Win streak at five for boys hoops (2/11/10)

Feb. 11, 2010

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

The Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team, now 13-4, went two-for-two in four nights against foes that had shot down the Redhawks earlier this season at Bremner Gymnasium. And these latest games were on foreign floors.

Tuesday night, CVU motored to Rice Memorial High and out-defended the defensive-minded 6-11 Green Knights 37-27 in a gritty struggle.

The Redhawks return home Friday to meet Colchester High at 6:30 p.m.

“They are tough on defense,” CVU point guard Chris Beaton said of Rice.

Unlike their ready-to-fire-at-first-chance approach in the earlier game, a 51-49 loss, the Redhawks were patient with the ball and kicked it up a couple of notches on defense, holding Rice to 9-of-38 (24 percent) from the floor. The Knights got a mere nine points in the first half (3-for-18) as CVU snapped a 2-2 tie on a Jake Donnelly (10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists) trey with 4:30 left in the opening round, and held the lead the rest of the game.

The Redhawks’ advantage stayed between nine and five points the rest of the way, enough to keep the situation tense with coaches Scott Bliss of CVU and Paul Pecor of Rice offering heartfelt advice to the officials from time to time as the floor play was physical but clean.

Robert Russ paced the winners with 16 points. Will Hurd grabbed eight rebounds, while Chris Nigh had six boards in a solid role.

 

CVU stuns Essex

If the Redhawks had reasonable trepidations going into Friday’s rematch with Essex High, it did not show, even though the once-beaten Blue and Gold had whupped up on the Blissmen 65-49 at Bremner Gymnasium in early January and were on a 13-game victory streak.

But as Bruce Springsteen has been known to sing, it was time to “rise up;” CVU’s chief riser turned out to be Hurd, who turned in his game of the season by climbing the boards for 17 rebounds and knocking down 21 points for a super-sized double-double.

Hurd began seriously stinging the Hornets late in the second period when he unloaded a trey (assist from Donnelly) and followed with a rebound before the halftime buzzer to bring the Hawks from five points down into a 22-22 deadlock.

In the third quarter, Hurd took control of the glass, hauling in eight rebounds and scoring five points in leading CVU to a 36-30 lead going into the final stanza.

Maintaining patience at the offensive end, the Redhawks got three driving layups from Russ (13 points), big rebounds and seven points from Hurd and a pair of free throws and rebounds from Donnelly to open a 51-41 lead with 3:02 left in the game.

But Essex was not finished. Led by hard-driving Demir Smajovic (game high 27 points), Ben Ferris (17 points) and a pair of inopportune CVU turnovers, the Hornets got to within 53-51 and had the ball with 1:27 left.

The Redhawks’ snappy guard Beaton (4 points, 4 steals, 2 assists) made a crucial theft of an Essex penetration pass and Nigh hit one of two free throws at the other end.

At 1:03, Beaton nailed two charity tosses for a five-point lead. Donnelly (15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) and Russ closed it out with single free flips.

Making CVU nerves tingle in the closing minutes was a charity line late period drought of two-for-12, which followed seven-for-nine happy minutes early in the final reel as Essex had to foul in efforts to slow down the surging Hawks.

 

CVU                        13            4            10            10   –   37

Rice                           3            6            12            6     –   27

 

CVU (13-4)

Donnelly 3-11 3-4 10, Nigh 0-1 0-0 0, Hurd 1-2 0-0 3, Russ 8-14 0-0 16, Beaton 3-7 2-3 8, Clayton 0-1 0-0 0, Karnes 0-0 0-2 0, Rensch 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-36 5-9 37.

Rice (6-11)

Hayes 1-4 0-0 3, Reiss 0-4 2-2 2, Maynard 1-3 2-2 5, Willingham 6-11 1-4 13, McCormick 0-8 2-2 2, Tipson 0-6 0-0 0, Ratta 0-1 0-0 0, Rensch 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 9-38 7-10 27.

 

 

CVU              10            12          14          22   –   58

Essex            13            9            8            24   –   54

 

CVU (12-4)

Donnelly 4-10 6-10 15, Nigh 0-0 3-4 3, Hurd 6-10 7-13 21, Russ 6-9 1-2 13, Beaton 1-2 2-5 4, Hart 0-0 0-0 0, Clayton 0-2 0-0 0, Karnes 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 18-34 19-34 58.

Essex High (14-2)

Smajovic 10-15 6-8 27, Valley 2-6 0-1 4, Begin 0-3 0-0 0, Stewart 1-7 0-0 2, Ferris 4-11 9-14 17, Bogue 1-5 0-0 2, Salerno 1-1 0-0 2, Zane 0-0 0-0 0, Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-48 15-23 54.