By Mal Boright
Having won two of their last three outings, the 3-4 Champlain Valley Union high boys basketball team should be in an upbeat frame of mind Thursday night when the 4-2 Colchester High Lakers set sneakers onto the Bremner Gymnasium floor.
After a chilly 51-42 home loss to South Burlington High Saturday afternoon, the Redhawks traveled to St. Albans Monday night and darkened the evening for the Bellows Free Academy Bobwhites, 42-35.
It was their second win of the season over BFA, thanks to a second-half rally and late free throws.
Scoring leaders for the winners were inside operator Lucas Aube with 10 points and slash and dash forward Chris Reiss with eight.
Saturday, things went just boffo for CVU in the first quarter when it stunned the visiting Rebels by cruising to a 21-10 advantage, thanks to nine hoops in 18 shots that included cord-blazing three-pointers from Zach Evans (two of ‘em) and Reiss.
Yowza! All that heat inside the gym while the temps outside were climbing into the 40s.
Unfortunately for the ‘Hawks, the polar vortex then settled over the CVU basket, apparently leaving an ice cap.
For the next three periods, the Redhawks were able to connect on just nine of 47 shot attempts, an oh-my-gosh 19 percent. It became a winter hour of discontent.
South Burlington was not a whole lot better, but its 12-for 32 over the final three quarters allowed it to pull slowly back into contention and finally take the lead 35-34 on Zach Piper’s (18 points) jumper with 6 minutes and 48 seconds left in the game.
Aube (10 points, 16 rebounds) answered with the layup, but the Rebels came right back with a 14-2 run on the Hawks, in the depths of a Klondike shooting caper. Eight points in that run came from the foul line where South Burlington hit 18 of 32 from the game while CVU was limited to but two-for-five.
In the first quarter, the Redhawks, led by the lengthy duo Aube and Brandon O’Connell (10 rebounds), held an overwhelming 12-3 edge on the boards. The Rebels got some board action back their way by bringing all hands under the glass and contesting any roundball inside the free throw line.
That and CVU’s shooting woes allowed the Rebels to eventually take command. Forward Isaac Gittelsohn was a Rebel zinger with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Reiss joined Aube in double figures with 10 points. Evans finished with eight.
Starter Ryan Schneiderman and O’Connell had limited playing time due to foul trouble.
The Little Hawks won an interesting junior varsity contest, 55-43.