Nordic teams sweep second straight title
Highlights of a big Tuesday for Champlain Valley Union high athletic teams were the Nordic boys and girls skiers sweeping to a second straight state title and the South Burlington-CVU girls cooperative hockey team going into a second overtime period before bowing to Spaulding High in Barre.
The CVU boys’ basketball team bowed to powerful St. Johnsbury Academy in a playdown game while the Alpine ski team girls claimed third place in a district meet.
NORDIC TEAMS WRAP UP TITLE
The girls team took their honors by 23 points over runner-up Mount Anthony Union while the boys got pushed hard by the Patriots before clinching their crown with a close victory in the classical relay.
“There was a lot of competition and it pushed us to do well,” CVU relay anchor Thomas Clayton told WCAX-TV.
Clayton had finished fourth in the individual five-kilometer run with teammates Charlie Maitland fifth and Cooper Wilsey 13th.
The girls were led by second place Autumn Eastman, who anchored the winning relay team. Cally Braun was third, Tatum Braun 12th and Rachel Slimovitch 14th.
CVU’s Nordic ski teams went to Mountain Top (outside Rutland) Tuesday with solid leads for the second of the two State Championship meets.
The Redhawks swept to boys and girls Division 1 victories in the individual and relay events last Thursday at the Ricket Touring Center in Middlebury. Only Div. 2 Woodstock Union High kept the Redhawks from a double division triumph.
“We had a wonderful day,” said coach Sarah Strack via e-mail.
Autumn Eastman was the overall girls winner, posting a time of 15 minutes and 11.6 seconds to outpace Div. 1 runner-up Chloe Levins of Rutland High by 59 seconds.
Div. 2 winner Carmen Barigo of Woodstock was 26 seconds behind Eastman.
“My goal was to stay calm and do what I can do,” Eastman told WCAX-TV after the event.
With Redhawk teammates Cally Braun taking third place and Rachel Slimovitch 10th, the CVU girls took team honors with 33 points to 46 for runner-up Mount Mansfield Union in the 11-school competition.
Eastman anchored the relay team, which took the Div. 1 crown by some 18 seconds, with only Div. 2 Woodstock posting a better time. Cally and Tatum Braun along with Slimovitch made up the rest of the victorious quartet.
The CVU boys took a 12-point triumph in the individual event with 39 points to second place Mount Anthony Union’s 51 and third place Essex High’s 100.
The Redhawks were paced by third place Cooper Wilsey, captain Thomas Clayton in seventh and a determined Charlie Maitland in eighth despite a fall.
Clayton, Casey Silk, Wilsey and Maitland skied the relay team to an eight-second win over runner-up Mount Mansfield.
ALPINE TEAMS IN TWO-DAY EVENT
The CVU Alpine girls team was led by runner-up Emma Putre in the giant slalom at Sugarbush Resort Tuesday while Emma Owens had captured a fifth place in slalom at Stowe Monday.
Overall, the girls finished third to South Burlington High while the boys came in ninth behind winner Mount Mansfield Union.
Ted Hadley (sixth) and Trent Smith (eighth) in the Monday slalom were the top CVU guys.
GIRLS HOCKEY TEAM GOES OVERTIME
The Champlain Valley Union-South Burlington High cooperative girls’ hockey team, seeded sixth in the playoffs, took third-seeded Spaulding High into the second overtime period before falling 5-4 on a wrap-around goal.
Reb-Hawks goalie Courtney Peyko had 37 saves while her teammates launched 30 shots on the Spaulding net.
The Reb-Hawks closed the season with a 9-10-2 record.
BOYS BASKETBALL TEAM OUT OF PLAYOFFS
A strong fourth-seeded St. Johnsbury Academy hoop quintet unloaded a 70-32 licking on 13th-seeded CVU as 6-8 center Vlad Cobzaru notched 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Lucas Aube led the 7-14 Redhawks with 13 points. The Hilltoppers move on to the quarterfinals with a 17-4 record.
In the closing contest of the regular season, the Redhawks got nailed 55-34 at Bremner Gym Friday by a Mount Mansfield Union High team coming off a victory over defending Division 1 champion Rice Memorial High the previous night.
The visiting Cougars hiked their record to 16-4 while CVU awaited playoff pairings with a 7-13 mark.
Mount Mansfield, using a 2-3 zone to maintain order (read that keep lanky Lucas Aube under control inside) popped out to an early 9-2 edge and 15-6 by the end of the first period in which the Redhawks, denied inside operations, hit just one of 10 shots.
Fueled by Richard Baccei’s four points, Ryan Schneiderman’s two hoops and two rebounds and Matt Howell’s triple pointer, the Redhawks closed to within seven points twice in the second quarter, but MMU went on a 15-3 bash to open the second half to put the game away.
Guard Sean Springer had a game-high 18 points for the winners while Kyle Adams up front got 13. Alec Eschholz contributed nine points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Schneiderman and Baccei each got 8 points for CVU while Aube, hampered by foul trouble, fired in seven.
Coach Seth Emerson’s junior varsity finished its season 19-1 after a crackling 27-23 win over the MMU juniors.
—Mal Boright, Observer staff