In girls basketball: LR improves to 2-0 with big win at Lyndon

copyright the Chronicle 12-18-2012

LYNDON — Coming off a win over Oxbow to start the season, the Lake Region girls varsity carried that momentum right into Lyndon and left with a 56-32 win.  Tyrah Urie led all scorers with 18 points, and Drew Neal added 14 points to power Lake Region.  Kayla Jardine led Lyndon with 13 points but didn’t get much help, because her teammates just couldn’t get the ball in the basket consistently.

The game started with Lake Region scoring first to go up 2-0.  Lyndon then got a three-point play from Jardine.  Lyndon 3, Lake Region 2.  Lyndon would then score again to go up 5-2.

Lake Region would then dominate on the defensive end of the floor including two steals from Urie to finish the quarter strong.

After one quarter of play the score stood Lake Region 13, Lyndon 8.

The second quarter would be all Lake Region.  Their defense held Lyndon to five points the whole quarter on five free throws.  Lyndon didn’t score a field goal all quarter as Lake Region’s  defense didn’t let up.  They created turnover after turnover, steals, jump balls, travels, bad passes.  LR would score 17 points in the quarter.  At halftime the score stood at Lake Region 30, Lyndon 13.

The third quarter Lyndon came out and played much more soundly than they did in the first half.  They crashed the boards better on offense as well as defensively.  They would score 11 points in the quarter and Lake Region scored 15, so the third quarter was played out well by both teams.  At the end of the third the score stood 45-23 in favor of Lake Region.  Lyndon didn’t allow as many fast breaks as they did in the first half, and Lyndon played well on offense with mostly a half-court set.

The fourth quarter would start with no scoring until Lyndon hit two free throws at the 6:21 mark of the quarter.  Lake Region didn’t score until the 5:18 mark on a layup by forward Emily Lawson.  Lake Region’s defense would dominate again, holding Lyndon to only one field goal and seven free throws.  Lake Region would score 11 points in the quarter with two points each from, Tyrah Urie, Emily Lawson, Ashley Locke, Sabrina Roberge, and three from Drew Neal.

The final score of the game was 56-32 in favor of Lake Region.

After the game Lyndon Coach Eric Berry said, “Lake Region is a top six team in the division.  It was a tough matchup for us being we are somewhat young and inexperienced.  The main thing that hurt us was the turnovers.  You can’t have a gazillion turnovers and expect to win a game.  However we played much better in the second half.  We played better defense and crashed the boards on both ends of the floor.  All we can do is learn from this game, improve, and move on.”

Lake Region coach Mark Tinker said,  “We played well defensively.  We have always taken pride in our defense.  We definitely need to improve on our fouls.  We are fouling way too much, but part of that is playing very aggressive in-your-face defense.  We tried a couple new defensive sets tonight, being we are still trying to gauge what set works best for us.  Overall we played very well.  Our defense created opportunities on the offensive end.  The whole team contributed.  It was a team effort.”

Lake Region’s next game is at home against Oxbow on December 21.

Click on this link for a full high school winter sports schedule.



Glover team wins junior high basketball tournament


troy tournamentGlover Community School’s basketball team won the junior high tournament in Troy December 15.  Nine schools played, and Glover had to win four games to win the trophy.  The Glover team’s first game was against Richford, which had not lost in over a year.  In front, left to right, are Matt Menard, Parker Brown, and Kaleb Rogers.  In back are Coach Brad Urie, Isaiah Braithwaite, Riley Urie, Liam Kennedy, Rian Hayman-Jones, and Chris Nelson.  Photo submitted by Jethro Hayman




In girls basketball: Falcons defense stifles Mount Mansfield


Lady Falcon Ashley Robishaw-Morin demonstrates the speed of the North Country squad as she bolts past Mount Mansfield defender Wynne Poleman.  Photo by Richard Creaser

Lady Falcon Ashley Robishaw-Morin demonstrates the speed of the North Country squad as she bolts past Mount Mansfield defender Wynne Poleman. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 12-16-2012

NEWPORT — The North Country Union High School Falcons earned their second win to remain a perfect 2-0 on the young season with a 54-23 victory over the visiting Mount Mansfield Union Cougars on Thursday night, December 20.  The loss marked the fourth straight defeat for the Cougars.

North Country Coach Christiane Brown credited strong team defense in the Falcons’ win.

“We’ve emphasized that good defense  is what’s going to create offense this season,” Coach Brown said.  “Our defense is going to fuel our transitional opportunities.  Those really change the momentum, and that works to our advantage.”

The Falcons certainly did seem to have the upper hand in the paint on Thursday.  North Country recovered rebounds, limiting the Cougars scoring chances, and effected an efficient turnaround to increase their own.

“Our scoring was pretty spread out,” North Country guard Desiree Coffin said after the game.  “I think almost everyone on the team got a basket, and the ones that didn’t played hard and helped everyone else get theirs.  It was a total team effort.”

Anna Bingham kicked off the scoring, netting the first basket to give North Country a lead it would never relinquish.  The Lady Falcons would bolt to an eight-point lead before the Lady Cougars finally hit the score sheet.  That six-point spread would prove to be as close as the Cougars would get to the red-hot Falcons all evening.

North Country's MyKayla Tanguay (foreground) delivers a layup as Mount Mansfield defenders Jessica Barnes and Wynne Poleman (obscured) move to intercept.  North Country's smothering defense propelled the Falcons to a 54-23 win on Thursday night.  Photos by Richard Creaser

North Country’s MyKayla Tanguay (foreground) delivers a layup as Mount Mansfield defenders Jessica Barnes and Wynne Poleman (obscured) move to intercept. North Country’s smothering defense propelled the Falcons to a 54-23 win on Thursday night. Photos by Richard Creaser

The Falcons entered the second quarter ahead 15-7.  A pair of three-pointers by Bingham and Coffin contributed to a second 15-point half as North Country posted a 30-13 halftime lead.

Though the Falcons would slow down in the second half, the same was true of the Mount Mansfield squad.  It could manage only ten points over the remaining two quarters of the game.

“We did a lot of things right defensively,” Coach Brown said.  “I love it when we’re fronting the posts.  I love it when we’re running down the ball on the lines.”

In spite of the win it was not a picture perfect game for the home team.  The Falcons allowed more “easy points” than they ought to have, while missing on more than a few of their own, the coach said.

“We can’t allow their points to be easy shots,” Coach Brown said.  “We need to box out better.  That said, defense is going to win us games this season and we’re very focused on that.”

North Country defender Desiree Coffin (right) prevents Cougar Wynne Poleman from passing to her fellow Mount Mansfield teammates.

North Country defender Desiree Coffin (right) prevents Cougar Wynne Poleman from passing to her fellow Mount Mansfield teammates.

Anna Bingham’s 15 points and Desiree Coffin’s 11 paced the home team, while six other Lady Falcons also recorded points in the victory.  Rebecca Rapacz led the visitors with 11 points.

Contact Richard Creaser at [email protected].  For more free sports stories, look in our sports category on this site or subscribe to our print or online editions.  Click on this link for a full winter sports schedule.


In boys basketball: Falcons top Thunderbirds in high scoring affair


North Country’s Kendrick Gray (center behind number 22) jumps to block a shot by Missisquoi Valley’s R.J. Machia as Falcon Jason Hatin (right) and Thunderbird Alex Deuso look on. In mid-flight Machia would execute a maneuver that enabled him to bounce pass to Deuso for the basket. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 12-15-2012

NEWPORT — It was a wild and wooly affair as the host North Country Falcons staved off a late run by the visiting Missisquoi Valley Union Thunderbirds to snag the 94-90 win.  Late foul trouble allowed the Thunderbirds to claw back into contention in a fourth quarter that saw the two teams score a combined 64 points.

“My boys delivered what I promised at the beginning of the year — an entertaining team,” North Country Coach Brian Bonvechio said after the game.  “We kept trying to attack, attack, attack.  We don’t play the slow game very well so we need to keep up the tempo.”

The tempo was clearly something the Falcons needed to build toward.  Through the first half of the game the Falcons rarely had the lead, often finding themselves chasing down MVU on the score sheet.  What kept the Falcons in the contest throughout the game was a barrage of three-point field goals and solid shooting from the foul line.

Sophomore Matt Duncan was among North Country’s most proficient shooters on the day.  Though held to a single three-pointer in the first quarter, Duncan came alive in the second notching nine of the Falcons’ 27 points heading into the half.  He finished the night with six of the team’s 13 three-pointers as well as going eight for 11 from the free throw line and adding in a couple of two-point baskets for good measure.

“You gotta run and gun and hit the shots,” Duncan said after the game.  “I really gotta give credit to the team for giving me those shots.  I just went out there and did what I had to do to get the win.”

North Country’s Matthew Duncan (center, number 21) springs in for the lay-up through a defensive screen on Missisquoi Valley Union defenders Alex Deuso (left), Matthieu St. Amour (right) and Alex Larose (obscured right) as Falcon Colton White (background left) moves in for the rebound. Duncan would finish the game with 30 points including six three-point field goals and shooting 8 for 10 from the free throw line. Photo by Richard Creaser

The Thunderbirds battled intensely under the net limiting North Country’s opportunities for rebounds.  MVU’s tight control around the net enabled them to establish a first quarter lead of 18-14.  As the Falcons settled into their outside shooting routine, however, control of the net became less of an issue for North Country.

With Rejean Roberge, Tyler Paxman and Matt Duncan landing three-pointers in the quarter, North Country managed to remain in contention. Paxman’s buzzer beating three-pointer to end the second trimmed MVU’s six point lead and finished the half with North Country down 44-41.

Though the third quarter wasn’t as productive as the second in terms of total points scored, 24 points in the third compared to 27 in the second, MVU’s own offense faltered to a game-low 11 points.  For the second straight quarter the home team outscored the visitors.  Duncan poured in three more three-pointers with Paxman and Tyler Sanville also contributing to the cause.

Foul trouble caught up to both sides in the final quarter of play.  It also contributed to an offensive explosion on the part of both teams.  Matthieu St. Amour, the Thunderbirds leading offensive contributor, would foul out in the final quarter.  After recording 45 of his team’s points, his loss to the MVU cause could not be underestimated.  St. Amour finished the game with ten two-pointers, five three-pointers and shot 10 for 17 from the free throw line.

“We drew way too many fouls at the end,” Coach Bonvechio conceded.  “They went to the line a lot and that really cut down our lead.”

As the Thunderbirds likewise ran into foul trouble the Falcons managed to maintain their lead.  Duncan shot 3 of 4 in his final two trips to the free throw line and Jason Hatin shot a perfect 5 for 5 on foul shots in the game, including 4 for 4 in the final quarter alone.

Duncan lead all North Country players with 30 points in the win while three other players contributed with double digit figures — Hatin with 15, Colton White with 11 and Paxman with 10.  St. Amour was the clear top offensive player for the Thunderbirds with his 45 points accounting for half of his team’s output on the evening.  Tyler Cooper scored 17 points for MVU while Nathan Lumsden contributed 13 in the losing effort.

Contact Richard Creaser at [email protected]

For more sports stories, please see our website sports section or subscribe to our print or online edition.


In girls basketball: Craftsbury Chargers hang tough in loss to Richford


Janet Bohannon goes up for a shot against Richford. Photo by Harris Kinsey

by Harris Kinsey

copyright the Chronicle 12-12-2012           

CRAFTSBURY COMMON — Coming off a nice win against United Christian Academy, the Craftsbury Academy girls basketball team was hoping to win their first game in their brand new gym.  They fought hard through four quarters, but came up short in a 42-36 loss to Richford on Monday night, December 10.

Elle Purrier paced Richford with 10 points and the Richford Falcons rode well balanced scoring to the victory.

Janet Bohannon led all scorers with 23 points but didn’t have much help on the scoring, as other players just couldn’t get their shots to fall.

The game started slowly, with the teams trading misses until the 3:38 mark of the first quarter.  Richford scored first with a layup.  Richford 2, Craftsbury 0.

Craftsbury then scored two field goals to take the lead at 4-2.

The score stood that way for a while until Craftsbury scored three more points, and Richford got a free throw.  After the first quarter the score stood Craftsbury 7 Richford 3.

The teams traded misses again to start the second quarter, until a three-pointer by Richford cut the lead to seven to six. Scoring really picked up in the second quarter of play. Janet Bohannon led all scorers in the second quarter scoring 11 points to pace Craftsbury.  Craftsbury held the lead throughout the second and ended the first half of play with an 8-point lead, Craftsbury 23, Richford 15.

The third quarter also started with a scoring lull with the teams trading misses again until Craftsbury made two field goals to take a 27-16 lead three minutes into the third.  Craftsbury 27, Richford 16.

But Richford would then close the gap considerably.  With good defense and good shooting, they were able to get to the basket for layups, and got to the foul line.  They closed the gap to four by the end of the third.  After three quarters the score stood Craftsbury 30, Richford 26.

At the beginning of the fourth, the teams were still fighting hard and Richford hung close.  They traded baskets to start the quarter.  Then Richford began to really make shots and they ended up taking the lead by a point.  Craftsbury answered with a basket of their own to take the lead right back.  Craftsbury 36. Richford 35.

Richford took a 3-point lead with 2:07 left in the game 39-36.  Craftsbury just couldn’t make their shots fall.  The game ended with Craftsbury losing by six, Richford 42, Craftsbury 36.

After the game, Craftsbury coach Rick Thomas said,  “We are very young.  We played well and we played hard.  To hang with a veteran team as long as we did is an accomplishment in itself.  Everybody contributed.  It was a team effort.”

Craftsbury is a very young team with only four juniors and no seniors.  They have two eighth-graders, four ninth-graders, and two sophomores.  Richford on the other hand has a lot more experience with three seniors, four juniors, three sophomores, and one freshman.

Craftsbury played a great game, but came up just short.  Their next game is on December 18 when the varsity girls host Stowe at home.  The game starts at 5:30 p.m..

For more sports stories, please see our website sports section or subscribe to our print or online edition.



NC girls hockey team fueled by youth

The Lady Falcons enter the season with several key additions to the team. Though the team is young, rostering only three seniors, the addition of veteran goaltender Mikaella Doran (center) and LI standout Emily Doty (right) will help their fellow Falcons like Savannah Alberghini (left). Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle 12-5-2012

JAY — The 2012-2013 edition of the North Country Lady Falcons hockey team should prove an exciting one to watch this season.  Asked to describe the greatest strength of this year’s squad, Assistant Coach Tom Bernier replied with a single word — “youth.”

“We only have three seniors and a lot of freshmen and sophomores,” Mr. Bernier said at Monday night’s practice.  “We’re a young team and we’re still growing.”

The team features several players from neighboring school districts, including juniors Corrina Cota and Taylor Morley from Lake Region Union High, and Emily Doty from Lyndon.  That blending of players has proven both helpful and frustrating at times.

The bigger issue for head Coach Claude Paul and his staff is reconciling the varying skill levels of the players.  While some have grown up with Border Hockey or came up through the Lyndon Area Youth Hockey Association, other players are hitting the ice for their first season of varsity hockey.

“What we don’t want to do is hold back the girls who have been on the ice eight to ten years, because they’ve already got the basics,” Mr. Bernier said.  “At the same time, we have some girls new to the sport who need to learn the fundamentals.  Some of them are even fairly new to skating.”

Entering her third year on the varsity roster, Ms. Cota has endured some difficult seasons as a Falcon.  Throughout the team’s struggles, however, she has noticed that certain spark that suggests brighter days lie ahead.

“It’s been really exciting to see the team grow and develop over the years,” Ms. Cota said.  “We keep getting better and our skills are growing stronger.”

Incorporating players from the far-flung corners of the Kingdom can be a difficult task.  Just as in professional hockey, a team laden in talented players won’t automatically result in success if the team chemistry is absent.  That hasn’t proven the case with the Falcons, Ms. Cota said.

“You have to get used to each other and the way we play,” she said.  “But after a couple of weeks working together you get a feel for what they can do and what we can do as a team.”

A solid addition to the team comes in the form of Emily Doty from Lyndon Institute.  Because Lyndon lacks the numbers to field a varsity team, Ms. Doty is playing her first season for the Falcons.

“If I wasn’t playing here I would probably be playing with the boys again this year,” Ms. Doty said, referring to last season’s play on LI’s boys’ varsity squad.  “Playing with girls and against girls is going to take some getting used to.”

The biggest adjustment for Ms. Doty comes from the rules on contact in women’s hockey.  Having played with boys, she reveled in the more physical aspects of the game.

“I’ve been trained to check, line guys up for a hit,” Ms. Doty said.  “The first thing Coach Paul did was give me a page from the rule book telling me how to hit.”

Making that adjustment might run counter to the experience she gained last season, but will hardly influence how she approaches her first season with the Falcons.  Her solid, two-way play should assist the Falcons on both sides of the ice.

Another key addition to the squad comes in the form of the team’s newest goalie — Mikaella Doran.  Though new to the Falcons uniform, Ms. Doran comes with a lifetime of experience between the pipes.

“Having Mikaella is definitely going to help us both ways,” Mr. Bernier said.  “Having that confidence in net is going to let us play a more offensive game.  Her experience is going to help keep us in the game.”

The Lady Falcons start the season in earnest with a home game on Thursday, December 6, facing Woodstock at 5 p.m. at the Ice Haus in Jay.

contact Richard Creaser at [email protected]