Thunderbirds next for CVU
Dec. 22, 2010By Mal Boright Observer correspondent
Holiday season exams continue Thursday night for the Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team when it travels to Swanton for a 7:30 p.m. contest with a tough Missisquoi Valley Union High squad.
The Thunderbirds are 3-0 after Monday night’s home 53-47 victory over Mount Mansfield Union. The Redhawks opened their season with a 44-43 triumph over the Cougars in Jericho Center when senior guard Ryan Boland canned a pair of free throws with just 2.9 seconds remaining in regulation.
But in their home opener Tuesday, the Redhawks got their feathers twisted by a quick, scrappy and extremely motivated Vergennes Union High outfit. The Commodores took advantage of CVU turnovers and missed pressured layups to register a 51-48 win.
It was the third straight victory for the Commodores, while the Hawks fell to 1-1.
Down by six points with less than five minutes to go, CVU rallied behind Jake Donnelly’s three-point bomb from the corner and two charity flips at 3:22 (his first time at the line despite a series of hard moves to the basket all game long) to pull to within 49-48.
The Redhawks were unable to convert layup opportunities after that and Vergennes’ Zach Ouellette’s (10 points) jumper from the side of the key with two minutes left was the final tally.
CVU misfired a few more times including a long three-point try for a tie that rimmed out with seven seconds remaining.
The Redhawks’ prospects looked good early in the second period when they completed an 11-point run for a 17-9 advantage. But the ever-present Vergennes three-quarter court pressure defense then discombobulated the CVU offense, leading to a series of five turnovers from which the Commodores scored.
By halftime, the visitors, who resembled pesky little worker bees, had forged a 26-26 deadlock.
Vergennes jumped out to a five-point lead early in the third quarter on Collin Curler’s (6 of 8 from the floor, 18 points) hoop and Cody Quattrocci’s corner trey, which followed another CVU turnover.
The Commodores kept the lead between three and seven points until the late CVU rally.
Chilling that rally was the Redhawks’ icebox-like 2-for-14 shooting from the floor down the final eight minutes.
The two senior vets Donnelly (20 points) and Robert Russ (14) led the CVU point producers. Sophomore Brad Bissonnette had a solid initial varsity home game with eight points (two treys), nine rebounds and three assists.
Two CVU starters, Boland and big Eoin Karnes, got in early foul trouble.
Donnelly netted 15 points in the win over the Cougars last week. CVU led 38-22 before Mount Mansfield rallied to grab a late one-point lead before Boland’s clutch charity shots brought victory.
Burmania 0 0-0 0, Bushee 3 0-0 6, Quattrocci 4 0-1 9, Curler 6 5-6 18, Carter 2 0-0 5, Stapleford 0 0-0 0, Ouellette 5 0-1 10, Hayes 1 0-0 3, Salley 0 0-0 0, Paquin 0 0-2 0. Totals 21 5-10 51.
Donnelly 8 2-2 20, Bissonnette 3 0-0 8, Karnes 0 2-2 2, Boland 1 0-0 2, Russ 7 0-0 14, Spencer 0 0-0 0, Gale 0 0-0 0, Keen 0 0-0 0, Lambert 0 0-0 0, Kohlasch 1 0-0 2, Pierson 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 4-4 48.
VUHS 9 17 19 6 – 51
CVU 13 13 13 9 – 48
Junior varsity: CVU 62, VUHS 11