By Luke Baynes
The Champlain Valley Union High School boys’ varsity basketball team finished the 2011-12 season with a 12-10 record—a highly respectable mark for a team that at one juncture dropped seven consecutive contests during the 2010-11 campaign.
But as far as senior shooting guard Brad Bissonette is concerned, anything less than a state championship will be a disappointment this season.
“Patrick Gym is our goal this year, and I think we can do it. I think it’s realistic,” he said. “Unlike other years, the vibe is that it’s our year.”
Hinesburg resident Brad Bissonette is joined on the Redhawks starting five by his twin brother, Scott. A small forward, Scott Bissonette said having his sibling in the backcourt offers distinct competitive advantages.
“It’s definitely unique compared to everyone else,” Scott Bissonette said. “We just have a knack of where each other are on the court all the time. It helps when we’re in pressure situations.”
When asked what NBA players they most admire or try to emulate, both of the Bissonette brothers named versatile swingmen who possess the complete offensive package of slashing drives, mid-range finesse and long distance sharpshooting.
“The player’s game I like to mimic is probably (Boston Celtics forward) Paul Pierce,” Scott Bissonette said. “I like his jumper and his mid-range step-back.”
Said Brad Bissonette: “I like the way (Oklahoma City Thunder forward) Kevin Durant plays. He’s more of a shooter, a cold-blooded type of player, but when he wants to he can put his back to the basket or hit a floater in traffic. That’s what I try to mimic. A nice floater in traffic or a pull-up jump shot.”
The Redhawks dropped their Dec. 7 season opener to the Vergennes Commodores, 61-55. They also fell Tuesday to the Missisquoi Thunderbirds, 79-48, although they were without the services of Brad Bissonette in both games, who is on the shelf with a case of mononucleosis. He has been cleared to return for the Redhawks’ Dec. 18 tipoff on the hardwood of the Burlington Seahorses.
In the meantime, the CVU cagers will look to leverage home court advantage to even the season series against Vergennes on Friday at 7 p.m.
Scott Bissonette said the key to Friday’s grudge match will be limiting the Commodores’ trips to the charity stripe.
“We had too many fouls,” the 6-foot-3 forward said of the first matchup. “We gave them a lot of free throws. If we limit the fouls, then I think we can win.”