By Edd Merritt

Women’s basketball gets the gold

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Laurel Jaunich, in the Dec. 3 game against Burlington, leads CVU to a new state record. Photo:

Having tied the state record for 74 straight wins, CVU women, led by Charlotte hoopsters Laurel Jaunich and Sadie Otley, faced Rice as the only impediment to a new state record. To begin the year, CVU won the initial Kevin Riell Memorial Tournament over Burr and Burton in the final, and Otley was named “Most Valuable Player.”  Jaunich had 20 points and five rebounds, while another Charlotte Hawk, Annabella Pugliese, help control the backboards with seven rebounds. Sadie had led CVU to an opening season win over Burlington in the tournament playdown by singly scoring 24 points, stealing the ball six times and four times assisting others. Otley and Jaunich followed up the tournament championship by scoring nearly half of CVU’s points in last week’s 45 – 18 victory over South Burlington.

Then came the record-setting opportunity, and the Hawks were not to be denied. Whether it resulted from the chance to set a state record or the opportunity to bounce back from a tightly fought championship last year, the Redhawks took the game in hand. They appeared a bit nervous at the beginning, but they soon overcame the tension through strong defense that brought turnovers and baskets. The end of the second and the third quarters saw them advance through a 21-point streak to go into the final break ahead 35 –7. The final score was 53–25.

Jaunich led all scorers with 21 points, followed by fellow Charlotter and coach’s daughter Sadie Otley with 14 points. Having not lost since Jaunich and Otley arrived as freshmen in 2012-13, the Redhawks hope to extend it versus Colchester in the Spaulding Tournament on December 17.

Men have landed at an even 2 and 2 following a 55-23 loss to Rice. A Charlotte ballplayer, Adam Hamilton, scored six points to lead the Redhawk attack. After having topped Burr and Burton Academy in the opening game of the Riell Tourney, the Redhawks lost the championship to Rutland by 10 points, 47-37. Hamilton again paced the CVU scoring with 13 points, followed by another shooter from Charlotte, Reece Pawlaczyk, with 11. Hamilton and Walker Storey were named to the all-tournament team.

Casson leads CVU gymnasts in Rebel Holiday Invitational

With the tournament divided by high school class, CVU’s Captain Jackie Casson led her senior classmates by capturing second place in three events plus the all-around category and a third place in one event. She was in a continuing dual with Malorie Dutil of Northfield. Junior Julia Higa was also a top-three finisher for the Redhawks as were the sophomore sisters Guinevere and Asiana Giubardo. Madeleine Serafini was the lone freshman to gain final three individual honors.

Women’s hockey pairs with Mount Mansfield

Last year saw a combined CVU/South Burlington women’s hockey team; this year the Redhawks pledge allegiance to Mount Mansfield Union and turn into Cougars, contributing seven players to the combined roster but having to travel to Essex for practices and g-ames. Six of the seven are underclassmen. The Cougar/Hawks recently beat Burlington and Brattleboro to gain a 2-1 record in the early season. Traveling to Brattleboro, they scored 7 goals, holding their opponents to a single tally. CVU’s Jackie Ryan and Lydia Maitland each scored a pair. Ryan had added the winning goal in a close contest against Burlington.

Men’s hockey thought they had things wrapped up in last week’s Beech Tournament game against their Cairns Rink partners, South Burlington. And it appeared that they did, carrying a 3-0 lead into the third period, only to see it evaporate before losing a shootout, 2-1. CVU came back against Colchester to win the consolation game 3-0. They will next face Lower Canada College, a team they split games with to begin the season.

CVU “fall-stars”

All-star rosters for fall sports contained numerous Redhawks this year. In women’s soccer, senior defender Annie Keen was named to the first team Burlington Free Press all-star roster. She was joined by Megan Gannon and Sierra Morton on the coaches’ selections for all-state and Metro Division stars. On the latter group, Keen was named Defensive Player of the Year. In addition to Gannon and Morton, Charlotte’s Catherine Cazayoux was named by the Free Press to its second all-state team. Lia Gagliuso gained honorable mention as did goalie Michaela Flore who is also from Charlotte.

Football saw three Redhawks land on all-state rosters selected by the Free Press sports’ staff; senior lineman from Charlotte, Kienan Kittredge on the second team and honorable mentions going to another lineman, senior Sam Belisle and a defensive tackle, Nick Fecteau. Coaches picked twelve Redhawks for their Division I all-star teams (first, second and honorable mention). Kittredge again made the first team offensively. On the second team they named running back Richard Lowrey. They also recognized wide receiver Sam Mikell, tight end Trevor Kingston and offensive lineman Belisle. Honorable mention went to quarterback Andrew Bortnick, running back Braven Bose and lineman Chris O’Brien. Showing that they were standouts defensively as well, Nick Fecteau and Sam Belisle were second team selections by the coaches, who added backfielder Mason Cohn to their second all-state defensive team. Zack Tensing and Jake Evans received honorable mention.

Nordic skiers open in Craftsbury

Did someone say SNOW? Well, apparently the cross-country skiers found enough to race on in Craftsbury on Saturday. Ten men’s and women’s team competed, with CVU finishing first among men and second among women. Alison Spasyk was the lone Redhawk woman to finish among the top-10 individuals, coming in ninth, and Charlotte’s Peter Unger along with his teammate Baxter Bishop finished fifth and sixth among men.