Missisquoi Union High up next

Dec. 11, 2008

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

After dividing its opening two games of the season, the Champlain Valley Union High boys basketball team had a few days of practice before venturing out this Friday night to Swanton — the Redhawks had a fixture with 0-2 (going into the week) Missisquoi Valley Union High.


    Observer photo by Karen Pike
Champlain Valley Union High’s Jake Donnelly goes up for a basket during Saturday’s game against Mount Anthony Union High.


    Observer photo by Karen Pike
The Champlain Valley Union High basketball team reacts from the bench during the final minute of Saturday’s game against Mount Anthony Union.

The Thunderbirds also played twice last week, losing 79-45 at South Burlington High and 76-71 in overtime at North Country Union.

Following the northern trip, the Redhawks return home Tuesday night to entertain South Burlington.

This past Saturday afternoon, coach Scott Bliss’ charges gave the Mount Anthony Union High Patriots some final minute chills before bowing 71-67, as a late bombardment of treys were not quite enough to overtake the visitors.

Bedeviled by second half shooting woes and turnovers, the Redhawks trailed 62-51 with 2:11 left in the game and by 65-56 with 1:03 to go.

Senior Ryan Poirier uncorked a three-pointer with 53.6 seconds left, but the Patriots’ little reserve guard Dennis Brooks hit two free flips at 0:51.5 to restore the lead to 67-59.

CVU senior Jack Jesset (16 points) snapped home a layup with 41 seconds remaining, but Brooks, two seconds later, hit one of two free throws. Mount Anthony guard Kyle Callahan added one of two and it was 69-61 with just over 20 seconds to go.

Redhawk senior John Donnelly opened the bomb bay doors from downtown and buried a three with 19 seconds remaining to close the gap to 69-64 and bring the sizeable crowd to its feet.

The roars became deafening as Mount Anthony turned the ball over against the CVU press and Poirier delivered another three from on the move outside the circle to get the Redhawks within two points, 69-67, with 10.4 seconds left.

Holy cord snappers, Robin.

But in this case, the Red Birds ran out of time. Turnovers on both ends were followed by Callahan’s two foul shots at 2.1 seconds, which iced it for the Patriots.

It was the first game of the campaign for Mount Anthony, which, according to the team’s coaches, returned four starters from last year.

Using isolation and one-on-one drive-for-the-hoop tactics, the Patriots hit 27 of 48 shots for a tidy 56 percent from the floor. Most of their shooting came from within five feet of the wicket on drives into the paint or backdoor cuts.

CVU had success running a similar offense in the first half as a hard-driving Jesset and John Donnelly combined for 28 of the Redhawks’ points in a 32-32 halftime standoff.

But CVU’s shooting went arctic in the final four minutes of the third period as the steady Patriots put together a 14-5 burst to take a 52-47 edge into the final reel.

A 9-2 run by the visitors in the first minutes of the fourth quarter — CVU went 1-for-9 from the floor over the same time period — put Mount Anthony up by 11.

John Donnelly, who had 24 points in Thursday’s 75-52 victory against Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans, finished with 27 on Saturday and added eight rebounds. Jake Donnelly chipped in with 10 counters, all in the second half.

In the BFA victory, Jake Donnelly threw in 20 points and Poirier hit for 19, including five tosses from international waters.

Bliss said that after a somewhat tight first half, the Redhawks got out to as much as a 30-point advantage before the Bobwhites closed to within 9 against the CVU bench.

The 1-1 junior varsity, after a win in St. Albans, trailed Mount Anthony by as much as 10 points in the second quarter, but came back to take the lead in the second half only to get nudged 59-53.


Burke 5 0-2 10, Whyte 2 2-3 6, Parmenter 6 3-6 15, Nichols 8 3-3 19, Callahan 4 5-11 13, McVay 1 0-0 2, Rogers 0 1-2 1, Darwell 0 0-0 0, Brooks 1 3-4 5. Totals 27 17-31 71.

CVU (67)

Jesset 8 0-0 16, Ja. Donnelly 2 5-5 10, Jo. Donnelly 10 4-6 27, Poirier 3 0-0 8, Beaton 2 0-0 4, Bunbury 1 0-0 2, Nigh 0 0-0 0, Hurd 0 0-0 0, Russ 0 0-0 0, Rensch 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 9-11 67.

MAU    18    14    20    19 — 71

CVU    19    13    15    20 — 67