Sports Report – Feb. 20, 2019

It’s Hornets against Hawks in gymnastics
Although seeded second behind CVU during the regular season, Essex gymnasts managed to pull out a narrow victory in the 2019 state championships last Saturday at the Hornets’ home gym by team scores of 137.625 to 136.275.

Laurynn Bombardier, in addition to placing third in the all-around category, was among the top five individuals in the vault, beam and floor exercises. Her beam score was .225 points behind her teammate Delaney Miller-Bottoms, who finished first, and on floor exercises she fell less than one point behind another Redhawk, Logan Claffy, who won the event. Taylor Hoar won the vault.

Can women’s basketball keep it up?
St. Johnsbury Academy came as close to a win as any team has this year against CVU, but the Redhawks still prevailed by 10 points, 51-41 to remain undefeated. A Burlington Free Press article stressed that CVU’s strength lies in its defense. Through its win over Rice in January, the Redhawks had allowed their opponents an average of only 21 points per game. Despite allowing South Burlington and St. Jay to surpass 30 points, defense and ball movement that distributes scoring among a number of players remain the team’s strengths. The Hawks have two regular-season games left, which they will focus on winning and not on looking forward to the tournaments to follow.

Alpine skiers slalom down two mountains
Mount Ellen and Smugglers’ Notch provided the trails for slalom and giant slalom racers respectively. In the first category, Claire Smith placed 5th with her male mate Sean Gilliam also finishing 5th, followed immediately by Seth Boffa (6th) and Turner Barbour (7th). Olivia Zubarick won the giant slalom for women with Claire Goldman in third place, Emily Marvin tied for fourth, Ellie Ramirez-Richer sixth and Claire Smith tenth.

CVU 2019 Wrestlers. Photo contributed by Jennifer Olson.

Wrestlers tackle dual championships
Redhawk wrestlers placed 4th in the Northern Vermont Athletic Conference Team Dual Championships on February 9 at St. Johnsbury Academy. They did so despite a number of injuries and illnesses, which made coach Gunnar Olson that much more proud of his charges. With a 14-person lineup in the dual format, it is difficult to maintain points with injured wrestlers. Each forfeit gives the other team six points. Coach Olson said that in “head-to-head matches, we performed exceptionally well.”

The varsity state tournament is coming up this weekend in Essex.

Men’s basketball begins February on a tough loss to Rice
A three-pointer as time was about to expire gave Rice a two-point win over CVU, 67-65. Back and forth describes accurately the last minute of the game as the Hawks took a 65-64 lead on a pair of free throws, only to have the Green Knights’ Michel Ndayishhimiye find himself unchallenged on the inbound pass from which he hit the game-winning bucket. Mason Otley led CVU with 19 points; Bennett Cheer and Ethan Harvey followed with 14 apiece.