Playoff positioning at stake for CVU (2/4/10)

Regular season winds down for girls hoops team

Feb. 4, 2010

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

With only three games left on the regular season schedule, the 13-4 Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team would love to win out and gain a high seed in the upcoming Division 1 playoffs.


    Courtesy photo
CVU girls basketball coach Stan Williams (left) receives a plaque from athletic director Kevin Riell on Jan 28 in honor of his 100th coaching win at CVU. The century mark was reached Dec. 28 with a 47-44 victory in Barre over Spaulding High.

First up is Thursday’s home game against St. Johnsbury Academy, a team that nipped the Redhawks 42-39 up in the Northeast Kingdom in early January.

Then it will be off to Essex High on Monday and to St. Albans’ Bellows Free Academy next Thursday for rematches with two teams the Hawks handled at home but could present challenges on the foreign floors.

First order is to put aside Monday’s 51-42 defeat at Burlington High in which the 15-2 Seahorses rumbled back from a halftime deficit to even up the season series at a game each. CVU toppled BHS 47-34 last month at Bremner Gymnasium.

Burlington’s key to victory was control of the boards and hard-nosed defensive pressure that forced at least 12 second-half CVU turnovers and kept the Redhawks’ often dominating frontcourt threesome (total 19 points) of Kendal Kohlasch, Shae Hulbert and Allison Gannon from taking control.

The Seahorses held a 41-24 advantage on the boards.

But CVU still had a solid first half with guard Amanda Kinneston (16 points) breaking loose in the transition game for four second-quarter hoops. The Redhawks rolled up a 25-17 advantage before BHS, held to two-for-10 in the quarter by a CVU zone defense, knocked down four free throws in the last 32 seconds of the half to get within four points by the break.

Hulbert’s hoop and free throw to open the third period put the Hawks back up by seven. But then Burlington’s junior guard Brittany Robertson came off the pine and lit up the place with an outside deuce and a trey to ignite a 10-1 run that put the Seahorses back in the contest.

Robertson, who hit all five of her shots for 12 points, and guard Tonya Conley, who had 13 of her 21 points and five steals in the second half, kept the BHS offense on fire.

The Redhawks, hampered by turnovers, stayed with the Seahorses, trailing just 44-41 until Burlington went into a stall with 3:30 left and then hit its free throws down the stretch to extend the lead.

Gannon led the CVU rebounders with 10.

Last Thursday, the senior center fired in 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to pace the Redhawks to a smartly played 40-35 victory over a solid Spaulding High squad. Hulbert also was a force on the boards with 11 grabs while guard Carlee Evans had one of those do-it-all nights with six points, five steals, at least three assists and four rebounds.

Late in the game, the defense was mighty and did prevail. The Redhawks, trailing the Tide 34-31 at the start of the fourth quarter, limited Spaulding to a single free throw and a zero-for-10 from the floor for a 9-1 eight-minute winning rally.


CVU 11 14 9 8      –   42

BHS 12 9 15 15   –   51


CVU (13-4)

Kohlasch 1-4 1-2 4, Hulbert 2-4 3-5 7, Gannon 3-12 2-4 8, Evans 0-4 1-2 1, Kinneston 7-11 1-3 16, Donnelly 0-1 1-2 1, Bayer-Pacht 0-2 2-2 2, Hawley 1-3 0-0 3, Riordan 0-1 0-0 0, Schenk 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-42 11-20 42.


Burlington (15-2)

Jaques 0-2 0-0 0, Hartley 1-3 2-2 4, Senftleber 3-15 5-8 11, Mahoney 0-0 0-0 0, Conley 7-17 7-13 21, Hines 0-0 0-0 0, Guyette 1-4 1-2 3, Robertson 5-5 0-0 12. Totals 17-46 15-25 51.