Local Hoops Action
Heading into the semi-final rounds of the high school state basketball tournaments, there were still a few local teams left standing.
The Leland & Gray Rebels, however, lost a heartbreaker to Winooski in Division III, on a tough buzzer-beater from Spartan Devon Rollins, 46-44, in Winooski.
A tough loss for a number-five seeded Rebels team that had a great year. Winooski had come into the game seeded number-four.
With just four seconds left in the game, Rollins grabbed a long rebound off a miss and tossed in an eight-footer to end the game as time ran out.
Noah Chapin and Matt Bizon led the way for Leland & Gray with 11 points each, while Jalen Miller led the way for the Spartans with 15 points.
In boys' Division I, in Brattleboro, the number-three seeded Colonels knocked off Rice, 63-51, to advance to the semi-finals.
The win was the eighth in a row for Brattleboro as they improved to 18-4 overall on the season.
Adam Boyle led the way for the Colonels with 19 points while Ed Knowles and Dave Freeman each pitched in with 13. Mike Reiss led the way for Rice with 14 points.
At press time, the Colonels were readying to face a tough, number-two seeded Essex team.
In girls' tournament hoops action, the Rutland Lady Raiders recently traveled to Burlington, gutting out a tough, 46-40 win over the Lady Seahorses.
In a back-and-forth game, Rutland used it's defense, such as it has all year, to set the tempo and create the offense from.
Liz Douglas, Alyssa Moore and Megan Ballard each scored 10 points for Rutland in a balanced offensive attack, while Hanna Senftleber led the way for Burlington with 16 points.
At press time the Raiders were at 20-3 heading into the state title game.
In a Division I stunner, the number-one seeded Burr & Burton Lady Bulldogs fell to the cinderella, 12-seeded St. Johnsbury Hilltoppers, 36-25 in Burlington.
The Lady Hilltoppers were also coming into the game after knocking off number-five seeded Rice.
The key to this game for St. Johnsbury was a smothering defense that forced several turnovers early on and just as many bad shot attempts by the Bulldogs.
For the game, Burr & Burton shot only 11-43 from the field, easily their poorest shooting performance of the year.
Another problem was foul trouble, as Logan Cavanaugh, and Jenna Hoffman each picked up two quick fouls and had to sit down for the rest of the quarter and into the second.
In the first half BBA would go through one long scoring drought nd went into half time trailing 25-12. Too much to overcome in the second half against such a tough, half court-trapping defense of the Hilltoppers.
When the BBA did not score in the first eight minutes of the third quarter the game was just about over, abruptly ending an otherwise stellar season for a Bulldog team that ended with an impressive 19-3 record.
Both Hoffman and Cavanaugh led the way for BBA with six points each.