Thursday January 17, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- After losing to Burr and Burton 47-46 in overtime in their season-opener, the Leland & Gray boys basketball team has won seven straight.

And the Rebels have that secret ingreDient that’s necessary for being crowned.

With interior forces Mike Bergeron and Drew Barnum changing shots and then cleaning the glass, the Townshend team limited Black River to just a dozen total points. And on Friday, Jake Sherman and Riley Kenney played some in-your-face defense as Andrew Nystrom’s crew held Green Mountain to 22.

Eric Libardoni’s skaters have been equally impressive this month. The Brattleboro hockey team is currently 8-1, thanks to four shutouts by goalie Greg DiSilva and a trio of two-goal games by Andy Harris.

Eenie meenie miney mo? You can pick one of those two groups out of a hat when it comes to the best team in the area this month on the boys side.

The best single game in the area probably came from Connor Elliott Knaggs or Willie Moore. The former scored 18 points, including 4-for-4 shooting from the stripe in the fourth quarter, in Brattleboro’s 51-46 decision over rival MAU in Bennington. And the latter went off for 20 as Bellows Falls stole one in Wilmington, 53-46.

It’s hard to argue against Nolan Viens being Mister January, however, as the Bellows Falls-Hartford wrestler is a perfect 24-0 this season. But teammate Patrick Libuda’s triple-overtime victory in the Northbridge, Mass. Tournament final on Saturday was pretty sweet.

The best duo resides in Wilmington. Dal Nesbitt is averaging 21 points per game this month for the Twin Valley boys basketball team, while floor general Colin Lozito already has a couple of double-doubles.

Over in the 603, you can count on double-digit scoring from Allison Scott and a Hinsdale victory every time the Pacer girls take the floor. The dangerous guard has scored 11, 12, 14 and 22 points in her four contests this month, and Terry Bonnette’s team is now a perfect 9-0. The Pacers will put their undefeated record on the line again when they play at Nute on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

A trio of other girls have had monster games on the court, including the 19-point performance by Brattleboro’s Kayla Savage on Monday at Amherst and teammate Maddy Derosia’s 14 points versus BFA-St. Albans on Jan. 5, along with the 14 points and eight rebounds by Leland & Gray’s Haley Buffum on Monday against MSJ.

But this area’s female athlete of the month is looking like a skier. That’s the Colonels Halie Lange, who nosed out Rutland star Chloe Levins on Jan. 4 in Manchester and again on Jan. 8 in Chittenden.

Shane Covey can be reached at scovey@reformer.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.