Dec. 4, 2008
By Mal Boright
“We can go small and fast, or we can go big,” said Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball coach Stan Williams after watching his 2008-2009 edition perform Saturday morning in a scrimmage against Colchester High.
Observer photo by Karen Pike
Champlain Valley Union High guard Carlee Evan passes the ball during Saturday’s scrimmage.
Observer photo by Karen Pike
Champlain Valley Union High forward Allison Gannon battles for the ball during Saturday’s scrimmage.
Williams has a youthful, somewhat inexperienced team of three seniors, four juniors and four sophomores preparing for the new campaign, which gets underway Monday night when Middlebury Union High pays a visit to the Redhawks’ nest.
In the meantime, the team had a final scrimmage tune-up scheduled for this past Tuesday night at Rutland High, considered a potential Division 1 power this season.
Williams’ challenge is replacing four starters from last season’s team, which made an epic run to the Division 1 championship game at the University of Vermont’s Roy L. Patrick Gymnasium.
Gone by graduation are forwards Alison Wettstein and Katie Edgerton, along with guards Katie Lavalette and Kristen Blodgett. All had started or seen significant playing time for at least three years.
Back from the varsity are two-year starter Allison Gannon and inside operators Renick Lalancette, Kendal Kohlasch, Becca Russ and Maddy Waxler, all of whom came off the bench.
They are joined by a group of energetic, hard-nosed guards up from last season’s solid jayvee team. They include sophomores Kendall Berry, Carlee Evans and Amanda Kinneston, along with senior Katie Bashaw, who had to sit out last season after putting in two solid years at the jayvee level.
Also up from the jayvees are forwards Abbie Giles and Caitlin Rock.
“We used the first scrimmages just to work with various combinations,” Williams said.
He likes the flexibility he has seen so far, noting that one group of speedsters can press a foe into distraction, while another group of tall players can set up in a zone and force an opponent to heave up shots from downtown Hinesburg.
It is also going to be a work in progress as the new varsity group “gets used to the pace and athleticism at this level,” the coach said.
Gannon is the veteran presence and, while a solid presence in the post and around the boards, is also capable of running the team from the point guard slot.
It can be duly noted from the early scrimmages that any team coming to Bremner Gymnasium expecting an easy and appetizing omelet of a win from this young Redhawks team could very well leave with its eggs scrambled by the athletic and motivated squad.
Two more home games follow the Monday opener, with Vergennes High coming on Thursday, Dec. 11 and South Burlington High visiting on Monday, Dec. 15.