By Tom Giroux, Contributor
In a rematch of Metro leaders, the South Burlington boys did what they couldn’t do only 11 days earlier and took home a hard fought 47 – 36 victory over Champlain Valley Union. Using a 14 – 4 margin in the 4th quarter, the Wolves outlasted their opponents on 3/9 at the Dave Bremner Gym, in Hinesburg.
Baskets by five different CVU teammates (Alex Provost, Ethan Czarny, Deng Dau, Zach Doane, and Devin Rodgers) in the opening 4 and a half minutes, enabled the Redhawks to take a 10 – 2 lead, and force SB to call a timeout to slow down this impressive offensive display by the home team. CVU’s 2 – 3 zone formation clogged the middle and allowed the defenders to disturb the Wolves dangerous outside shooters. This combination, aided by a downtown bank shot by Alex and Logan Vaughan’s hoop from underneath, pushed the score to 15 – 6 after the first 8 minutes of action.
The visitors went on a 8 – 0 run in the first three minutes to start off the second stanza, to pull SB to within one (15- 14), and coach Mike Osborne decided to call a timeout to stall this rush by the Wolves. Zach responded by swishing a running six-footer to maintain the Redhawks advantage, 17 – 14. SB’s 1 -2 – 2 zone defense caused problems for the CVU offense and held them to just two 2nd quarter points. Meanwhile, SB knocked down the next three hoops, which gave then a 21- 17.edge going into halftime.
The break failed to disturb the Wolves rally, as they connected on two from beyond the arc, to give the visiting side a double digit lead, 27 – 17, to start frame number three. Zach’s ten footer and Ethan’s hoop helped to impede the SB’s surge. A successful drive to the basket by Alex and Devin’s free throw, cut the deficit in half. Logan succeeded on 1 of 2 from the charity stripe, and after he was shoved to the floor, Devin got up and made both of his attempts, to make it a one procession basketball game. 29 – 27. After a Wolves hoop, Devin connected on another 3 pointer to cut the margin to one, but committed his fourth foul a short time later. A buzzer beater by Logan made it a one point game after three periods.
Dau started the final frame, pulled down an offensive rebound and when Zach connected for 3, it gave his team its first led of the evening, 35 -33. Hard work under both baskets enabled Dau to haul down 3 more rebounds in a two minute span. Unfortunately, SB made their shots when it counted and CVU failed to connect on another field goal attempt in the last 7 minutes of play. The Wolves won the 4th quarter 14- 4, to give themselves a 47 -36 victory over the disappointed Redhawks players. Zach led the way with 10 points, playing with foul trouble the whole evening, Devin contributed 8, and Alex chipped in with 7. This leaves the CVU side 5 – 3 on the season, with the “senior night” regular season finale on Friday night the 12th of March.
Both teams came ready to play in the JV contest, with the first period ending in a 14 all draw. The Redhawks offense continued their hot steak in the second frame scoring a season high 22 points in the eight minutes of action, while their defensive intensity improved, only allowing the SB side to score 7. The scoreboard at the half time intermission read HOME 36 AWAY 21 with 8 players contributing to the point totals for the CVU squad.
The Wolves went to the 3 ball in the third frame of play, connecting on 5 from long range, but CVU answered with hoops by Russell Willoughby, Colby Morehouse, and Maz Destito, and free throws from Ollie Cheer, Eli, and Colby to go into the final stanza holding a 48 — 38 advantage.
CVU went to their “circle” offensive formation, but committed two turnovers, as SB hit a 3 pointer to pull the Wolves within six. Eli sunk one of his own, to push the margin back up to 51 – 42, with 6 minutes to play. A Max from Eli basket, and Chase Whitman converting on both ends of his one and ones, swelled the score to 55 – 42 with under four minutes to go. Eli’s basket, a pretty reverse lay up by Russell, and free throws by each of them, kept the lead intact, and when Eli found the bottom of the nylon on both ends of his double bonus, it left the Redhawks with a 64 – 54 victory, and a 7 – 1 season record.