Short-handed Green Mountain puts scare into undefeated Rivendell

By Evan Chadwick
©2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

On paper, the matchup between Green Mountain and Rivendell Academy on Monday evening was scintillating: A Division 3 team on the rise vs. an undefeated Division 4 squad that many consider to be the odds-on favorite to take home a state championship.

Unfortunately for the Chieftains, the roster they anticipated having and the roster they did have were starkly different, as Coach Brian Rapanotti was only able to dress seven players for the road contest at Orford, N.H.

“We lost 80 percent of our normal scoring offense,” said Rapanotti.

What was a pleasant surprise for Rapanotti was that his Iron 7 gave a first-half fright to the Raptors, leading for most of those 16 minutes and only trailing by 3 going into the break before running out of gas in the second half and eventually losing 61-32.

“The boys played great,” said Rapanotti. “They did everything I could have asked for.”

As has been a signature for the Chieftains all year, their defense kept them in this contest, even when their shots were not falling, limiting the Raptors high scoring guard, Kyle Carter, to 7 first half points.

Reid Hryckiewicz hit a 3-pointer in the first and Elias Stowell, Austin Kubisek and Branden Rose all contributed a bucket to keep Green Mountain close at 10-9 after the first.

Hryckiewicz would hit another 3 in the second and Stowell added his own trey that had the Chieftains in the lead midway through the quarter. The Raptors would only grab the lead late off of two buckets that gave them some momentum going into the break leading 21-18.

“Two turnovers to end the half were the difference,” said Rapanotti.

Any hopes of a monumental upset for the Chieftains were dashed early in the third quarter, as the Raptors, who dressed 10 players, outscored Green Mountain 24-9. Kyle Carter was electric, scoring 14 of his 23 points that effectively sealed Rivendell’s 10th victory of the season.

No matter the outcome, Coach Rapanotti understood that the benefits of this loss, fueled by a feisty group of young men who refused to let the circumstances get the best of them, far outweighed the negatives.

“Big picture, this loss helps us,” said Rapanotti. “We built depth that will bode well for us down the stretch.”

The Chieftains drop to 5-4 on the season and are next in action on Thursday, Jan. 27, when they travel to Whitingham to face off against Twin Valley.

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Filed Under: BasketballEducation NewsSports News

About the Author: Originally from Rochester, Vermont, Evan Chadwick is a practicing attorney who lives in Brattleboro with his family. He is a 2007 graduate of Keene State College and currently coaches the boys' varsity basketball team at Bellows Falls Union High School.

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