bogue 7-10 2-3 16, Salerno 0-0 0-0 0, Zane 1-2 1-1 3, Carlos 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Walsh 0-0 0-0 0, Doney 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-42 12-18 60.

 

 

Spaulding-CVU, Score (Feb. 25)

Spaulding                        7            8              12            14 – 41

CVU                              12            10            12            16 – 50

             Spaulding High (12-9)

            Hickey 4-9 3-4 11, English 1-4 0-0 2, Lawson 1-6 1-2 3, Dutil 5-8 2-2 12, Tullar 4-10 3-4 13, Blouin 0-3 0-0 0, Blake 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 15-41 9-12 41.

             CVU (16-5)

            Donnelly 4-8 5-6 14, Nigh 0-2 0-0 0, Hurd 2-5 1-2 5, Russ 7-10 0-0 14, Beaton 0-0 0-0 0, Clayton 5-9 5-5 15, Hart 0-0 0-0 0, Karnes 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 19-35 11-13 50.