‘Hawks top MVU
Dec. 15, 2011
By Mal Boright
With the season’s victorious opening night behind it, the Champlain Valley Union boys basketball team will journey to Vergennes Friday (7:15 p.m.) to test the 2-0 Commodores, who have several players back from the team that popped the Hawks at CVU early last season.
While CVU held on late to bump off invading Missisquoi Valley Union 54-51 Tuesday night, Vergennes laid a 67-62 bopping on South Burlington.
“We will have to play better Friday night,” Bliss said following some late game anxiety in Tuesday’s narrow triumph.
Despite a slew of pluses — a 21-point sniping by point guard Tucker Kohlasch, a muscular 14-point, eight-rebound inside job by Ryan Beaudry, steady floor play and 11 boards by Brad Bissonette and an overwhelming 42-26 edge in rebounding — the Redhawks were hard pressed (pun intended) to hang on through the chaotic closing minutes.
Primary antagonist in the hairy final reel was veteran Missisquoi star Matt St. Amour, who single-handedly brought the Thunderbirds from a 12-point deficit early in the quarter to within 52-51 with 39 seconds left. In that stretch St. Amour scored 12 points, hauled down seven rebounds and handed off two assists. A three-point try for a tie with three seconds left clanged off the rim and into the hands of Kohlasch.
CVU defenders Anders Gilstedt, Ryan Brogna and others had limited St. Amour to a single hoop, two assists and four rebounds through three periods.
With Kohlasch nailing four consecutive treys in the opening quarter and Brad Bissonette pacing solid team rebounding, the Redhawks jumped to an 18-12 lead by the end of the first quarter. They might have put the game away before halftime if seven second-period turnovers didn’t derailed the offense. Meanwhile, the defense limited the Thunderbirds to 2-for-11 shooting.
With Kohlasch, Brad Bissonette and Scott Bissonette nailing third-quarter 3s, CVU steadied the offense and piled up a 41-30 lead by the start of the final quarter. The advantage went to 45-32 before St. Amour took charge.
A steady hand for youthful Missisquoi (four starters gone from last season’s victory in Hinesburg) was Craig Laroche with 18 points on 7 of 10 shooting — including a quartet of treys.
Vexing to Bliss was the Redhawks’ difficulty at the charity stripe, where they went 9-for-24 and blanked on their first eight tries before Kohlasch swished one early in the fourth period. CVU was also a chilly 19-for-53 from the floor.
But then again, it was opening night.
CVU 54, Missisquoi 51
Missisquoi Valley Union (51)
St, Amour, 5 12-16 22; Kosac, 0 0-0 0; Laroche, 7 0-4 17; Larose, 2 0-0 4; Dabrowski, 1 0-0 3; Cooper, 2 0-0 4; Lumsden, 0 0-3 0; Lashure, 0 0-0 0.
Totals: 17 12-23 51
B. Bissonette, 2 1-4 6; Aube, 1 0-0 2; Beaudry, 5 4-7 14; Gilstedt, 1 0-0 2; Kohlasch, 6 4-9 21; Chavaliler, 1 0-0 2; Whitbeck, 0 0-0 0, S. Bissonette, 2 0-4 5; Brogna, 1 0-0 2.
Totals: 19 9-24 54
MVU 12 11 7 21 – 51
CVU 18 8 15 13 – 54