Feb. 12, 2009
By Mal Boright
The young Champlain Valley Union High girls basketball team has three games left to mount a late charge for the best possible seeding in the upcoming Division 1 playoffs.
Observer photo by Pogo Senior
Carlee Evans (1), a Champlain Valley Union High junior, circles past St. Johnsbury Academy guard Brittany Regis on Tuesday night.
Having won their last two outings to boost their season mark to 9-8, coach Stan Williams and his Redhawks will host Essex High at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. They’ll then take to the road next week for a 7:30 p.m. Tuesday session at highly regarded Burlington High and for the regular season finale at equally strong Spaulding High in Barre on Thursday.
But the Redhawks have been showing some toughness of their own.
In nipping now 9-8 St. Johnsbury Academy 46-42 at home Tuesday night, CVU overcame a chilly second half shooting performance (7-for-33) to halt a late Hilltopper rally and even the season series with the Green and White at one game each. St. Johnsbury had squeezed past the Redhawks 40-37 in the Northeast Kingdom last month.
After a scintillating first half in which they shot 50 percent (11-of-22) from the floor to grab a 28-20 halftime advantage, the Hawks simply went cold on offense, hitting just three of 14 third period shots.
St. Johnsbury, unable to gain offensive continuity against Williams’ trapping 2-1-2 zone, had its own problems until late in the third quarter, when go-go guard Hannah Rowe (19 points, 6 rebounds) popped in seven counters to get the Hilltoppers to within 35-32 by the beginning of the final reel.
A difficult customer for CVU to deal with was St. Jay’s hard- working forward Adama Kay. The sophomore was all over the offensive boards, hauling down 13 rebounds and scoring 10 points.
With its shooting woes continuing, CVU fell behind 38-37 and 40-39 before guard Carlee Evans secured an offensive rebound and got the ball to Allison Gannon for a short jumper to put the Redhawks back in the lead with 3:08 to go.
Guard Kendall Berry laid in a rebound with less than two minutes left to put the Hawks up by three, but St. Johnsbury got to within 43-42 on a pair of charity tosses by reserve Britney Lane.
Evans then coolly swished two free throws with 24 seconds left and Berry popped the ultimate clincher, a charity toss at the six second mark.
Gannon had a blue collar night with 17 points, 12 rebounds and four steals. Forward Renick Lalancette, who fired in 18 points in last Friday’s 55-46 victory at North Country Union, had 11 counters and six rebounds
Evans darted around for five points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal, and with fellow guards Berry, Kate Bashaw (6 points) and Amanda Kinneston, aggressively worked the top of the CVU zone to clamp down on their Hilltopper counterparts.
Williams was without starting forward Kendal Kohlasch (slight concussion at North Country) and valued frontcourt reserve Shea Hulbert. Both are day-to-day.
The junior varsity boosted its record to 12-4 with a 46-32 win over the Hilltopper juniors.
St. Johnsbury (42)
Driscoll 2 1-3 7, Kay 4 2-5 10, Calkins 0 0-2 0, Regis 2 0-2 4, Rowe 6 6-7 19, Lane 0 2-2 2, Bruckner 0 0-0 0, Linowes 0 0-0 0, Weaver 0 0-1 0. Totals 14 11-22 42.
Lalancette 5 1-2 11, Gannon 7 2-3 17, Berry 1 1-3 3, Evans 1 3-5 5, Kinneston 0 0-0 0, Bashaw 2 1-2 6, Russ 2 0-0 4, Giles 0 0-0 0, Rock 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-15 46.
ST. J 11 9 12 10 – 42
CVU 12 16 7 11 – 46