MMU visit, home game with Spaulding next for hoop lads

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

January 16th, 2014

After a week away from the court, the Champlain Valley Union High boys’ basketball team will take its 3-5 season mark to Jericho Center and the 6-2 Mount Mansfield Union High Cougars Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. twilight time encounter.

It is a rescheduled contest from an earlier postponement.

Mount Mansfield is off to a decent start, losing only to Division 1 runner-up Rice Memorial (by a single point) and defending champion St. Johnsbury Academy.

Coach Michael Osborne’s Redhawks return to friendly Bremner Gymnasium Saturday for an 11:30 a.m. start with Spaulding High of Barre.

There was some good news last Thursday for Osborne as CVU fell 66-58 at home to 5-3 Colchester High in that the Redhawk shooters were able to start finding cord snapping success, hitting 15 of 27 shots in the second half and 22 of 46, a 47 per cent clip for the game. It was a vast improvement over recent outings.

However, the game’s big bopper was Colchester guard Rickey Giroux, one of three Laker speedsters, who canned a game-high 30 points. Giroux went 10-for-21 from the floor, scoring on driving layups and a pair of treys, along with eight hits in 11 tosses at the charity stripe.

Giroux was six-for-eight from the line in the closing quarter to put the kibosh to CVU’s comeback try.

Top point producer for the Redhawks was inside guy Lucas Aube with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Brandon O’Connell, Aube’s inside co-worker, scored 11 points and hauled down five rebounds, while guard Zach Evans scored 10 points and handed out at least three assists.

Colchester, using its defensive speed to force CVU turnovers, opened up a 10-point lead early in the second period, but CVU came back to trail 26-20 at the half. The Redhawks then got to within two points of the Lakers twice in the third quarter before costly turnovers helped Colchester dash off a 14-point burst to carry a 49-33 advantage into the final period.

The Red and White got stubborn and rallied for an 11-2 bash of their own, helped by 6-7 Laker center Marquel Webster (6 points, 5 rebounds) picking up his fourth foul and heading to the bench with five minutes and nine seconds to play.

CVU got within six points, 51-45 when Evans nailed a fast break layup and free throw when Webster drew his disqualifying fifth foul with 3:52 left.

But the Redhawks could get no closer as the Lakers hit their foul shots down the stretch.

CVU’s Richard Baccei nailed a shot from midcourt at the final buzzer to put an emphasis on the Redhawks’ return from the recent big chill in the shot production.

Coach Seth Emerson’s JVs hiked their season record to 7-1 with a 69-25 triumph in the preliminary.