In girls basketball: Arlington Eagles beat CA Chargers in quarter-finals

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Meghan Pennock (number 12), Craftsbury’s captain, answers the question posed by the sign behind her emphatically in the affirmative as she drives to the hoop.  The junior and her teammates fell short Saturday in their bid to advance to the Division IV semi-finals in Barre.  Photo by Joseph Gresser

Meghan Pennock (number 12), Craftsbury’s captain, answers the question posed by the sign behind her emphatically in the affirmative as she drives to the hoop. The junior and her teammates fell short Saturday in their bid to advance to the Division IV semi-finals in Barre. Photo by Joseph Gresser

by Joseph Gresser

copyright 3-10-2013

CRAFTSBURY COMMON—When it was all over Saturday afternoon Coach Rick Thomas was smiling.  True, his Chargers team had been mauled by Arlington Memorial High School, 28-57, in the quarter-finals of the Division IV championships.  But, he said, the Craftsbury women won the school’s tournament and league championship.

They also boasted a 16-4 regular season record.

Although they won’t play at the Barre Auditorium this season, the future looks bright for the Chargers, Mr. Thomas said.  All of this year’s players will be back next year, and the scrappy team includes a pair of eighth graders, which suggests a long run of basketball success.  A run of hoop good fortune would fit nicely with the glorious new World War II Memorial Gymnasium built by the people of Craftsbury last year.

On this Saturday, however the basketball gods smiled on the Arlington Eagles.

They fouled Janet Bohannon as she took her first shot, but paid no price when she was unable to make good either of her three throws.  Back on defense, the Chargers played tight defense inside, but made the mistake of letting Arlington’s Rayleen Sherman get a look from outside.

Sherman sunk a three-pointer to put the Eagles ahead for good.  She proved a dangerous player to leave, dropping in 12 of her 16 points from downtown.

The outside shot was a potent weapon for Arlington.  Almost half of their scoring — 27 points — came from the long ball.

While none of the Chargers could equal Sherman’s total, Aysha Hodgdon and Bohannon inflicted real damage on the Eagles, scoring 12 and 9 points respectively.  They, along with teammates Sarah Dunbar, Meghan Brown and Meghan Pennock distinguished themselves with tenacious defense.

Craftsbury’s relative youth showed itself as the team fell behind.  Players pressed hard on offense, rushing shots instead of relaxing and slowing the pace to make the most of their chances.

They harried the Eagles on defense and forced numerous turnovers, but were unable to take fullest advantage of those opportunities.

By the end of the first period Craftsbury had fallen behind by 8-17.  The second period also began badly for the Chargers with the Eagles scoring a quick 5 points.

After that both teams bore down hard on defense.  For the next three minutes neither team was able to score and it seemed as if Craftsbury was ready to make its move.

Unfortunately it was Arlington that broke the log jam, scoring an additional ten to Craftsbury’s two, ending the half at 10-27.

The third period went much as did the second, but Craftsbury also began to make defensive mistakes that put the team in foul trouble.  The period closed with Craftsbury trailing 15-41.

By the start of the fourth period, with the outcome of the game was no longer in doubt, the Chargers showed their mettle.  Playing for pride they swarmed the Eagles forcing turn overs.

It was in the fourth quarter that Craftsbury scored its only run of unanswered points, scoring three successive baskets.  But a miraculous win was not to be.

During the after-game meeting with Mr. Thomas, the players looked anything but down cast.  They had a fine season and never gave up, even when it was clear that victory would not be theirs.  Such a spirit presages great things for the future.

contact Joseph Gresser at joseph@bartonchronicle.com

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In girls basketball: CA improves to 12-4 with win over Rochester

by Harris Kinsey

copyright the Chronicle 2-11-2013

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Coming off a loss, the Craftsbury Academy girls varsity basketball team hoped to get a win at home against Rochester.  They played hard all four quarters, and came out on top in a 55-28 win.  Janet Bohannon led all scorers with 23 points, and Thaila Thomas added 16 points for the Chargers.  Phoebe Parrish led Rochester with 11 points but had no help, as the Charger defense was very good all game long.

The first quarter started well for Craftsbury with Sarah Dunbar connecting on a layup to go up 2-0.  It was very obvious after that first basket it was going to be a struggle for Rochester.  Craftsbury dominated the quarter on the defensive end.  They forced turnover after turnover on bad passes, travels, and out of bounds.  Craftsbury didn’t allow Rochester to score until the 1:30 mark on a free throw by Sierra Ostrow–Remy.  Rochester would only score five points in the quarter while Craftsbury scored 13 points.  The first quarter ended with the score 13-5 in favor of Craftsbury.

The second quarter started and no one scored until Savannah Shepard of Rochester connected on a jumper at the 6:50 mark in the quarter.  Craftsbury would finally score at the 5:40 mark on a layup by Bohannon.  Both defenses played well in the quarter.  Rochester forced some turnovers, as did Craftsbury.  Craftsbury would score 10 points in the second quarter while Rochester almost matched them with eight points.  At halftime the score stood at 23-13 Craftsbury.

The second half started fast as Craftsbury would score only 37 seconds in on a layup by Thomas.  Craftsbury 25, Rochester 13.  Their defense would be very good again and they held Rochester scoreless until the 5:10 mark when Parrish connected on a jumper.  Craftsbury’s defense forced many turnovers in this quarter. Mainly they closed the passing lanes and forced Rochester to throw passes into crowds, and force their passes.  Rochester couldn’t do anything right in the third quarter and scored only six points, while Craftsbury scored 14 points as a team.  After three quarters the score stood at 37-19 Craftsbury.

The Craftsbury girls seemed confident going into the fourth quarter, and they did not disappoint.  Rochester would get the first score of the quarter on a layup by Ostrow-Remy.  However, Craftsbury would answer right back when Bohannon scored on a layup to put them back up by 18.  Craftsbury 39, Rochester 21.  Craftsbury’s defense would continue to dominate as the girls showed no sign of tiredness.  They held Rochester to nine points in the quarter and Craftsbury scored 18.  The game ended with the score 55-28 in favor of Craftsbury.

After the game, Coach Rick Thomas said, “I am very happy with the way we played.  We played some of the best lock down defense I’ve seen us play all year.  We forced 21 turnovers, so we were great in all aspects of our defense.  It was a team effort.”

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