BANNER SPORTS STAFF
BENNINGTON -- Snow may have thrown a kink into the schedules of high school sports teams on Tuesday, but the rest of the week is full of intriguing early-season matchups.
With both New York and Vermont sports in full swing, here are some games to watch out for as we hit midweek and get ready for the weekend.
Who: Mount Anthony girls basketball vs. Pittsfield, Mass.
Where: Kates Gym at Mount Anthony Union High School, 7 p.m.
Why: The Patriots opened the season with a 61-50 loss against Rice, and the road gets no easier as the team welcomes Massachusetts Division I school Pittsfield to Kates Gym for a non-league contest.
The Generals will be playing in their first game of the season, and the team will also be dealing with the loss of two major players from last year, but the team returns a nucleus of five girls who all saw court time last year.
Look out for players such as Dom Satrape, Lauren Carnevale, and Carly Robinson for the Generals.
For Mount Anthony, the parts were there on Saturday to get a win, but the team came up short due to turnovers and foul trouble. If the Patriots can cut down on those errors, good things should start coming. The senior co-captains of Kate Goodell, Makayla Farrara, and Brinkley Legacy all contributed in the loss to Rice, but the three were the only players to score more than one field goal in the contest. Look for players like Meghan Bishop, Kathryn Fraiser and Carly Rogers to start finding a rhythm inside the Patriots’ uptempo offense. Another looking point will be the emphasis on pressure defense. The Patriots swarmed Rice at every chance the team got, and all 14 Patriots players will get moments to shine during each contest as coach Brian Harrington keeps bringing on fresh legs.
Who: Hoosick Falls girls basketball vs. Greenwich
Where: Greenwich, 7:30 p.m.
Why: While Hoosick Falls is still trying to find its feet after going 1-1 last week, Greenwich comes in red-hot, winners of all five games to start the season.
For Hoosick Falls, this is the type of game that can jumpstart a season. Going on the road is always difficult, never mind playing an undefeated team, but it also provides an opportunity for the girls to see what they have and what they are capable of. Coming home with an upset could be just the kind of win the team needs to build confidence.
For the Witches, the game revolves around Alexis Case. Case has hit 18 threes as of the team’s win over Stillwater last Friday, and leads the team in scoring. Other players to watch out for are Mariah Linnett and Sabrina Whitehouse.
For the Panthers, it has been all about even distribution of the basketball. Point guard Carsen Williams will have to work to find the open player, but the Panthers have capable scorers in many areas. Look for Taylor Hayes and Megan Flynn to make impacts, and watch out for Kelly Pine. Pine is still learning how to use her body in the post, but her raw potential makes her a player worth watching.
Who: Hoosick Falls wrestling vs. Schuylerville
Where: Schuylerville, 6 p.m.
Why: The Panthers have had to reschedule a tournament and three matches already as many of the wrestlers are also football players. Those who played football have to have 15 practices before they can wrestle, so the postponements allow the Panthers to field a full squad.
Schuylerville has wrestled twice, beating Cambridge 90-0 with eight pins and finishing second to Hadley-Luzerne/Lake George at Glens Falls’ annual MatMania on Saturday.
The Black Horses had four champions, including Orion Anderson (99 pounds), Anthony Cardinuto (106), Jake Hurlburt (120) and Jason Zakzrewski (195).
For Hoosick Falls, the key will be the upper and middle weights. Guys like Garrett Wright, Mike Matatt, Tom Peabody and Colby Davendonis need to get their seasons off to a fast start against the Black Horses. Last season, Hoosick Falls won the dual meet, 56-18. THURSDAY
Who: Arlington girls basketball at West Rutland
Where: West Rutland, 7 p.m.
Why: The Arlington girls face a team they knocked out of the Division IV tournament a year ago. The Eagles ended the Golden Horde’s season 59-49 in the semifinals last year, so expect West Rutland to be out for revenge. Couple that with the fact this game is at West Rutland, and you have all the makings of a great contest.
Molly Elwell and Julia Lacoste both stepped up big in the Eagles’ first win of the season on Monday, as the pair both scored in double-figures to lead the team over Black River. Those are two names you can almost guarantee will be at the top of the scoring chart to end the season. Another girl to watch for is freshman Riley Lane. Lane scored 10 points in the win over Black River, and is one of those players that could take everyone by surprise this season.
For West Rutland, twin sisters Morgan and Taylor Raiche are where the Golden Horde start, with the two both standing around six feet tall, but the team is returning seven players from last year’s team. There is a third Raiche, Brooke, who will come off the bench, while Jen Sumner directs traffic as the point guard. Expect a team that will be fired up to prove that it can get over the hump this season.
Who: Mount Anthony wrestling vs. Noble (Maine)
Where: Kates Gym at MAU, 6 p.m.
Why: After a big win at the season-opening tournament in the Rochester, N.Y., area where MAU took down 12 Empire State teams, the Patriots return to Bennington for its first home meet of the year against Maine power Noble.
Mount Anthony, who topped the field by 82 points at the Penfield Hunter tournament, had six champions, including Troy Gassaway, Damon Young, Austin Price, Tyler Mattison, Jack Luciano and Jesse Webb. Mattison was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler for the upper weights.
Tyler Raetz and Dylan LaFountain were runner-up in the season-opening event and five others finished third.
Noble opened the season at the Mountain Valley Invitational last weekend, finishing runner-up by a half-point against Ellsworth.
Nine Knights placed in the top six of Saturday’s tournament.
Otto Keisker was the sole champion at 152 pounds, while Austin Shorey (113) and Joe Grenier (170) were runner-ups.
Who: Mount Anthony, Burr and Burton nordic ski teams
Where: Prospect Mountain, 10 a.m.
Why: Mount Anthony hosts the first Freestyle meet of the season. After a shortened race on Wednesday, teams in the Marble Valley League will get their first taste of racing when the Patriots host at Prospect Mountain.
While still early in the season, the fact the race can even happen is a reason to watch. After some dodgy weather last year, snow should be in abundance heading into the weekend.
The meet will give teams their first opportunities to see how skiiers are coming together, and to see how their team stacks up against the competition.
Who: Burr and Burton girls ice hockey vs. Middlebury
Where: Riley Rink in Manchester, 5:45 p.m.
Why: The Burr and Burton girls have been on a tear to start the season. The Bulldogs dropped their opening game in a close 2-1 loss to Northfield, but have bounced back with three wins, outscoring their opposition 9-2 over the stretch.
Middlebury, as of Tuesday, are 4-0 and have outscored its opposition 15-2 over the four games.
Simply put: This game could be a high scoring contest, with each team potentially scoring three or more goals, or it could be a defensive battle. Either way, this contest has "good game" written all over it.
The Bulldogs have been balanced on the score sheet to start the season, with players like Daisy Sullivan, Aggie Bisselle, Jordan Harmon, and Megan Grabher all contributing via goals or assists. Defensively, Kaylie Benson has been a stalwart in goal and Mary Leech has anchored a strong defensive core.
Middlebury’s defense has enjoyed a strong start, with assistant captain Paige Viens helping to hold down the defensive zone and Baily Ryan is stationed between the pipes.