Big road games ahead for hoops team (2/4/10)

Redhawk boys have three straight wins

Feb. 4, 2010

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

Call it even-up week for the Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team, which has games Friday and Tuesday against two teams that picked up W’s against the 10-4 Redhawks in recent outings. Part of the problem for CVU is that the defeats came on its home court.

On Friday, coach Scott Bliss and the crew will invade Essex High to try and slow down the 13-1 Hornets, who bopped the Hawks 65-49 on Jan. 9 at Bremner gym. The travels continue Tuesday with a hop over to Rice Memorial for a reengagement with the 5-9 Knights, who scored a 51-49 victory at CVU.

The Redhawks are coming off a strong win over Colchester High on Tuesday night. CVU went on a second half tear at Colchester to score a 61-28 victory over the 1-14 Lakers. It was the third straight victory for 11-4 CVU, which led by eight points at intermission.

Jake Donnelly was the main point popper for the Redhawks with 17.

In Friday’s home game, CVU’s last before going to Colchester High, the Redhawks were hard pressed to get past a tough 2-12 North Country Union High squad. The Hawks were forced into overtime before dispatching the Falcons, 67-63.

North Country looked less like a two-win outfit and more like the team that took a four-point lead late into the fourth quarter in a recent contest against mighty Essex.

While Donnelly had a solid 29-point night, the primary clinching work in the overtime period — a 10-6 CVU advantage — came from Robert Russ with three driving layups and Will Hurd — again — with three clutch rebounds and two important free throws.

(The foul line was the worst of times for the Redhawks, who made only 17 of 38 tries; the Falcons were a more respectable 20 of 28.)

Russ, who had 12 points for the night, led CVU board barons with eight rebounds.

The outlook for the Hawks was not good in the fourth period, as they trailed the visitors 51-44 with about five minutes left in regulation.

But a seven-point run sparked by a Chris Nigh threebie (fed by Donnelly) followed by a Donnelly layup and free throw got CVU even with 4:02 to go.

A Mike Clayton layup on a pass from Chris Beaton, and a Beaton charity stripe shot put the Redhawks up 56-53 with 1:02 left.

But the Falcons came back on a pair of free throws by tricky guard David Royer (21 points) to pull to within 56-55. Hurd made it 57-55 with one of two foul shots at the 38 second mark, but NCU’s solid inside citizen Nate Kennison (24 points, 12 rebounds) connected on a well-defended step back jumper in the lane with 25 second to go to force the tie.

Beaton (four assists, four steals), who later fouled out, got CVU up early in the overtime with a pair of free throws. The Falcons came back to go in front 61-59 before Russ knocked down three straight baseline layups and Hurd hit the boards to finally give command to the Hawks.


NCU                        17            15            14            11            6     –   63

CVU                        14            12            13            18            10   –   67


North Country Union (2-12)

T. Prue 0-2 0-0 0, Kennison 8-14 7-8 24, Matos 1-9 2-3 4, Medley 3-6 0-0 8, Royer 5-11 11-17 21, W. Prue 0-0 0-0 0, Marsh 1-7 0-0 2, Letourneau 1-2 0-0 2, Demeritt 1-1 0-0 2, LeClair 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-52 20-28 63.


CVU (10-4)

Donnelly 10-18 9-15 29, Nigh 2-3 0-0 6, Hurd 2-6 3-6 7, Russ 6-14 0-2 12, Beaton 1-1 3-5 5, Clayton 2-4 2-4 6, Hart 1-2 0-0 2, Leckerling 0-2 0-0 0, Karnes 0-0 0-4 0, Boland 0-0 0-0 0, Rensch 0-0 0-0 0, Gale 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 24-50 17-38 67.