by David Miles
The boys won on the road for the first time this season, defeating Bellows Falls by a 43-40 score. Jason LaPan led Woodstock in scoring with 23, while fellow senior J.T. Tolar was also in double figures with 13. Griffin Thomas chipped in with 5.
LaPan was hot from the outside, sinking four baskets from outside the three-point arc.
The Terriers led by one point at the half, but Woodstock’s defensive pressure held Bellows Falls to only three points in the third quarter as the Wasps built a slight lead.
The win boosted the Wasps past the Terriers into 16th place in the Division II rankings, which, should it hold for the rest of the season, would put Woodstock into the post-season state tournament.
Woodstock returns to action tonight at MSJ in Rutland. Springfield comes to Dailey Gymnasium next Monday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Although the girls lost twice, they showed tremendous improvement in the scores in these two rematches with Fair Haven and Hartford.
The Slaters bounced the Wasps by 59 points back in December. Last week the final score was 58-22, nearly cutting the margin in half. Amanda Maxham and Shaina Iovanni each scored nine points to lead Woodstock. Coach Gregg Nalette was pleased with the “great improvement the girls showed from the first time we faced them.”
Woodstock almost tripled its scoring output in a 69-24 loss to Division I Hartford. Iovanni nailed 11 points while both Courtney and Amanda Maxham had four points each. Stephanie Harrington sank three free throws for her three points.
The girls are at Windsor tonight.
The boys’ hockey lost its first game of the week at Peoples Academy by a 5-1 score. Nick Schmell scored the only Woodstock goal, with an assist to Ed Doten. The goal bought the Wasps to within 2-1 in the middle period before the hosts, the most improved team in the Division – currently ranked 3rd with a 13-4 record – pulled away.
The Wasps then tied Milton on the road Saturday night. Skating with a shorter bench as several players are away on the school trip to Peru, the game was a defensive one ending in a 1-1 deadlock.
Woodstock stands at 6-6-3 on the season. The next game is at home against St. Johnsbury at 8:00 p.m. Saturday. The Wasps beat the Hilltoppers in narrow fashion, scoring in the last minute of play, to triumph back in December.
Woodstock lost to Brattleboro 6-1 and then dropped a pair of games to Harwood (13-2), the top-ranked team in Division II, losing 5-0 at home and, two days later, 6-0 on the road.
Delaney Little scored for the Wasps against Brattleboro, assisted by Anna Sand. That goal also narrowed the home team’s lead to 2-1, but that was as close as Woodstock would get.
In the following game, Coach Leanne Tapley was fairly pleased with her team’s performance against a tough Highlander outfit. She credited goalie Katie Murphy with a “great game” for her 32-save effort and felt the defense played “pretty strong.” Overall she felt the girls played “solid in the hard-fought game.”
The girls finish the season with a three-game home stand, beginning with Mt. Mansfield this Saturday, Feb. 19, at 6:00 p.m.
Junior Varsity Boys’ Basketball
The j.v. team lost 54-30 to Burr & Burton, but Coach Ramsey Worrell said, “It may sound strange, considering that we lost by 16 points, but the boys played really well tonight.” Woodstock was without three players because of roster changes brought on by the Peru trip.
Sam Cole was outstanding with a big 20 point scoring effort. Worrell also pointed out that Bradley Lewis “had his best game this year” and that newcomer Tyler Anstrother scored five points while seeing his first significant playing time of the season.
Worrell likewise wanted to give credit to Hunter Schultz and Will Emmons, who played especially well in the absence of the team’s other big forwards.
Middle School Boys’ Basketball
The 8th grade team dropped a close one to Hartland 29-26 and finished with an 8-5 record for the regular season. Coach Tom Avellino’s team had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, but could not get the three-point shot off. Nehemiah Wood scored 12 points and Conner Fegard 8 to lead the Wasps in scoring.
The boys begin tournament play in the Hanover Tournament this weekend, the first of three post-season tourneys the team will enter.
This article first appeared in the February 17th print edition of the Vermont Standard.