MONTPELIER — Tyler Ricker and Leo Riby-Williams were perfect from the foul line and Montpelier leapfrogged Lake Region in the Division II standings with Friday’s 41-34 boys basketball victory.
The Solons (13-5) took over the No. 3 spot in the rankings, while Lake Region (12-4) dropped to No. 4. Montpelier boasts seven straight victories and has won 12 of 13 games entering the final week of the regular season.
“We were just really excited to play this game,” Montpelier coach Nick Foster said. “We’ve been in so many of these types of games now, so we’re used to playing in those one- and two-possession games in the fourth quarter.”
Ricker scored 14 points for the Solons after going 4 of 4 from the foul line. Riby-Williams went 3 of 3 from the free-throw line and finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Jonah Cattaneo (three assists) and David Ackerson added five points apiece for MHS, which went 8 of 11 from the line as a team.
Drew Drageset (14 points) and Jackson King (eight points) paced Lake Region. Dylan Gagnon went 5 of 6 from the foul line for the Rangers.
“Lake Region is hard to score on and they play really solid man-to-man defense,” Foster said. “And offensively they’re so methodical. They really run the offense they want to run. We tried to speed them up and press the entire time, and it didn’t seem to faze them. But in the fourth quarter we were finally able to force some turnovers that turned into points.”
The game was tied at 8 after the first quarter. Lake Region led 22-21 at halftime and the score was knotted at 30 after three quarters. Gagnon capped a three-point play from the foul line to make it a two-point game entering the final minute. Ackerson countered with a quick basket for a 38-34 advantage. A foul shot by Ackerson during the front end of a 1-and-1 situation was waved off due to a lane violation.
The Rangers inbounded and attempted to make it a two- or three-point game, but Isaak Donahue took a hard charge to give Montpelier possession. The Rangers fouled Ricker with 15 seconds remaining and he made both attempts for a 40-34 lead. Ackerson added another foul shot to lock up the final outcome.
“We didn’t rebound that well early, but we did much better in the second half,” Foster said. “We did a good job of staying connected with (Drageset) the whole game and both Isaak and Leo played good defense on him. We played more zone than we have all year and we showed them some 2-3 in the second half.”
Montpelier will travel to play Randolph at 7 p.m. Monday.
U-32 69, Lamoille 61
EAST MONTPELIER — Jordan Hawkins scored 21 points, grabbed six rebounds and Bryson Richards had 20 points and five rebounds as U-32 scrambled to a 69-61 victory over visiting Lamoille on Friday.
It was fitting that on “Senior Night,” both players led their team in scoring as well as scoring the first two baskets of the game. Anthony Engelhard joined his two senior teammates in double-figures with 10 points and Owen Kellington chipped in nine for the Raiders. Carter Pelzel hauled in eight rebounds to go along with four points.
Kolby Picard had 23 points, with Hunter Wells dropping in 12 points to lead Lamoille.
“I thought that it was kinda’ nice the way that unfolded,” U-32 coach Dan Gauthier said.
Richards’ three-point shooting helped the Raiders maintain a double-digit lead on Lamoille in the second half. Each time the Lancers made a move to string baskets together, either Richards or Hawkins would halt the bleeding with a basket to keep the Lancers in the rearview mirror. As the game moved to its later minutes, the Lancers, with no choice but to foul, made a late run as Engelhard missed a few freebies, allowing Lamoille to creep within six, but Richards’ four-for-four effort at the charity stripe allowed U-32 to maintain a three-basket advantage.
U-32 (11-7) will finish its regular season at Williamstown on Wednesday. Lamoille (10-7) will host Harwood the same day.
Harwood 45, Oxbow 43
BRADFORD — Michael Fuller (13 points), Max Hill (11 points) and Jasper Koliba (10 points) helped the Highlanders prevail after Friday’s game started out like a chess match.
Trevor Moore recorded a season-high 16 points for the Olympians, who trailed 5-4 after the first quarter. Harwood pulled ahead 14-9 entering the break and held a 28-22 lead after three quarters. Matt Emerson scored all 12 of his points in the fourth quarter to fuel Oxbow’s comeback bid. A Harwood turnover gave Oxbow the ball with the game tied at 42 during the final 30 seconds. The Highlanders tipped the Olympians’ ensuing inbound pass and made a layup for a 44-42 lead. The Olympians went 1 of 2 from the foul line with three seconds left, but HU made a foul shot of its own to end it.
“It was a rock fight in the first half, but the positive tonight was that we had some new people step up and play really well,” Oxbow coach Steven Carson said. “If we can incorporate that into our playoff preparation, maybe we can get going in the right direction.”
Harwood improves to 5-11 after snapping a seven-game losing skid. The Highlanders will travel to play Lamoille at 7 p.m. Monday. Oxbow (8-10) has suffered five straight losses and will attempt to get back on track Wednesday at Lake Region.
LYNDON — The Blue Devils performed at a high level offensively but it was the Blue Devils’ defense that stole Friday.
After pulling in front 19-7, Williamstown headed into halftime with a 38-10 lead. The Vikings faced a 48-20 deficit after three quarters and never made it close at the end.
Jacob Tassie led Williamstown with 18 points and was also a defensive standout. He received lots of scoring help from Tyler Orton (12 points), Ryan O’Neill (10 points), Garrett Metcalf (eight points) and Colby Gingras (six points). Dylan Young scored nine points for LI.
“We got a great jump on them and held them to 10 points at the half,” Williamstown coach Jack Carrier said. “It was nice to get everyone some minutes tonight. And seeing four freshmen and a sophomore end the game was great.
Williamstown improves to 15-3, while Lyndon falls to 7-12.
Peoples 62, Northfield 38
NORTHFIELD — Four Wolves reached double-figures during Friday’s comfy victory over the Marauders.
Leading the way for PA were Louis Angione (16 points), Charlie Veit (14 points), Elm Lapointe (12 points) and Nick Holbrook (10 points). Caiden Crawford-Stempel (10 points) guided Northfield, which fell behind 14-2. The Marauders finally found some offensive rhythm in the second quarter, trimming the deficit to 28-17. The Wolves defense clamped down again after the break, setting up a 43-20 lead entering the final quarter.
“Peoples is a solid team and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Northfield coach Craig Tassie said. “They’re active, they shot the ball well and Angione is a tough matchup for anybody. We’ve struggled all season trying to play man-to-man defense, so they carved our zone up pretty easily.”
Peoples improves to 13-4, while Northfield falls to 7-10. The Marauders will host Stowe at 7 p.m. Monday for Senior Night.
— Correspondent Kristopher Martin contributed to this report.