Jan. 22, 2009
By Mal Boright
Once the classroom exams are over this week, the youthful Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team will face some strong challenges in the bounce-bounce realm, starting with a 2:30 p.m. Saturday clash with 9-2 Burlington High at Bremner Gymnasium.
Observer photo by Pogo Senior
Speedy Champlain Valley Union High senior Renick Lalancette blows past Spaulding High’s Casey Koch during Friday’s matchup, which Spaulding won by a score of 46-43.
Observer photo by Pogo Senior
Kendall Berry, a Champlain Valley Union High sophomore, outruns Spaulding High’s Marissa Velez.
After that, it’s a Tuesday trip to Essex High, followed by a road game at Rice Memorial and a home contest with once-beaten Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans.
The 6-5 Redhawks lost their last two games prior to the week-long break, but did not go easily into the chilly nights on either occasion — three-point losses to a decent St. Johnsbury Academy five in the Northeast Kingdom a week ago Tuesday, and Friday night at home to 9-1 Spaulding High of Barre.
Coach Stan Williams could find positives in both games. CVU led St. Johnsbury in the final two minutes before the Hilltoppers went in front with a little more than 1:30 to go and then iced it with a pair of late free throws.
In the Spaulding contest, the Redhawks never led and trailed by as much as 12 points in the second quarter and again early in the fourth period when the Crimson Tide appeared on the verge of salting away a reasonably easy road win.
But while looking up from a 40-28 deficit, CVU got buckets from Renick Lalancette and Kendall Berry, along with free throws from Allison Gannon and Carlee Evans, to cut Spaulding’s edge to four points with 2:24 left in the game.
In the meantime, the CVU defense, which had given up five three-point bombs in the first half, two each by the Tide’s slick senior Marissa Valez and junior guard Kristy Thygesen, dug in and forced seven turnovers in the final reel to disrupt the Tide’s tidy plans.
For the final two minutes, Spaulding’s offensive output came just from the foul line.
The Redhawks turned up the heat when Lalancette, on a pass from Kate Bashaw, drained a trey to pull CVU to within 44-43 with 18 seconds to go.
It was “yikes!” time for the Tide.
CVU, however, did not a get another solid look at the hoop, as Spaulding nailed a pair of free flips at 14.7 seconds and a late try at a three-pointer was partially blocked.
Once the early rain of threes was over, the two teams played fairly even the rest of the way, with the Redhawks gaining the edge in the closing quarter.
Valez led the Tide with 12 points, but went 1-for 11 from the floor after knocking down two straight treys in the first quarter. Guard Casey Koch had 11 for the visitors.
Gannon paced CVU with 17 points and six rebounds, two steals, a blocked shot and an assist. Lalancette fired in 10 points. Amanda Kinneston rustled up three steals, three rebounds and a pair of assists.
The CVU jayvee team saw a nine-game winning streak come to end, bowing to Spaulding’s once-beaten apprentices, 50-37. The little Hawks, down by 11 early in the fourth quarter, cut the lead to five before Spaulding regained control.
Valez 3 4-6 12, Harvin 1 0-2 2, Barclay 3 3-5 9, Koch 5 1-6 11, Thyggesen 2 2-4 8, Lafrance 0 1-2 1, Badeau 1 0-0 3, Shea 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 11-25 46.
Kohlasch 1 2-2 4, Lalancette 4 1-1 10, Gannon 6 5-7 17, Berry 2 0-0 4, Kinneston 0 0-0 0, Bashaw 1 1-2 4, Evans 1 2-2 4, Russ 0 0-0 0, Hulbert 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 11-14 43.
Spaulding 15 11 12 8 – 46
CVU 11 5 12 15 – 43