In boys’ hoop, Tigers and VUHS both record wins

ADDISON COUNTY — In local high school boys’ basketball action in the latter half of last week, Middlebury won twice at home, Vergennes returned from a long layoff with a win, and Mount Abraham and Otter Valley lost on the road.
On Wednesday, the Tigers bested visiting Missisquoi, 64-49. MUHS jumped out to a 64-49 first-quarter lead and led at every checkpoint. The T-Birds got 31 points from senior standout Matt St. Amour — who is being heavily recruited by Middlebury College, among other schools — and cut the MUHS advantage to 47-39 after three periods, but the Tigers pulled away down the stretch.
Connor Collins led MUHS with 21 points, four steals and three assists, and Tyler Provencher (12) and Marrott Weekes (10 points, four rebounds, three assists) also scored in double figures. Perry DeLorenzo added nine points and 10 boards, and David Burt added seven points and four boards. The Tiger defense forced 20 MVU turnovers.
On Saturday, the Tigers improved to 10-2 by avenging an earlier four-point loss at Fair Haven with a 54-32 over the visiting 8-4 Slaters. The Tigers jumped out to a 16-2 lead and cruised from there, according to Coach Chris Altemose.
“We had a very balanced effort and controlled from start to finish,” Altemose said. “It was a big improvement over our performance down there. We did a much better job taking care of the ball and getting after them defensively.”
Nine players scored for the Tigers, topped by Collins (13 points, six rebounds, three steals) and Weekes (12 points, three steals. Provencher (seven points, six rebounds, three steals), DeLorenzo (seven points, five rebounds) and Burt (six rebounds) helped MUHS control the boards against the taller Slaters. James Pecsok chipped in six points, and sophomore point guard Bobby Ritter contributed four points and three steals.
Not all news was good for MUHS: Ritter saw lots of action because senior point guard Mitchell Clarke injured his knee in the Tigers’ Jan. 19 win at Mill River, and will not return this season. Altemose called the news “extremely unfortunate” for Clarke, a three-year starter.
Still, with the two wins the Tigers are ranked No. 3 in Division I according to the Vermont Principals’ Association website, and will look to keep up their winning ways this week at Mount Abraham and, in a highly anticipated matchup, at home on Friday vs. undefeated VUHS at 7 p.m.
On Wednesday, the Commodores defeated host Milton, 79-49, in their first action since Jan. 8. Typically, VUHS again had offensive balance in reaching 12-0: Shep Carter scored 17, Zach Ouellette notched 13, and Stanley Salley contributed 10 in the middle.
The Commodores remained atop the D-II standings, but will face a challenge at home from BFA-St. Albans on Tuesday before Friday’s showdown with the Tigers.    
On Wednesday, host BFA-St. Albans improved to 6-5 with a 73-36 win over the Eagles, who dropped to 1-11. Whit Lower and Mark Jipner led the Eagles with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
After the Eagles host the Tigers on Tuesday at 7 p.m., St. Amour and the T-Birds will visit Bristol on Friday at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, host Burr & Burton improved to 10-2 with a 60-41 victory over OV. Eleven Bulldogs scored in the victory as Burr and Burton stayed near Vergennes in the top four in D-II. Jake Stalcup’s 12 and Joey Shehadi’s 10 led the way.
Ryan Kelley again led the way for the 2-10 Otters, tossing in 21.
The Otters are in the middle of five straight road games. On Tuesday, they will visit Bellows Falls, and on Saturday Poultney is their destination.

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