by Ken Brown
ORFORD, N.H. – Second seeded Rivendell Academy flexed its muscles against the Craftsbury Academy (CA) boys’ basketball team last week, ending their season in the first round of the Division IV playoffs.
Finn O’Donnell scored 14 points and dished out six assists to lead the Raptors to a dominant 81-12 home win over the Chargers last Wednesday. Harry Molesworth added 12 points and 12 rebounds to help fuel a 26-5 run to start the game. Parker Piper chipped in with seven points and eight boards for Rivendell as they reeled off their tenth straight win. The Raptors defeated seventh-seeded Leland and Gray 65-45 in the quarterfinals over the weekend to advance to the Division IV Final Four.
Head coach Sean Ryan struggled with numbers and inexperience in his second season on the sidelines for CA. He will lose Dalton Gravel and Will Patnoe to graduation, but will return a more experienced core next winter, with some talented youth coming up through the pipeline. Dylan Washer led CA in scoring for the second straight season and will have a chance to become the next Charger to reach the 1,000 career scoring mark in his senior campaign. Freshman Landon Miller and Grayson McNaughten showed flashes of potential throughout the second half of the season with an inside-out combination that could develop into something fun to watch in the coming years. Ryan’s young squad showed improvement throughout the season and got their signature win against Division III Stowe late last month. He hopes to continue to develop the youth basketball program in Craftsbury and continue to draw interest in the sport from other Chargers multi-sport athletes to keep building the program.
“We should return a solid core next season that now has some invaluable varsity experience. We have some players coming up from junior high that show some promise and we hope to combine our practices to increase numbers, which should allow us to work on developing some better game situation habits. It should create some continuity within the program as our younger players transition to the varsity level. Dylan should continue to lead us offensively and as we develop the skills of the players around him, I look forward to watching him grow as a player and develop as a leader in his senior season. Grayson is tall and athletic and probably still has some growing to do. He’s still pretty new to the game, but he has a lot of potential and wants to put in the work to be a good basketball player. Landon showed some promise as a shooter this season, he has a great attitude, and we’ll continue to build his confidence to round out his game. We play in a tough league and we’ll keep working at balancing out our schedule to help us develop and be more competitive. Winning is the outcome of hard work and we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We look forward to keep building this program,” said Ryan.
Rivendell Academy will face off against third-seeded Danville in Wednesday’s semifinal at the Barre Auditorium.