by Ken Brown
DANVILLE – Head coach Chris Hudson’s young Twinfield-Cabot boys’ basketball team showed both sides of themselves last week in a disappointing road loss to division rival Danville, before rebounding as a totally different team in a resounding home win against Oxbow.
Senior Christian Young poured in a game-high 21 points to help Danville break open a close game in the second half in a 74-41 home win over the Trojans last Wednesday. Andrew Joncas complimented his backcourt mate with 16 and Arius Andrews did the dirty work inside with eight points and 10 rebounds. Sam Russell led Twinfield-Cabot with 18, including 10 in the second quarter to keep his team within striking distance at the break. Trojan point guard Meles Gouge connected from long range early in the third quarter to make it a two-possession game, but three consecutive 3-pointers from Young, Joncas, and freshman Cole Guinard (12 points) flipped the momentum. The Bears would end the quarter on a 22-3 run and the rout was on. Freshman Tej Stewart fought through an early ankle injury to finish with eight points in the loss. It was the seventh straight win for the Bears as they improved to 13-5 and moved into the third spot in the current Division IV rankings.
“Give credit to Danville, they came out in the second half and punched us in the mouth, but it really caught me by surprise that we had no fight or response,” said Hudson. “We flat out played selfish basketball, pouting, complaining about calls, and just couldn’t get out of our own heads. I understand that we are a very young team, but 15 games in I thought we had overcome that stuff. This team has fought back from adversity several times this season to come back and win ball games and unfortunately in one of our biggest games of the season we reverted back to being a young and inexperienced ballclub,” added Hudson.
A team meeting seemed to recalibrate the Trojans Friday as they celebrated Senior Night with a dominant 78-47 home win over Oxbow. Meles Gouge led Twinfield-Cabot with 20 points, Sam Russell added 18, and Stewart chipped in with 16 as they rained down 15 three-pointers on the Olympians. Braxton Adams led Oxbow with 10 points in the loss as they fell to 3-14, near the bottom of the Division III standings. T.J. Bernatchy was celebrated on the night and Hudson couldn’t say enough about his senior big-man’s growth over the past two seasons and the leadership he has brought to such a young team.
“We all had a ‘heart to heart’ as a team after the Danville game and I’m proud of the way they came out and responded Friday night. It could have gone one of two ways after a talk like that, but the guys came out and did the little things on both ends of the court and I’m proud of them. Brayden Cushing got his first start and played well and we got out in transition and played the style of basketball that we’re capable of. T.J. didn’t play much last year, but he put in a lot of work on his game over the summer and he’s everything a coach could want in their senior leader. He’s asked to do a lot of the hard things inside for us, executes his roll night in and night out, and he’s become more vocal defensively for us. I just couldn’t be any prouder of that kid. Our seeding probably won’t change this week so I’m just looking for that same kind of energy to finish out our regular season. If we play unselfish basketball like we did tonight, we can play with anyone in our division,” said Hudson.
Twinfield-Cabot currently sits at 10-6 and is ranked sixth in the Division IV standings. They travelled to Richford on Monday and will wrap up their regular season with a home match-up against defending champion Blue Mountain on Thursday night.