It's Vermont Gold
In winter Olympic news, Norwich native Hannah Kearney got the opening day of competition off with a bang for the United States by capturing the gold in the women's skiing moguls event.
The achievement must be quite gratifying for the 23-year-old, who had to wait four years to avenge the bitter disappointment of the last winter Olympics in Italy, when she came in as favorite to win the gold, but fell in her qualifying heat (practically right out of the chute) and finished 22nd overall.
This time around, however, Kearney carved up a slushy course and ran away with the gold medal, knocking off home-country-Canadian and defending Olympic champion Jenn Heil.
Yes, it is sweet redemption for our home-state athlete!
Local Hoop Action
In local hoop action and as the regular season comes to a close, several local teams are looking to find the best seed possible for the upcoming state tournament, and it looks like the Lady Bulldogs of Burr & Burton Academy have set themselves up nicely, thank you very much.
BBA recently finished up a stellar regular season with a tough, 38-23 road win over a very game Rutland team.
The win positioned the Lady Bulldogs as the number one seed heading into the state tournament, finishing with an impressive, 18-2 record.
However, this was not an easy one against a Lady Raiders team that had handed BBA one of their two losses on the season, and on their home court.
Rutland plays some tough defense and they showed it early on in this one, giving up only eight points to the Bulldogs in the first half.
However, the Lady Raiders did not take good enough advantage at the offensive end and only led by four points at the break, proving that the Lady Bulldogs can play a little defense of their own.
In the second half BBA stepped it up, outscoring Rutland 30-11 to claim a very hard-fought, 38-23 victory on the road to avenge that previous loss on their own home court.
How good was the BBA defense in the second half?
They held the Raiders scoreless for about an eight-minute stretch at one point, while allowing only one free throw over a 15 minute stretch.
Lady Bulldog senior Logan Cavanaugh led the charge with a truly outstanding all around game, including 10 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and a blocked shot before she fouled out of the game with just under a minute left.
Kelsey Kelleher also tied Cavanaugh with a team high 10 points.
Jen Douglas led the way for the Raiders with eight points, while Eliza Cioffi and Kelsey Forte added six points each.
Watch out for this Lady Bulldog squad in the state tournament.
In Ludlow, Devon Spirka had 21 points to lead Twin Valley over the Lady Presidents, 63-14.
The win put the Lady Eagles at 17-3 overall with a number-four seed headed into the Division III playoffs.
As for Black River, who did not win a game and had a very (and I mean very) small team to compete with, these girls must be acknowledged, because the key words here folks are "compete" and"team."
Because I have so many high school teams to cover I only got to see the lady presidents in person twice this year, but what I saw was a team that competed hard from opening to closing buzzer and never gave up.
These girls truly played as a team, never yelled at each other or disrespected the game despite their hard-luck record.
Also, a tip of my green Sox hat to head coach Peter Collins, who was able to keep his team together and working hard the entire season.
In fact, the second chance I recently had to see this team play, coach Collins had but one extra player on his bench, but somehow managed to keep the flow of the game going while giving everyone enough rest throughout a difficult situation.
The Lady Presidents have proven that it isn't always about winning, but sometimes having to persevere through a tough situation.
Congratulations to these girls for seeing their season through.