BRATTLEBORO -- The ice and snow from a recent storm in Georgia caused an estimated $25 million in damage. Flooding this month in North Carolina left 460,000 homes without power.
But for Bellows Falls-Hartford wrestler Nolan Viens and the Hinsdale varsity girls basketball team, this winter has been perfect.
Viens went 46-0 this season in the 145-pound division. The senior co-captain defeated Darren Ruiz of MAU in the state finals, becoming just the second two-time champion in school history. He also helped Bellows Falls-Hartford to a runnerup finish, behind the powerhouse Patriots of Bennington.
Meanwhile, the Lady Pacers kept having their hands raised on the court. Coach Terry Bonnette's team finished with a 22-0 mark, including a victory over Sunapee in the NHIAA Division 4 title game. Bridget Bourne and Breanna Benjamin were the leading scorers in that finale, while fellow seniors Skylar Bonnette and Allison Scott each reached the 1,000-point milestone during the season.
In Sochi, two local women fared way better than President Obama, who lost a couple of beer bets to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on USA-Canada hockey games. Former Twin Valley soccer star Devin Logan earned silver in ski slopestyle and West Dover's Kelly Clark took bronze in snowboard halfpipe, helping the United States finish second to Russia in the final medal standings.
The likes of 1,000-point scorers Colin Lozito and Dal Nesbitt looked like they might never experience the agony of defeat during this school season. After running the table to capture the soccer crown, their Twin Valley boys basketball team started off 14-0 before losing a thriller to Poultney, 59-54. The Wildcats would finish up with an impressive 22-2 record, including a state final loss to Danville at the Aud in Barre.
And there were some memorable individual performances in big games by area athletes during the winter season.
Brattleboro center Ari Harrison had a double-double (19 points, 18 rebounds) in a girls basketball quarterfinal versus rival MAU. Kendrick Mills poured in 30 points to help the 10th-seeded Bellows Falls boys knock off No. 7 Vergennes. Austin Viens, of the Bellows-Falls Hartford wrestling team, went a perfect 5-0 during a Bennington tournament to record the 100th win of his varsity career.
As for the future stars, it was the Vernon boys and Brattleboro's Orange Crush girls that won the Vernon basketball tournaments. And it was Brattleboro Figure Skating Club members Soha Sherwani, Abigail Squires, Rose Dumaine, Casey Conkling, Jaden Conkling, Emma Fuller and Rachel Racco that pocketed 11 total medals in a competition in Fitchburg, Mass.
Shane Covey can be reached at scovey @reformer.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.