by Ken Brown
STOWE – Hitting the road was just what the doctor ordered for the Twinfield-Cabot boys’ basketball team as they raced past Stowe and Craftsbury Academy (CA) last week, improving to 6-4 on the season.
Freshman Tej Stewart scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Trojans to a 58-41 road win over Stowe last Monday. Sam Russell added 14 points for Twinfield-Cabot, Meles Gouge chipped in with 12, and freshman Sam McLane rounded out a balanced scoring attack with 10. The Trojans set the tone in the first half, taking a 35-16 advantage into the break. The loss dropped the Raiders to 1-10 on the season.
“We probably had our best all-around offensive effort of the season in that first half, doing everything that we set out to do and the guys played great,” said head coach Chris Hudson. “We are working on solving our slow starts and the guys came out with great energy and punched them in the mouth early. For some reason we were unable to sustain it with a flat second half, but I’m pleased with what we are building towards and it was a great start to the week,” added Hudson.
Stewart remained aggressive on Friday night, pouring in 27 to lead the Trojans to a convincing 77-31 road win over the Chargers. Twinfield-Cabot blitzed CA with 13 3-pointers in the first half as McLane had another strong night with 17 and Russell chipped in with 10. Stewart has had a quiet month after bursting onto the scene with a 30 point effort in Twinfield-Cabot’s season opener. Hudson wants Stewart to be more assertive on the offensive end and this week has certainly been a step in the right direction for the talented freshman.
“Tej played really well this week and was able to score in a variety of ways for us. He stepped up with good aggression, but didn’t force things. He and Sam are starting to push and feed off of each other and that is a great sign. CA is a young team and we were able to get everyone some very valuable minutes and work on some different rotations offensively and defensively that we may need down the stretch. We are creating some good looks with better ball movement and we’re starting to shoot the ball really well as a team. We have seven freshman on this team, but through the midway point of the season have shown some promising development and we’re excited to build off of that in the second half,” said Hudson.
Dylan Washer continued to lead the Charger offense with 16 points in the loss and Sterling Blodgett pitched in with six. CA falls to 1-8 on the season and has a busy week with a home game against Christ Covenant on Monday, a road trip to Oxbow on Wednesday, and a home matchup against a tough Richford team on Friday.
“Early turnover really killed us against Twinfield-Cabot and they were able to build an early lead. They are a good team and shot the ball extremely well from the outside. We have to regroup, keep working on cutting down the turnovers, and get ready for a busy week ahead,” said CA head coach Sean Ryan.
The Trojans moved up to the fifth spot in the Division IV rankings with their solid week, holding a narrow lead over crosstown rival Danville. Hudson’s squad will have a week to prepare for Division III power Winooski as they travel to the 10-0 Spartans on Friday night. CA and Stowe will turn around and come to Marshfield next Monday and Tuesday for a pair of pivotal division rematches.
“Everyone is in the same boat with trying to reschedule games, so we just have to put our heads down and continue to compete hard. We are looking forward to the challenge of playing Winooski. They are a great team and we have nothing to lose, so we’ll go up there and compete hard and use that experience to get us ready for a busy next two weeks with big games in the division,” said Hudson.