The Rutland High School Raiders completed their 2008/2009 regular season by routing the Mount Anthony Patriots 65-28 last Friday night at home. Raiders senior Megan Blongy led all scorers with 16 points, while sophomore Alyssa Moore contributed another 13 to the season ending win.
Becca Sklepowicz led the defending Division I state champion Patriots with 10 points. Mount Anthony is 7-13 heading into the tournament. Rutland, who finish the year at 12-8, head into the post season on a four game winning streak, and as winners in six of their last seven games.
Behind a 10-0 run to start the second half the Fair Haven Slater girls ended their season with a 35-25 win over the Mill River Minutemen the same night in North Clarendon. With the score tied at 13 at the half the Slaters went on their run to claim a 23-13 lead early in the third and they never gave it back. Fair Haven sophomore Devyn Reed led all scores with a dozen points. Amanda Howard contributed seven points and hauled down twelve boards for the victorious Slaters. Rebecca Day led Mill River with six points. Fair Haven finished the year at 14-6, while Mill River entered this weeks tournament at 10-10.
The West Rutland Golden Horde clinched the top seed in the Division IV tournament by defeating the Proctor Phantoms at home 52-22 in their season finale last Friday night. Katie Lincoln, who was a perfect 12 for 12 from the foul line, led the Golden Horde with 22 points. Sierra Pease also reached double digits in scoring for West Rutland with 10 points. Kelsey McCormack (eight points) and Kayla Tanner (seven points,) combined to score 15 of Proctor's 22 points.
The Otter Valley Otters wrapped up their 2008/2009 season last Friday by trouncing the winless Mount Saint Joseph Mounties 50-30 in Rutland. Julie Ketcham and Amanda Sanderson led the victorious Otters with 13 points apiece. Mount Saint Joseph's Ally Shappy led all scorers with 16 points. The Mounties end the year at 0-19, while the Otters entered the tournament at 9-11.
The season finale last Friday didn't go as smoothly for the Poultney Blue Devils. The Burr and Burton Bulldogs completed a perfect 20-0 season by defeating the Blue Devils 44-25, in Poultney. Kelsie Kelleher and Abby Marsh led the Bulldogs offensive attack by scoring 13 and 12 points respectively. Poultney, who fell to 7-12 with the loss, was paced by Allie Jones and Amanda Marcy with six points each.
Division I Semifinals
While the girls were completing their regular season last week the boys were already engaged in a playoff struggle to reach the state finals in Barre this weekend. As of Monday morning, this papers deadline, each of the four divisions had been whittled down to four teams. Rutland County is represented in three of the four divisions, with the Rutland Raiders leading the way as the County's Division I team.
The third seeded Raiders reached the state semifinals by knocking off the Essex Hornets 61-51 last Saturday in Rutland. Cedric White (21 points) and Troy Davine (20 points) combined to score two thirds of Rutland's points, leading them to the quarterfinal win. Essex's Demir Smajovic led all scorers with 23 points, while his sixth seeded Hornets finished the season at 14-8. The Raiders had to face the second seeded Rice Green Knights this past Tuesday night, with a birth in the Division I State Championship game at stake. The Division I State Championship is scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. in the Barre Memorial Auditorium.
The top seeded Mill River Minutemen advanced the semifinals in Division II, but they had to survive a quarterfinal scare given to them by the Burr and Burton Bulldogs first. Burr and Burton took the top seeded Minutemen into overtime this past Saturday in North Clarendon, before falling to them 47-45. Mill River freshman Harrison Taggart hit two free throws with 41 seconds left in overtime to give the Minutemen the lead. The visiting Bulldogs had their opportunities after that, but none of their shots would drop into the net. Austin Bicskei paced Mill River with 14 points, followed closely by Taggart who finished with 13. Burr and Burton, who finishes the year at 10-11, were led by Caleb Wiley, with a double-double consisting of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Mill River was
scheduled to face the fourth seeded Springfield Cosmos this past Monday. If they won that one they will be playing for the Division II State Championship Saturday at 3:45 p.m.
As predicted the top seeded, 20-0 Proctor Phantoms advanced to the Division IV semifinals by defeating the eighth seeded Blue Mountain Bucks in Proctor last Saturday, but it wasn't as easy as most thought it would be. After beating Blue Mountain by nearly 50 points earlier in the season this one was supposed to be a walk over, but somebody forgot to tell the Bucks. Early in the third period Blue Mountain was hanging tough, trailing by a mere point 22-21, but that is when the Phantoms pulled away with a 17-4 run. To their credit the Bucks continued to battle back, but wouldn't get any closer than seven points, as the Phantoms held on to improve to 21-0 with a 51-39 win. Ryan Carter turned in a double-double for Proctor by scoring a team high 17 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Blue Mountain's senior guard Charlie Jobin led all scorers with 19 points, while his Bucks finished their year at 9-13. The Phantoms were scheduled to meet fifth seeded Danville (14-8) in the semifinals this past Monday at 6:30 p.m., with a birth in tomorrow's Division IV State Championship game going to the winner.
In other tournament action the fifteenth seeded Fair Haven Slaters were knocked off in the opening round, losing to the second seeded Commodores in Vergennes 50-42 on Tuesday, February 17th. The Slaters came close to upsetting the Commodores, and would have if Vergennes hadn't closed the game out by putting together a 17-4 run. Connor Merrill (16 points) and Josh Carter (15 points) led the victorious Commodores by combining for 31 points. Fair Haven, who ends their season at 6-15, were led by Christian Doran with 20 points, and Nate Marcell who added another 15.
Raiders In Lake Division Semifinals
Like boys basketball, both boys and girls high school hockey teams were competing to make it to this weekend's state championship games. The Rutland Raiders boys squad was knocked off in the opening round by Rice (Wednesday, February 18th) but the girls, who compete in the Lake Division, survived the first two rounds to advance to the semifinals.
In Rutland, on Feb. 19, the Raiders exploded for five first period goals on their way to an 8-1 opening round rout of the 12th seeded Rice Green Knights. The Raider utilized a balance scoring attack. Kristin Hatch and Ashley Boucher scored a pair of goal each to lead an offense that saw six different players score. Kate Kurchena (2 assists,) Chelsea Hill (2 assists,) Brittany Truman (1 assist) and Taylor Kresconko all joined in on the fun with single goals. Kayla Beauchamp contributed three assists to the lopsided. Rutland's goalies Deanna Rodolfy and Danielle Greco split time in the net and made three and nine saves respectively. Rice finished their year at 1-18-1.
Things were tougher, in Waterbury, last Saturday in their quarterfinal game against the fourth seeded Harwood Highlanders, but the results were just as positive. With the game tied at 1-1 Kurchena, on an assist from Boucher, scored on a power play at the 3:38 mark of the third period, propelling the Raiders to a 2-1 win and a spot in the semifinals. Rutland claimed a 1-0 lead in the first period when Beauchamp scored the game's first goal. They held that lead until the third period when Harwood's Hanna Martini scored tying the game at 1-1. Randi Lowe made 11 saves for Harwood, who finished their year at 15-6-1. In the other crease Rutland's Rodolfy made 11 saves, each one proving to be crucial, to secure the quarterfinal win. The Raiders had a tough task ahead of them this past Tuesday when they were scheduled to face top seeded Missisquoi in the semifinals. If they managed to pull of the upset in that one they will face either the Colchester Lakers or the Burr and Burton Bulldogs for the state championship tonight at 8:30 p.m.