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Big-School Colonels Handle Yellowjackets

Windsor — Because there are not enough Vermont Division I teams, particularly in the southern part of the state, larger schools such as Mount Anthony, Brattleboro and Rutland have to play teams a division or two smaller in order to fit in a full schedule of games. The most recent Division I team to venture down a level or two came on Thursday night when Brattleboro took care of Division III Windsor 56-28.

On Wednesday night, Mount Anthony came to Division III Springfield and whipped the Cosmos 73-34.

It was not that long ago that the Yellowjackets were a Division I team. Even as the school’s enrollment dropped, Windsor had years when it could still hang with the Colonels after the Jacks dropped down two divisions. However, now there are only about 100 boys at Windsor High, and the enrollment differential in the schools was evident in the final score.

Both Springfield and Windsor lost their games when the opponent used multiple substitutions, dominated the boards and smothered the Cosmos and Jacks defensively when they had the ball.

Still, Windsor coach Harry Ladue was not one to make excuses, but he said he would have liked to have had nine returning seniors, as the Colonels have.

“They cut down our passing angles and jammed our guards,” said Ladue. “They just make it hard to score.”

It was the first loss for Windsor after two wins, while Brattleboro evened its record after a season -opening 58-50 loss to Mount Mansfield.

While a win is a win, and Brattleboro coach Joe Rivers was happy to have it, he knows the point totals his team has been putting up is not going to get it done the rest of the season.

“I think we have to be more creative offensively,” he said. “There were some scoring lapses and at times our offense wasn’t with it.”

While the Brattleboro offense may have not been great, the Colonels’ defense at times was outstanding. At one nine-minute stretch between the first and second periods, the Jacks were held scoreless and they had just two points in the second period.

“They just take you out of what you do,” Ladue said. “There’s nothing you can do about it. You just keep moving forward.”

The night was not a total bust offensively for the Jacks, who suffered through an eight-point first half then showed some grit by outscoring the Colonels 13-8 in the third quarter. The Colonels, who were never in trouble, couldn’t put up the big offensive numbers as Windsor kept scrapping, even though the huge Brattleboro height and depth advantage enabled the Colonels to have several chances on many possessions before scoring.

Mike Bradley, Windsor’s 6-foot-3 junior center, battled the bigger Colonels and had a 13-point game.