Local roundup: Oxbow boys basketball struggling on the court but building up roster, fan support

Staff reports

Published: 01-31-2023 8:34 AM

WELLS RIVER, Vt. — The Oxbow High boys basketball team suffered its 11th consecutive loss Monday night, falling 60-24, to host Blue Mountain in a Vermont Division III clash between neighboring rivals.

Chase Lund scored seven points for the Olympians (1-11), while Ethan Davis added five points and Zadian Walton seven rebounds. Third-year coach Justin Smith said the winter’s results can obscure growth for a program that hasn’t had a winning record since 2001.

“We had one senior last season and we have one senior this season,” said Smith, who coached Thetford Academy from 2009-2013, twice taking the Panthers to the state finals. “But I don’t have to say much to these kids; they get it, and I have a lot of hope for them.”

Oxbow, 1-17 last winter, beat Green Mountain during its season opener but lost junior Brady Nickles to a broken kneecap two games later.

Classmate Isaiah Beauregard, 6-foot-3, was discovered to have compartment syndrome in a leg and has been out while undergoing weekly treatments in Boston. Other players suffered a broken foot, a broken wrist and cases of stomach flu and COVID-19.

That’s mostly left Lund, a senior and the football team’s quarterback, and a supporting cast of freshmen and sophomores. Oxbow also lost to Blue Mountain, 64-36, on Friday, but Smith was encouraged by a sizable home crowd featuring members of longtime sports-supporting families. He recognized faces from his own Olympians playing days during the 1990s.

“We packed the house, and this is an easy group to root for,” said the 42-year old, whose team hosts Craftsbury (1-10) on Wednesday. “Then I get to practice on Sunday and there are three kids already at the school, waiting for it to begin.”

A veteran of seven JV seasons at his alma mater and two more at Thetford, Smith had only 13 players in his entire program during the 2020-21 season. No one signed up for his summer team. Now, he has close to 30 players and this past summer took two teams’ worth of teenagers to group camps.

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“What else is there to do in this town?” Smith asked with a chuckle. “We’re starting to get support from the youth teams, and our No. 1 goal is to make playing high school basketball a good experience for everyone who signs up.”

Mid Vermont Christian 64, Sharon Academy 23

SHARON — Abel Goodwin had 21 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals for the Eagles (11-3).

Joel Roberts had 17 points, Carson Meloon had 14 points and nine rebounds and Roman Goeppner had six points and 17 rebounds for MVCS, which hosts Proctor (4-8) on Wednesday.

Hartford 64, Springfield 26

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Christian Hathorn had 14 points and Brady Olmstead added 10 and the Hurricanes improved to 11-2. Hartford, which allowed only nine second-half points, hosts Mount St. Joseph (7-4) on Thursday.

Thetford 55, Peoples 36

THETFORD — Mitchell Parkman scored 19 points and Dempsey McGovern had 16 to help the Panthers improve to 8-2 with the victory over the Wolves. Thetford is at Randolph on Wednesday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL White River Valley 68, Proctor 30

PROCTOR, Vt. — Ashlyn Rhoades had 20 points and Tanner Drury chipped in 18 points during the Vermont Division III clash and the Wildcats moved to 7-3. Proctor fell to 3-8.

Ella Perrault had 11 points and 12 rebounds and Jillian Barry had nine points for White River Valley, which hosts Bellows Falls (4-9) on Wednesday.

Fall Mountain 46, Mascoma 42

LANGDON, N.H. — The Royals came up short against the Wildcats, falling to 3-9. Mascoma hosts Berlin on Friday.

BOYS HOCKEY Concord 6, Hanover 4

CONCORD — Trevor Lichtenstein had two goals but the Bears (5-4) fell to the Crimson Tide (11-0). The hosts led, 4-0, after a period at Everett Arena.

“We have to be better prepared to start games,” said Hanover coach Dick Dodds. “We battled hard, but you don’t give Concord that lead on home ice.”

Henry Cotter had a goal and an assist for the visitors, who also received a Ronan Przydzielski tally and two assists from Ryder Wilson. Jo Jo Drent stopped 26 shots for Hanover, which visits Keene (5-5) on Wednesday.

Hartford 7, Stowe 2

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — Ozzy DeFelice posted a hat trick and Joseph Barwood tallied twice for the Hurricanes (10-3), who earned coach Todd Bebeau his 300th career victory. Matt Hayes and Blaine Gour also scored and the latter added an assist.

James McReynolds had three assists and Logan Caffery and Connor Tierney each had two assists for the hosts, who received 14 saves from Davey Bradley. Liam Newhouse stopped 29 shots for Stowe (7-5). Hartford visits Woodstock (3-8) on Wednesday.

Missisquoi 6, Woodstock 3

SWANTON, Vt. — The visiting Wasps lost their fifth consecutive game and tumbled to 3-8 while the Thunderbirds improved to 4-7-2. Woodstock hosts Hartford (10-3) on Wednesday.

GIRLS HOCKEY Burlington-Colchester 4, Hartford 1

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The Vermont Division II Hurricanes trailed, 1-0, after two periods and finished the season 2-4 against Division I teams. Hartford (5-7) visits Burr & Burton (8-2-2) on Wednesday.

UNIFIED BASKETBALL Hanover 54, Winnisquam 34

HANOVER — Eli Weintruab had 16 points and Steven Lan had 12 points. The Bears (2-2) host Keene (5-0) on Wednesday. The Blackbirds won the NHIAA teams’ first meeting, 61-30, on Jan. 4.

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