EAST MONTPELIER — Eight out of nine players scored for the U-32 boys basketball team during Friday’s 60-29 victory over Harwood.
Raiders senior Jordan Hawkins was held below his season average but still haunted the Highlanders with 15 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and three assists. Teammate Carter Pelzel contributed 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Bryson Richards finished with 10 points, six assists and two steals for U-32 and Anthony Engelhard added 12 points in the victory.
The Division II Raiders successfully bounced back from Wednesday’s 63-51 against D-I Essex, showing clear improvements in several departments.
“I was really impressed with our man-to-man defense in the halfcourt,” U-32 coach Dan Gauthier said. “We felt like we got away from some of our principals against Essex. And in practice we tried to get back to basics. We were focusing on our principals of keeping the ball out of the middle of the floor, contesting shots with a high hand and having a sense of urgency on every defensive possession. We were able to crank up the pressure over the course of the first half, which led to some steals and some easy baskets in transition. And that got our energy and enthusiasm going.”
All eight Harwood players scored, with Max Hill (six points) hitting a pair of 3-pointers to lead the way. Jasper Koliba and Michel Fuller added five points apiece for Harwood, which trailed 24-6 after the first quarter. The Raiders led 33-14 at the break and kept their foot on the gas in the third quarter, leading 50-21 entering the fourth.
“We came out of halftime talking about Harwood’s stick-to-itiveness,” Gauthier said. “That’s a team that can get hot from deep and force a few turnovers and get right back in it. Even being up 19 going into the second half, we wanted to make sure we stayed true to what made us effective in the first half.”
U-32 (4-2) will travel to play BFA-St. Albans at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Harwood (3-3) will host Lamoille at 7 p.m. Friday.
Montpelier 63, Stowe 42
STOWE — Leo Riby-Williams (19 points) and Tyler Ricker (12 points) gave the Solons an overpowering 1-2 punch against the Raiders on Friday.
“Everyone scored again and the overall effort was better than it’s been all year,” Montpelier coach Nick Foster said. “We haven’t reached our potential as far as playing fast-paced and we came close tonight.”
David Ackerson and Jonah Cattaneo added eight points apiece for the Solons. Max McKenna scored 12 points for Stowe. The Solons inched ahead at the start, leading 13-5 after one quarter and 37-18 after two. Montpelier headed into the final quarter with a 47-31 cushion.
“We opened it up in the second half,” Foster said. “We anticipated well, we were opportunistic off turnovers and we pressed the whole way until we didn’t have to anymore.”
Montpelier (3-4) will host Oxbow at 7 p.m. Friday.