copyright the Chronicle February 5, 2014
by Richard Creaser
CRAFTSBURY COMMON — The Craftsbury Academy Chargers boys basketball team (12-2) returned to form with a 56-33 win over the visiting Websterville Baptist Christian School Warriors (1-14) Monday night. The boys had suffered a 68-35 loss to Rochester on Saturday.
The team struggled at times to find its rhythm, but that was due to trying new lines, Craftsbury Coach Derek Cipriano explained after the game.
“Overall, I think we did a good job of working the play and moving the ball,” the coach said. “I was trying to get everyone into the game and that affected us offensively. But I also have to give credit to Websterville for making us earn it tonight.”
Charger Issac Spaulding singled out Warrior Hayden McIntyre for his strong play under the net. McIntyre was a highly visible presence under the basket, using his superior height and reach to break up plays and block shots.
“We don’t have that kind of size so we knew we couldn’t take him on head-on,” Spaulding said after the game. “But we learned if we boxed him out and went around him we could usually find an opening and take the shot.”
Websterville’s 1-14 record is not an accurate reflection of the team’s ability on the court, Coach Cipriano said. Warrior Noah Johnson was a definite offensive threat all night until he fouled out late in the game, he said.
“They played really, really hard all night,” the coach said. “Noah Johnson did a good job of getting to the rim for them. If we gave him room, he made us pay for it.”
Ball handling was a critical component in the Chargers’ offensive plan on Monday night. The ability to outmaneuver the Warriors defense created scoring opportunities that Craftsbury capitalized on.
“Our game was all about passing the ball and getting to the rim,” Spaulding said. “When we passed a lot we got open cuts and that was working really well for us. We had a lot of back doors because of it.”
Though the Chargers excelled at moving the ball into the paint, the outside threat was also present in the form of Spaulding and Craftsbury’s Jon DeLaBruere who each recorded a three-pointer on the night. Theirs were the only three-pointers recorded on either side.
The Chargers outscored the Warriors in every frame though Websterville battled hard through the second quarter. As the pressure mounted, Craftsbury responded in kind, maintaining and increasing their early lead.
Craftsbury freshman Austin Masi was the dominant force, nimbly slipping through the Warrior defense to record all six of his points in the first quarter. Next to take charge was Logan Masse, who recorded five of his seven points in the second quarter.
Spaulding exploded in the third quarter, recording nine of his game-leading 15 points in that frame alone. Charger Chris DeLaBruere was a perfect four-for-four on free throw attempts. Spaulding was the only Charger, and one of only three players, who hit double-digit points on the night. Warriors McIntyre and Johnson finished the game with 11 points apiece.
With only a handful of games remaining in the regular season one key match-up for the Chargers will come on February 12 when Rochester comes to Craftsbury for a rematch. The Chargers trail Rochester by a single point in the Division IV standings and look to avenge their earlier loss on February 1.
contact Richard Creaser at firstname.lastname@example.org
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