by Ken Brown
VERGENNES – The Twinfield-Cabot boys’ basketball team felt the full strength from the top of the rugged Mountain League last week as they fell to Vergennes and Blue Mountain, evening their record at 4-4 on the year.
Oakley Francis scored a game-high 29 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead Vergennes to a 76-49 home win over the Trojans last Tuesday. Elijah Duprey added 17 points and five assists for the Commodores and Spencer Gebo added 12 in the win. Meles Gouge led Twinfield-Cabot with 13 in the loss. It was the fifth straight win for Vergennes as they moved into the top five of the Division III rankings.
“They are big and quick and showed why they are one of the top teams in Division III. I’m really happy with the way the guys played and competed overall. We stayed right with them in the first half and it was still a ball game into the fourth before they wore us down. We showed some good signs of moving the ball, hitting our spaces, and running our offense the way we want to. We shot the ball really efficiently, but they killed us on the offensive glass and you just can’t give a team like Vergennes that many extra possessions. We’re not a huge team so we have to be more fundamentally sound boxing out for four quarters to be successful,” said head coach Chris Hudson.
Evan Dennis dropped a career-high 36 points on the Trojans on Friday night, leading Blue Mountain to a 73-57 win at home. The defending Division IV champs raced out to a 41-20 lead at the half behind a trio of three’s from Dennis and 17 points from Ricky Fennimore. Meles Gouge helped Twinfield-Cabot cut into the lead the last two quarters with a team-high 13 points, but the hole was too deep. Freshman Sam McLane and Zepherin Hebert combined for 19 points and six 3-pointers to give the Trojans a spark down the stretch. Blue Mountain ran their winning streak to four games with the win, improving to 6-2 on the season.
“We basically lost that game in the first quarter. I loved the way the guys competed the last 24 minutes, but we need to figure out how to start quicker on the road. We were stagnant offensively and it bled into our defense and Dennis took advantage of it early. He’s probably as good as you are going to see in our division. Our second half was better and I really liked what I saw from some of our young guys as they are starting to step up with more varsity games under their belt. We have a big week ahead of us that will tell us a lot about our team. We are not that far off and we have the young talent here to be one of those last four teams standing at the end of the year. We need some guys to be more aggressive for us to get there and keep working at improving as a team and hopefully build some momentum down the stretch,” said Hudson.
Twinfield-Cabot traveled to Stowe on Monday and will welcome crosstown rival Danville to town on Wednesday night. The Trojans will finish out the week on the road at Craftsbury Academy on Friday.