LOCAL SPORTS ROUNDUP

MANCHESTER -- The Burr and Burton Academy boys basketball team inched closer to a perfect regular season with a 75-24 dismantling of Leland & Gray on Tuesday night.

The Bulldogs were led by Joey Shehadi’s 17 points and five steals, while Tyeshawn Gadson added 11. Reserve Jack Bunker pitched in with his best game of the season statistically with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the 19-0 Bulldogs.

BBA hosts Windsor on Friday in the final game of the regular season.

Indians out of C tourney

MIDDLEBURGH -- In a game that was much closer than the final score indicated, the No. 12 Cambridge Central School girls basketball team fell 60-42 on Tuesday night against No. 5 Middleburgh in the opening round of the Class C tournament.

Cambridge trailed only by five, 41-36, at the end of the third quarter, but Middleburgh outscored the Indians 19-6 in the final eight minutes for the end margin.

Sarah Cuddihy led the way for Cambridge with 20 points.

Four players were in double figures for Middleburgh, led by Carley Ryan’s 18. Cambridge’s season ends at 7-12.

NECC poll released

BENNINGTON -- The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) released Tuesday the results of its 2014 baseball preseason coaches poll with Southern Vermont College selected to finish fifth in the league.

Mitchell College received six of the seven first-place votes to be chosen as the conference favorite with two-time defending champion Daniel Webster College tabbed second.

Second-year head coach Dave Gage looks to continue building his program and improve upon a 2013 year during which the Mountaineers went 11-24 overall, 5-13 in the NECC. He brings back 12 players from that crew including junior captains Chris Nicastro and Sal Sciara.

Nicastro led the team with 15 steals on the 2013 season while the shortstop hit .314, the second-best for an SVC player with at least 50 at bats. Sciara will once again roam centerfield for the Mountaineers after committing only two errors last year in 76 total chances for a .974 fielding percentage. 12 newcomers join Southern Vermont as it eyes the conference playoffs, trying to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2011.

"As a coaching staff, we are really excited about this group and the effort it brings to practice every day," said Gage. "Our main goal is to continue to build the culture of this program first. We will accomplish that with guys who are not only committed to baseball, but committed to being positive role models in the community."

The 2014 Southern Vermont schedule pits Coach Gage’s squad against Gordon College, Union College and others during its non-league action. The season begins with a visit to Penn State Greater Allegheny for a three-game series starting March 1. The Mountaineers will then travel to Ft. Myers, Fla. once again for its early-season trip in mid-March.

Based on a preseason vote by coaches around the league, the Southern Vermont College softball team has been chosen to finish ninth in the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) for the 2014 season.

Five-time defending champion Lesley University was the top choice to finish at the head of the league once again after receiving nine of the 10 first-place votes. Newbury College was picked second with Elms College and Becker College tying for third.

In her first year as head coach of the Mountaineers, Alyssa Davis hopes to continue the progress made during the 2013 season which saw the most wins in program history; Southern Vermont notched a 9-21 record last year including a 6-12 mark in the NECC. Davis assisted that team after being a Mountaineer for four years and graduating from SVC in 2012.

Davis returns nine players from a season ago, eight being starters, including sophomore captain Rachel Robtoy (Baltic, Conn.) and both Mountaineer starting pitchers: juniors Hayley McDonald (Latham, N.Y.) and Emily Fleming (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.). Four new faces round out Davis’ crew that is working hard on making the NECC postseason for the first time in program history.

Robtoy made only three errors in 31 total chances at second base last year, looking to once again support a strong defense that was tied with Regis College for making the second-fewest errors in the NECC on the season (68). Fleming (.303) and McDonald (.293) recorded the fourth and fifth-best team batting averages, respectively, in 2013 while McDonald also knocked out two homers and was second on the Mountaineers in slugging percentage at .421.

"I am excited to see this team succeed on the field the same way as it does off of it and continue to make strides in this programs’ success," commented Davis. "Our fans should expect to see a continuing change in culture with a group that has its core returning in addition to a strong and competitive freshman class."

Southern Vermont opens up the season March 2 with a doubleheader against Brandeis University at the Hampshire Dome in Milford, N.H. before embarking on its annual trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for the Snowbird Softball Classic. The Mountaineers then return to the Northeast to open up NECC play with a pair at Elms College on March 27 before holding their home opener with Mass. College of Liberal Arts on April 3. Additional non-conference matchups include Williams College (April 9), SUNY Cobleskill (April 15), and Pine Manor College (April 22).

VPA sets ticket prices for tournament games

BENNINGTON -- The Vermont Principals Association sets the ticket prices for basketball tournament games. The admission price for the first two rounds is $5 for adults and $4 for students and senior citizens.

When the semifinal and finals are at UVM or Barre Auditorium, the prices increase to $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

Pownal youth baseball

POWNAL -- The Pownal Cal Ripken Baseball is looking for players for the upcoming season. The team is open to all Pownal and surrounding area children ages 4-12. Children ages 9-12 can play in Cal Ripken sanctioned tournaments.

There is no registration fee for any child. Sign-ups will be Feb. 24 and 26 from 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pownal Elementary School gym.

Please call Scot Morse at 802-379-6681 with any questions.

MALA registration

BENNINGTON -- Mt. Anthony Lacrosse Association will hold 2014 spring registration on February 25 and 26 at the Bennington Rec Center from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for boys and girls grades K thru 8.

Scholarships and equipment are available.

The season starts April 1.

For more information you can visit www.malavt.com or contact Barbara Morrissey at 802-442 6777 (evenings).

Benn LL sign-ups

BENNINGTON -- The Bennington Little League is opening registration for the 2014 season. Registration for the season is Feb. 19 and 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fire House on River Street.

All players 5-12 in the Bennington school district looking to play baseball this year need to register on one of these four dates.

A photocopy of the child’s birth certificate is required. Registration is $50 per person and $75 for a family. Any questions, call Geoff Metcalfe at 442-5465 or Steve Marsden at 447-4908.

Mack Attack sign-ups

ARLINGTON -- The Mack Attack AAU girls’ basketball season will begin practicing on March 9, and sign-ups are ongoing.

The team provides participants with an opportunity to improve basketball skills and knowledge through a challenging level of play. Girls ages 8-17 who are interested in participating should contact coach Kerry Csizmesia at kerrycsizmesia@yahoo.com or call 860-326-5024.

Information about the season can be found at www.mackattackaau.org.

Storm coach search

BENNINGTON -- The Southern Vermont Storm semi-pro football team is searching for a new head coach for the 2014 season. If interested, call the Storm hotline at 802-681-9085.