by Ken Brown
RICHFORD – The Twinfield-Cabot boys’ basketball team wrapped up their regular season with losses to high-powered Richford and Blue Mountain last week and will enter the playoffs as the sixth ranked team in Division IV.
Will Steinhour scored 18 points and Elia Varisco added 16 to power Richford to a 59-44 home win over the Trojans last Monday. Jerrick Jacobs chipped in with 14 for the Falcons, who went into the break with a 32-22 lead and broke the game open with an 11-2 run to start the third quarter. Richford improved to 15-5 on the season and will be the four seed in the upcoming division III tournament. Sam Russell led Twinfield-Cabot with 11 points in the loss.
“I was very happy with our defensive effort, we just couldn’t put the ball in the hole. Tej Stewart got hurt early and he was pretty limited the rest of the way, but the guys fought hard and didn’t quit,” said head coach Chris Hudson.
Division IV defending champion Blue Mountain defended their home court 56-41 against the Trojans on Thursday night behind a game-high 22 points from Evan Dennis. Kason Blood added 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers and Ricky Fennimore chipped in with seven. Sam McLane connected on four long range jumpers to lead Twinfield-Cabot with 12 points and Tej Stewart and Eli Russell combined for 20 more in the loss. The Bucks took a 30-13 lead into the break and never looked back, improving to 13-7. They will begin their title defense this week as the fifth seed and will open up against twelfth-seeded Williamstown on Tuesday.
“Again, we didn’t play badly defensively, we just lacked offensive efficiency and that is the product of a young team sometimes. Two weeks ago we were shooting the lights out and tonight we missed 8 layups. We competed hard and the hustle that I wanted to see was there, but you’re not going to beat a team like that missing that many easy opportunities to score,” said Hudson.
Hudson’s young squad that includes seven freshman will begin their playoff run on their home court this week. He has brought four teams to the Final Four at the Barre Auditorium in his eight seasons on the sidelines in Marshfield and would love for his young players to experience what it feels like to step on that court and feel that energy.
“I’d love for these young kids to go on a run and make it to the Aud. They’ve had a great season already for such a young team, but they have the ability to accomplish more. Right now we are solely focused on Proctor and attacking their zone defense. We are both different teams since we beat them to open the season and we’ll look to get out in transition and run to create some easier looks against them. We’ve gone through a gauntlet of a schedule this season and I think it gives us an advantage in the tournament. We are just young enough to not know any better and we could get hot and make a deep run,” said Hudson.
The Trojans will host eleventh-seeded Proctor on Wednesday night in the opening round of the Division IV tournament. If they advance, they will likely travel to third-seeded Danville on Saturday afternoon in the quarterfinal round. It would be the third match-up of the season between the two crosstown rivals.