RUTLAND - The Mount Saint Joseph Mounties boys varsity basketball team opened their season with a win in their own annual Tip-Off Classic. The Mounties took advantage of a nervous Otter Valley squad, and jumped out to a 14-1 lead in the first quarter, and extended it to 26-8 by halftime.
The Otters settled down in the second half and came storming back, but fell short, losing in the end 49-43. Matt Doaner led the victorious Mounties with 15 points, and Ben Bendedict contributed nine more to the win. Junior Otter Valley forward Joey Massores led all scorers with 19 points, while sophomore point guard Ricky Naylor scored seven in his varsity debut.
In the other semifinal game of the Tip-Off Classic, the Montpelier Salons employed a swarming full court defense and effective fast break to blow out the Fair Haven Slaters 71-46. Their pressure defense forced 32 Slater turnovers, and allowed them to spread the ball around in their fast break that produced four players to reach double digit scoring.
Chris Gaboriault led the way with 19 points, followed closely by senior guard Evan Parker who pumped in fifteen. Sean Dowling had 12 and Corey Michaud 11 more for the impressive Salons. Mack Stannard paced the Slaters with 11 points.
The tournament concluded this past Monday (after our deadline) with the Otter Valley Otters and Fair Haven Slaters playing in the 6 p.m. consolation game, followed by the Montpelier Salons taking on the Mount Saint Joseph Mounties in the Tournament Championship game.
The Proctor Phantoms opened their season last Friday evening too, and like the Montpelier Salons, they produced four double digit scorers on their way to an 88-49 home blowout over the Blue Mountain Bucks. The game was over right after it began. After the first eight minutes Proctor held an insurmountable 29-2 lead, and the Phantoms cruised from their. Ryan Carter (22 points) and Curtis Robinson (18 points) combined to score 40 points for the victorious Phantoms.