Chieftains advance to quarterfinals with 10-point win over Peoples

Everett Mosher, No. 34, prepares to catch a pass. Photos by Scott Blair.

By Evan Chadwick
© 2022 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Fueled by an 18-8 first quarter surge, the Chieftains boys basketball team fought off a late Peoples Academy charge and took a hard fought 58-48 victory over the Wolves in first round playoff action on Tuesday night in Chester.

“We are tough when we hit shots early,” said Coach Brian Rapanotti. “That run was tied to our defensive intensity.”

Using the home court to their advantage, it took little time for the Chieftains to take control of this contest, as they started the game on a 14-4 run in the first five minutes. Branden Rose scored 7 points in the opening run, including a deep 3, then a fast break layup to cap the early charge.

The Morristown team would settle down, cutting the lead to 8 with just seconds remaining in the first, but an Everett Mosher coast-to-coast finish just as the buzzer sounded kept the Chieftains lead at double digits entering the second at 18-8.

Game over: GM wins with a 10-point lead.

“Everett is our spark plug,” said Rapanotti. “He has a knack for getting something when we need it.”

The Wolves would narrow the gap to 6 midway through the second, but each time it appeared that they could pull even closer, GM had an answer: On this occasion it was back to back 3s from Reid Hryckiewicz and Rose that had the Chieftains up by 11 as the first half expired.

Green Mountain would extend their lead to 15 after Everett Mosher stepped into a 3 that answered a Wolves 3 of their own. GM would maintain its double digit lead heading into the fourth in what appeared to be a commanding 45-31 advantage.

After a pretty give-and-go from Eben Mosher to Austin Kubisek had the Chieftains enjoying their largest lead of the contest at 47-31, Peoples would stage a furious comeback, responding with an 11-2 run that pulled them to within 7.

In what proved to be the biggest sequence of the game, Peoples missed two point-blank shots that would have brought them to within 5 with 2 minutes remaining. Instead, on the ensuing GM possession, Rose was left wide open in the corner and, as has been his signature all year, Rose’s release and the following result were pure, a shot that allowed the Chieftains to close out the contest, earn their 13th win on the season and punch their ticket to the quarterfinals on Saturday.

Rose led the Chieftain effort with 21 points, Everett Mosher added 11 and Eben Mosher contributed 10.

The Chieftains’ opponent will be determined in today’s Winooski/Stowe matchup, where the highest remaining seed will host the round of 8 contest that is scheduled for  2 p.m. Saturday, March 5.

“The boys are excited to play whoever,” said Rapanotti.

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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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