The CVU boys’ basketball team could not keep up with the Green Knights of Rice in a Saturday afternoon affair on March 6, at Dave Bremner’s Gym in Hinesburg. While the Redhawks continued to use their full arsenal of players, it wasn’t enough as Rice outscored the home team 53-29, in this matchup of top ranked opponents.
The Green Knights’ 1-3-1 zone vs. CVU’s man to man defense gave both teams the shooting jitters in the opening period of action. The Redhawks used two baskets from Ethan Czarny, one from Devin Rodgers, and a six-foot floater from Ethan Murphy to take an 8-7 lead after the first frame of play.
This was aided by three offensive rebounds by Deng Dau.
CVU’s squad switched to a zone and Rice went to a man-to-man form of defense, in a cat and mouse approach by both experienced coaches to start the second period. Two mid-range jumpers and one from beyond the arc by the visitor shooters in the next few minutes required Coach Mike Osborne to return to man-to-man. While the Rice team continued its impressive offensive run, the Redhawks struggled, and committed turnovers from the full court press by the very athletic Green Knights. This resulted in Deng’s drive to the hoop for two, and Devin Rodgers underneath, on a nifty feed from Jared Anderson, as the only shots to drop for the home team in the second eight minutes of play, to enable Rice to run out to a 20-12 edge at the half time intermission.
Rice’s advanced speed and quickness was instrumental in allowing CVU few good scoring opportunities and Rice’s shooters continued to drop the basketball through the nylon on their tries. The Redhawks were only able to score on a put back by Czarny, and after a nice pass from Anderson, a baseline jumper by Czarny put the deficit at 34-18 for the CVU boys’ after the third frame.
Turner Elliott from downtown, the first and only three-pointer in the contest for the home side, starting the final frame off positively for the Redhawks. Deng’s slick move to the hoop was successful, as was Rodgers’, to make the scoreboard to read 45-25 with 3:50 left to play.
A well-executed pick-and-roll resulted in two points for Tucker Tharpe, from a Kyle Eaton pass, and a hoop from Henry Bijur, on a feed from Turner, concluded the scoring for the home team, who were outscored 19-11 in the final quarter.
This was a contest between the two top seeds in the state, so the odds say CVU will seek revenge on this undefeated Green Knights squad in the playoffs. They were led on the offensive end by Rodgers’ 8 points, as well as 8 from Czarny.
In a tight battle in the JV contest, CVU suffered its first loss of the season, 42-39 to the Green Knights.
Trailing 33-31 after the third frame, Eli Marden made one of two free throws and Russell Willoughby’s follow up put the Redhawks up by one point with 5:20 left to play.
Rice hit three pointers around a Max Destito hoop, and two from the foul line, made it 41-36 with a minute and a half to go.
CVU cut the lead to two with only 1:10 left to play.
Unfortunately, this was as close as they would get, after their opponent made one from the free-throw line; the Redhawks were unable to force a tie.