Tough Week for Shorthanded Chargers

courtesy photo
Pvt. Dalton Gravel (center) was presented with a Vermont Army National Guard medal and Challenge coin from SSG Richard Zilski (left) and Sgt. Lillie Allen (right) during half time of the Craftsbury School’s basketball game January 5 where Gravel is a senior. The awards were presented to Pvt. Gravel in recognition of his commitment to serve his country in the state and community Vermont Army National Guard. Also pictured are Pvt. Gravel’s mom Ashley Gravel (second from left) and dad Richard Gravel (second from right).

by Ken Brown

RICHFORD – The Craftsbury Academy (CA) boys’ basketball team started the new year against some stiff competition, struggling against Richford and Mid-VT Christian (MVCS), falling to 1-4 on the season.

Jerrick Jacobs scored a team-high 14 points to help fuel a 24-8 run to start the game to lead Richford to a 78-30 home win over CA last Tuesday. Carter Blaney and Carson Steinhour added 12 apiece and Ethan Kirkpatrick chipped in with nine to power the Rockets to a 46-15 advantage at the break. Dylan Washer continued to lead the Chargers in scoring, pumping in a career-high 27 in the loss. Richford improved to 5-2 on the season and is becoming a sleeper contender in Division III.

“They are the complete package inside and out and probably the best team we’ve seen this season,” said head coach Sean Ryan. “We are dealing with some illness right now and a little shorthanded, but overall we just came out a little flat after the holiday break. They have multiple scoring threats, but they did an even better job crashing the boards, limiting us to one and done on the offensive end. Dylan was once again opportunistic with the scoring chances he got and did a great job executing, but we need to support him better and develop some more balanced scoring throughout the season,” added Ryan.

Joel Roberts (26 points) and Abel Goodwin (24) combined for 50 points to power MVCS to a 73-28 road win over the Chargers last Thursday. Roman Goeppner added 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds as the Eagles improved to 6-2 on the season. Junior Chris Haefs led CA with nine points in the loss.

“They have a lot of size and multiple shooters and when they got out in transition, they were difficult to stop. We had some better moments in this game, but we had too many stretches with multiple turnovers that led to some easy baskets for them. The break didn’t really help us developmentally and we have some work to do to get our legs back underneath us. We have a tough month ahead of us in the Mountain League so we need to continue to get healthy, work on some of our weaknesses, and develop some continuity so we can gain some confidence and momentum. We hope to be a little healthier this week and look forward to the challenge,” said Ryan.

The Chargers traveled to Division II Enosburg on Monday and will stay on the road for a divisional match-up against Twinfield-Cabot on Thursday.