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Raiders win two more

The Rutland Raiders won two more last week and stood at 13 - 5 heading into the final week of the season, hoping to earn the fourth seed in the upcoming Division One tournament. Their latest two victims were the Mount Saint Joseph Mounties a week ago Thursday and the Saint Johnsburry Hilltoppers last Saturday. On Feb. 7, Rutland raced out to a 38 - 21 lead over their cross town rivals, the Mount Saint Joseph Mounties and cruised from there to a 76 - 42 win. Four Raiders reached double digits in scoring led by Mark Comstock with twenty-one points, followed by Brendon Lafaso with 18 points. Freshman forward Alex Snyder dropped in 13 points while Robbie Dorion contributed 12 points more to the win. Ryan Carter scored 12 points that lead the attack of the 5 - 13 Mounties, followed closely by Jarid Margolin with 11 points and Brandon Mercardo added another ten. Then this past Saturday in St. Johnsbury, Comstock knocked down twenty-points to again lead his Raiders to victory, this time a ten point, 66 - 56 win over the hometown Hilltoppers. It was a huge win because the Hilltoppers were ahead of the Raiders in the playoff seedings at the start of last week. Brendan LaFaso and Cedric White contributed twelve more points each to the Raiders winning cause. Nobody on the 12 - 7 Hilltoppers reached double-digits in scoring but Billy Fitzgerald scored nine points while Shaun Hooker and Jacob Robinson did have eight points each in the losing effort. The Mill River Minutemen played a pair last Thursday and Saturday, but unlike the Rutland Raiders the best they could manage was a split to finish their season at nine and eleven. After falling to the Otter Valley Otters in Brandon, the Minutemen bounced back to defeat the Burr and Burton Bulldogs at home to close out their regular season. Last Thursday in Brandon defense ruled the night. At halftime of the boys high school basketball game between the Mill River Minutemen and the Otter Valley Otters the Otters held a mere 14 - 10 lead. The Otters went on to outscore their guests 26 - 19 over the final sixteen minutes to pull out a huge 40 - 29 win. The Otters, who improved to 12 - 6 with the win, featured a well balanced scoring led by Ross Jakubowski, Justin Lertola and Tom Markowski, all three of whom nailed nine points apiece. Mill Rivers Austin Bicskei led all scorers with 19 points. The Minutemen bounced back last Saturday at home by defeating the Burr and Burton Bulldogs 67 - 45 to finish up their season with nine wins and eleven losses. Bicskei once again led the way with fourteen points, but on this Saturday afternoon he had plenty of help. Three other Mill River players reached double digits. Mitch Blair scored eleven while Matt Doaner and Jordan Cole contributed another ten points apiece. Chris Antonez paced the Bulldogs with thirteen points. The Proctor Phantoms continued their winning ways last Thursday pounding the Poultney Blue Devils 76 - 32 in Proctor. Kyle McQuarrie led Proctor to the lopsided win with 18 points. Curtis Robinson contributed 14 more, while Jordan Snow and Chad Thornton added 13 and 10 more respectively to Proctors win. The Fair Haven Slaters raced out to a 22 - 10 halftime lead in boys basketball action last Thursday and cruised from there to a 40 - 29 win at home over the Woodstock Wasps. Fair Havens Christian Doran scored 19 to lead all scorers. Cal Derosia had fourteen points to pace the 4 - 14 Wasps. The Slaters improved to 11 - 8 with the win. In girls action last Friday in Westminster the Bellows Falls Terriers hit eleven of their fourteen free throws and played fantastic defense to defeat the visiting Mount Saint Joseph Mounties 47 - 37, in a game that was vital both teams who are entering the final quarter of their season looking for the best possible seed they can get. Abby Welch led the Terriers with eighteen points, which included a five-for-six performance from the free throw line. She was followed by Sam Hodgkins. Hodgkins, who went a perfect six-for-six from the charity stripe, contributed an additional ten points for the Terriers who improved to 12 - 4 with the win. Sophomore forward Logan Cavanaugh led the 10 - 6 Mounties with eighteen points, and senior guard Melanie O'Rourke contributed an additional eleven in the losing effort. ==== Shayne Barrett scored three goals last Thursday to help his Raiders avenge an earlier road loss to CVU and defeat the Redhawks 4 - 2 at home in boys high school hockey action. The win assured the 12-5-2 Raiders a home playoff game in the upcoming Division I Tournament. Joe Rodolfy scored the other Raider goal, and Connor Beerworth had three assists. Rutland outshot their gusts twenty to thirteen. The second Seeded Redhawks fell to 12 - 4 - 3 with the loss. The Mounties were in action last Thursday too but fell in Manchester to the Burr and Burton Bulldogs 4 - 1. Ben Brownlee scored twice to led the Bulldogs to the three goal win. Jake Griswold made 22 saves for the 13-6 Bulldogs while MSJ goalie Zach Richards had 27 saves. Steve Kallen scored the lone Mounties goal. The girls squads for Rutland and MSJ were on the ice last Thursday and Friday as well, with identical results. The Raider ladies got a huge lift last Friday night when Ashley Boucher scored with just thirty-three seconds left in overtime to complete a 5 - 4 come from behind win over the visiting Burr and Burton Bulldogs. The Raiders trailed 2 - 0 and 3 - 2 at various points in the game, and held a 4 - 3 lead late in the third only to see Burr and Burton tie it up in the final minute. Even though the game went into overtime, it really was the work of Buuldog goalie Kristen Palmer that kept it close. Rutland out shot their guests 33 - 13 but Palmer made twenty-eight saves to keep the game tight. In contrast Raider goalie Deanna Rodolfy needed to make just nine saves to earn the win. Boucher and Kathleen Tredtin scored twice and Taylor Kresconko scored once for the Raiders, who improved to 11 - 7 - 1 with the win. Meanwhile last Thursday the Mount Saint Joseph Mounties gave up five first period goals to the Woodstock Wasps, two off the stick of Brooke Gailbreath and fell behind 5 - 0 early. The Mounties then clamped down on defense the rest of the way shutting out the Wasps over the final two periods. But they couldnt find their own offense and managed only two shots on goal themselves, thus losing 5 - 0. Mounty goalie Jovanna Walker played a great game in MSJs season finale stopping an impressive 22 shots.

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