By Mal Boright
Nipped 59-54 at North Country Union High Tuesday night, the 4-7 Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team will try to rekindle that winning feeling they had Saturday in a home win over Spaulding High Friday night when powerful St. Johnsbury Academy comes calling at Bremner Gymnasium.
The Hilltoppers entered the week with a 6-2 record and have not lost to in-state competition including the Division’s big iron.
Coach Michael Osborne’s Redhawks fell to 4-5 North Country due in large part to the Falcons’ 17-0 second period outburst that left CVU scrambling.
Lucas Aube and Ryan Schneiderman were the Redhawks’ scoring leaders with 12 points each.
Aube was coming off a super performance Saturday in which he meshed 21 points and hauled in 13 rebounds to help CVU turn away 4-5 Spaulding.
Aube and fellow front-court big man Brandon O’Connell (6 points, 5 rebounds) kept the Crimson Tide’s twin towers Zach Rochford (8 points, 8 rebounds) and Marcus Thornton (9 points, 9 rebounds) under reasonable control.
The Redhawks, occasionally victimized this season by icy periods of Klondike shooting, showed offensive patience with the result a bingo of 50 percent (20-for-40) success in pops from the floor.
Also pitching in were Schneiderman (8 points, 4 assists), Chris Reiss (7 points, 4 rebounds) and Richard Baccei (6 points).
Down 9-3 early, CVU let loose with a 12-point run that carried into the second reel and led to a 26-16 advantage by intermission.
The Redhawks stayed on course after the break and opened as much as a 17-point 43-26 edge in the third period. However, Spaulding created an 11-0 bamboozler of its own before the ‘Hawks rapped for order to finish the game with a 10-2 burst. They were helped by sinking six of nine free throws down the stretch, with Reiss hitting four of four.
The Saturday morning prelim went to coach Seth Emerson’s Redhawk junior varsity team by a 76-36 blowout. The little ‘Hawks took a 9-1 record to North Country.