By Mal Boright
Saturday, the day after England and Canada’s traditional Boxing Day, will be box-out day for the rebound-challenged 0-4 Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team.
At 12:30, the Redhawks will tangle with a tough Burlington High squad at Bremner Gymnasium. The Seahorses’ lone loss coming into this week was a narrow decision to the undefeated defending Division 1 champions Rice Memorial High.
Following this game, CVU will return to action Tuesday at South Burlington High and then return home for games Saturday (Jan. 3) against Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans (12:30 p.m.) and Tuesday (Jan. 6) when Missisquoi Valley Union visits the Hinesburg House of Hoops.
The glass on the wall was a problem for CVU in its Thursday night 57-40 loss to visiting 4-0 Mount Mansfield Union in the Redhawks’ season home-opener. MMU was a Division 1 finalist last year.
The Cougars muscled and leaped their way to a 35-16 advantage in rebounds, a definite ownership of the boards. On the offensive side, five of Mount Mansfield’s 23 baskets came after rebounds.
The Redhawks, down by 17 points late in the third quarter, kept hanging around and closed to within 10 points of the Cougars early in the final reel before Mount Mansfield put on a late splurge to finish it off.
The man with the answers for the winners was veteran senior Alec Eschholz, who last weekend was winning the 55-yard hurdles at an indoor track meet. Thursday night he was dashing and leaping around court for 32 points and 11 rebounds in one of the top individual efforts of the young season.
His slashing drives and apparently effortless sky work resulted in 14 hoops in 21 shots from the floor and the Cougars team total was a solid 50 percent 23-for-46.
Chris Reiss, Nick Lynn and Jed Morris each tallied eight points for CVU, while sophomore Reece Pawlaczyk came off the bench to hit all three of his shots for six counters. Another sophomore, guard Walker Storey, nailed a pair of treys.
Coach Seth Emerson’s CVU jayvees hiked their season mark to 4-0 with a 55-44 victory in the preliminary contest.
By Mal Boright