Patriots, Panthers to battle on hardwood



Sports Editor

BENNINGTON -- A nasty winter storm that dropped nearly a foot of snow on the area has fouled the local sports schedule for the past two days, causing postponements and cancellations.

With that being said, there are a lot of good matchups throughout the landscape this week. Hoosick Falls at Mount Anthony boys basketball: Saturday, 6:30 p.m. --

Right away, one of the best matchups in the area happens on Saturday night as the Panthers and Patriots bang heads. Hoosick Falls has started the season unbeaten at 5-0, including 4-0 in the Wasaren League, one of the toughest leagues in Section II in New York state. Mount Anthony has also had a good start at 3-2, losing only to a high-flying Rice and a hot-shooting Burlington team in its last game.

Two different styles should come out here -- Hoosick a bit more deliberate and MAU more run-and-gun -- but expect a pretty close game. The teams are not that far apart in scoring average, either.

BBA boys and girls hockey, games on Saturday, Wednesday and Jan. 11 -- Both Bulldog hockey teams have three straight home games at Riley Rink. For the boys, it will be a chance to get off an 0-7 schneid to start the year against Burlington, Middlebury and Peoples Academy.

On the girls side, BBA faces off with Brattleboro, Hartford and U-32 in their next three.

The Bulldogs look to continue the strong early-season run, seven straight unbeaten, six wins and a tie in the last game, 3-3, against Northfield.

Arlington vs Proctor girls basketball: Monday, 7 p.m. -- In a rematch of last season’s Division IV final, the Eagles and Phantoms will tip off on Monday at the Eagles’ Nest.

Arlington has started the year much better than 2012-13, going 3-2 in its first five contests, with wins over Poultney and D2 Otter Valley to its credit. Early on, Julia Lacoste has been a force for the Eagles, and that will need to continue if they want to get past the Phantoms.

Proctor, a nemesis for the Eagles the past couple of seasons, has also beaten the Otters, but also Division I Burr and Burton Academy by 33 before Christmas.

MAU at Burr and Burton girls basketball, Thursday, 7 p.m. --

The Bennington County rivals meet for the first time this season, part of two tilts in January between the two.

The Patriots, under first-year head coach Brian Harrington, are experiencing a resurgence after two years of sub-.500 records. MAU is 4-2, with the only losses to Champlain Valley and Rice -- the two finalists last season. With a supersonic offense, they put up a whopping 99 points against Spaulding in the Rutland tournament, then beat Burlington by 32 last week, sending a strong message to the rest of the state.

Burr and Burton, which has a new coach of its own in Ed Panzarino, has struggled a bit in the early going, beat Middlebury and lost by only three to Springfield.

But when these two teams meet, the records can be thrown out because it’ll be an interesting contest.

Hoosick Falls at Hoosic Valley boys basketball, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Hoosick Falls vs Hoosic Valley girls basketball, Friday, 7:30 p.m. -- In these two Wasaren League matchups, both the Falls and the Valley don’t like each other. Then, add in the fact that all the teams are good and watch the magic happen.

On the boys side, Hoosick Falls could still be unbeaten, playing two other games this week before facing Valley. The Indians are 8-1 overall but perfect in Section II, its only loss to Section VII’s Peru.

If everything goes to plan, a 7-0 Falls could meet a 9-1 Valley, quite possibly a Wasaren League championship preview.

On the girls side, both Hoosick Falls and Hoosic Valley could be 7-2 when the teams meet at HFCS. Falls just won its own Hoosier Holiday Tournament and has held three of its last five opponents under 30 points. Valley’s defense is suffocating too, as the Indians have allowed less than 25 points to five of its opponents so far. Whoever can get the early lead could take this one, both teams will be ready to go on Friday.

Nordic skiing at Woodstock, Friday, 6 p.m. --

Mount Anthony and Burr and Burton Academy travel to Woodstock for a freestyle meet under the lights. The Patriots have started the year strong, sweep their home meet a couple of weeks ago at Prospect Mountain, Luke Keenan and Abby Malmborg picking up victories on the slush. The boys team also edged CVU at Mount Hor earlier this week, as MAU skiers finished third, fourth and seventh.

With Thursday’s storm canceling BBA’s host meet at Viking Touring Center, both the Bulldogs and Patriots are eager to get back on the course with a foot or more of new snow.


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