Saturday February 9, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- Aside from Math, English, Science, Geography, Music and Art, it appears that students have been learning something else at high schools in this corner of the state.

That is, how to make free throws.

A trio of Twin Valley graduates and another from Brattleboro Union High School are making at least 75 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe at the college level this season.

They are all as good from 15 feet away as the NBA’s Joakim Noah, Tayshaun Prince and Elton Brand.

Devon Spirka, who is playing at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass., is leading the way at 79 percent. The Wilmington native is averaging 9.3 points, 3.8 assists and 4.1 rebounds for the 6-16 Bison. Better known for her dishes than anything else while at Twin Valley, she recently had six dimes versus Roger Williams.

Brattleboro’s Mary Richardson of Johnson State College is just behind Spirka when it comes to free throws at 77 percent, Tarryn Bolognani of Castleton State College is at 76 percent, and Nazareth College’s Scott Hayford is shooting 75 percent at the line.

Richardson was recently named North Atlantic Conference Rookie of the Week, after scoring 15 and 16 points respectively in a pair of Johnson State victories. The Health Science major is averaging 13.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists for the 5-15 Badgers.

"T-Bo" is on the most successful team of the group, as the Castleton State College women are 20-1 -- a 60-39 loss to Colby-Sawyer on Jan. 12 is their lone blemish. The senior guard from Whitingham is averaging 8.6 points and 3.9 boards for the Spartans.

"Scooter" has started all 21 games at Nazareth, where he’s an Accounting and Economics major. The 6-3 junior is averaging 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and has already drained 33 trifectas for the 13-8 Golden Flyers.

Elsewhere, Wilmington’s Candon Rusin is averaging 8.1 points per game for the University of Vermont (15-7). He led the Marist Red Foxes in scoring as a freshman after going over the 2,000-point mark at Twin Valley.

Dammy Mustapha of Bellows Falls is averaging 6.7 points and 6.1 rebounds for the 11-10 Castleton State College men. And Twin Valley grad Ian Marquis is averaging 2.3 points per game for 6-16 Norwich.

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