Local Roundup: Oxbow Advances in OT

  • Sharon's Cole Ward.

  • Oxbow's Kyle Sweet.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Whitingham, Vt. — Oxbow High sophomore Tegan McKnelly made a 3-pointer to force overtime in the first round of the VPA Division III playoffs on Tuesday, and from then on everything the Olympians touched turned to gold. Ninth-seeded Oxbow outscored host and No. 8 seed Twin Valley, 11-0, in the overtime to beat the Wildcats, 57-46, and advance to the quarterfinals at top-ranked Windsor on Friday night.

The Twin Valley defense focused the entirety of the game plan on stopping Oxbow leading scorer Ben Emerson, who was held off the scoreboard for the first time all season.

“They sold the farm to keep (Emerson) from scoring,” Oxbow coach Steve Carson said. “But Ben played defense, rebounded, did everything else to help us. The other guys were left open to do their thing.”

McKnelly led the Olympians with 15 points. Oxbow trailed, 46-43, in the final minute before McKnelly’s game-tying bomb from beyond the arc. Orin Mahikoa and Kyle Sweet each added 13 points. Lincoln Ilsley had eight points.

Sweet made a 3-pointer to begin the overtime barrage for the Olympians. Sweet followed with a steal and a layup to make it five quick points. Oxbow then went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line to help close out the Wildcats.

“It’s a good feeling,” Carson said. “They shut down our best scorer, so we just had to figure out a way to gut out a win. Once we figured things out, things got going good.”

Oxbow (10-11) and Windsor (18-3) did not play in the regular season. The quarterfinal matchup will tip off at 7 p.m. in Windsor on Friday night.

Woodstock 53Enosburg Falls 37

Enosburg Falls, Vt. — The ninth-seeded Wasps (12-9) made the 2½-hour bus ride north worth the trip, riding Caleb Webb’s big first quarter to a VPA Division II first-round tournament victory.

Webb amassed 13 points in Woodstock’s 15-5 opening stanza, and the visitors never trailed from that point forward. Webb finished with a game-best 20 points before fouling out.

Gabe Marsicovetere worked the inside as well for 17 points. Woodstock locked down the victory by shooting 8-for-12 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. Gavin Johnson led the host Hornets (10-11) with 12 points.

Woodstock visits No. 1 Fair Haven in a quarterfinal on Friday night.

Windsor 78, Randolph 37

Windsor — The Yellowjackets built a 43-14 lead at halftime and cruised over the Galloping Ghosts in the first round of the VPA Division III playoffs.

Duncan Frazer (12 points) and Robert Slocum (11 points) led the way for Windsor, which had 13 different players score. Adam Stapleton added 10 points. Ben Meagher and Seth Balch each had nine points.

No. 1 seed Windsor (18-3) will host No. 9 seed Oxbow in the quarterfinals on Friday night. The teams did not play each other in the regular season.

Thetford 61, Green Mtn. 41

Thetford — The Panthers used a 20-6 run in the second quarter to take a commanding lead in the first round of the VPA Division III playoffs.

Dylan Thorburn led Thetford (14-7) with 20 points. Owen Deffner added nine points. Lawson Ouellette and Dan Wells each added eight points. Alex Emerson chipped in with seven points.

The Panthers led, 38-17, at halftime. Thetford will play the winner of the Hazen vs. Northfield first-round matchup which is currently scheduled for today.

Sharon 75, West Rutland 46

Sharon — Despite playing an uneven game at times, the undefeated Phoenix had little trouble in the first round of the VPA Division IV playoffs.

Austin Gaudette had five 3-pointers on his way to 19 points for Sharon (21-0). Cole Ward added 14 points. Olly Skeet-Browning, Fisher Kelley and Sam Knoerlein each had 11 points.

Sharon started the game on a 14-2 run against West Rutland’s man-to-man defense. The Golden Horde the switched to a zone that was able to slow the Phoenix down offensively for stretches in the first half, but Sharon still led, 33-10, at halftime. West Rutland found another level offensively after the break, but the Phoenix countered with 24 points in the third quarter to halt any would-be comeback attempt.

Sharon will play home on Saturday in the quarterfinals against the winner of today’s game between Websterville and Chelsea.

Whitcomb-Rochester 44 Craftsbury 41

Craftsbury, Vt. — Zach Rhoades had 14 points and the No. 9 seed Mountaineers did enough to hold on for a road win in the VPA Division IV playoffs over the No. 8 seed Chargers.

Whitchester (11-10) led by as many as 12 points early in the fourth quarter before Craftsbury began its comeback. The Chargers pulled within one point with a 3-pointer in the final minute.

Eddie Bray added 11 points and Colby Washburn had nine for the Mountaineers. Daniel Labejsza added seven points. Whitchester visits Danville for a quarterfinal game on Friday night.

John Stark 40, Lebanon 39

Lebanon — The reign has ended. The defending NHIAA Division II champion and No. 2 seed Raiders saw their title defense come to end with a first-round loss to the No. 15 seed Generals.

Lebanon (16-6) led, 33-25, heading into the fourth quarter before John Stark started to chip away at the lead while the Raiders’ offense went cold. With his team trailing, 39-38, John Stark’s Christian Barr won a scramble at midcourt, dribbled down the court and converted a layup as time expired to give the Generals a 40-39 win over Lebanon Tuesday night, ending the Raiders’ season.

Chris Nulty (11 points) and Jon Willeman (eight points) led the Lebanon offense. The Raiders will graduate three: Nulty, Matt Eylander and Keelan Carey.

“The program is really going to miss those three,” Lebanon coach Kieth Matte said.

Fair Haven 62, Hartford 45

Fair Haven, Vt. — The No. 16 seed Hurricanes fell to top-seeded Fair Haven in the first round of the VPA Division II playoffs.

Hunter Perkins (11 points) and Alex Valley (10 points) led the Canes. Patrick Brady added eight points. Fair Haven opened the game on a 21-9 run and led, 35-20, at halftime.

Hartford (5-16) will graduate Valley, Perkins, Brady, Aidan Saturley, Hunter Gaudette and Joey Batchelder.

Pembroke 75, Hanover 54

Pembroke, n.h. — The No. 14 seed Marauders were unable to keep pace at No. 3 seed Pembroke in the first round of the NHIAA Division II playoffs.

The Marauders led, 27-26, at halftime before the Spartans went on a run in the second half to pull away. Martin Paulsen had 15 points, Caleb Putnam had 14 and Nolan Gantrish had 10.

“The kids played hard. We struggled a little down the stretch but they left it all on the floor,” Marauders coach Tim Winslow said.

Hanover finished 8-11 in NHIAA play, 11-11 overall, and will lose Paulsen, Putnam, Lincoln Adam, Charlie Goodrich, Alex Mosenthal, Graham Penfield, Michael Staiger and Calen Thomas to graduation.

Alpine Skiing

Woodstock at States

Burke, Vt. — The Wasps had a strong showing at the Vermont state championship meet at Burke Mountain.

Peter Borden led the Woodstock boys, finishing fourth in the giant slalom. Teammate Kyle Weirether took ninth in the GS. Alice Sperber took eighth in the second run of the slalom for the Woodstock girls.

Complete results were unavailable, but the Woodstock girls took sixth overall and the boys were third overall.


This story has been updated to reflect that John Stark’s Christian Barr scored a last-second layup to give his team a one-point victory over Lebanon. An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect score prior to the winning basket and als