by Craig Beck
BARRE, Vt. shy; Poultney and Arlington will face off in the Division III Vermont State Championship on Saturday at noon. On Monday, top-seeded Poultney nipped fourth-seeded Hazen, 74-70, while Arlington, the third seed, upended second-seeded Danville, 63-50.
Division III Boys Basketball
Arlington 63, Danville 50
Danville wasn't able to cool Arlington down in the first half of Monday's nightcap, allowing the Eagles to ground the Indians, 63-50, in Monday's second semifinal game.
Danville won the tap and got quick baskets from Pat Clifford and Plynn Beattie to go up, 4-0, but Arlington answered with a jump shot in the lane from Obie Bucchieri and a NBA 3 from Scott Sheldon to take the lead, 5-4.
The Indians got a hoop from Seth Pierce, but Kalin Reardon responded for the Eagles. Danville the took its last lead of the night as Clifford hit two foul shots with 4:56 left in the quarter. Over the balance of the quarter, the Eagles went on a 16-4 run.
The second quarter didn't get much better for Danville, as it was almost as if someone put a lid over the basket. The Indians posted seven points shy; five from Pierce shy; to 15 for the Eagles. Bill Walsh led the way for Arlington with nine second quarter points.
Both teams emerged on the floor from halftime, but forgot to bring their offense with them. It took three and a half minutes before either team was able to put the ball in the hoop.
The first basket of the quarter belonged to Danville's Clifford, who nailed a jump shot in the lane, getting fouled in the process. He drained the free throw for a three-point play. A minute later, the Indians inched closer when Beattie tallied a layup to get them back to within 14.
Finally, with 2:41 showing on the clock, the Eagles scored. When both teams left the floor at the end of the third stanza, they had each tallied just nine points.
The two teams were still trying to find their aim early in the fourth. Finally, after a clock malfunction at 6:49 which sounded the horn for about 30 seconds, both teams woke up.
The Indians were able to cut the Eagles lead down to single digits, but couldn't get any closer as they sent Arlington to the foul line. The Eagles went 14-for-16 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to ice the game.
Jesse Kittredge tallied seven points and Ian Bailey six to lead the fourth quarter charge for the Indians. The real leader in the fourth quarter, though, looked to be senior Tim Delworth, who was all over the floor diving for loose balls.
Beattie led the Indians with 12 points, with Clifford, Pierce and Jesse Kittredge netting nine points each. Mears topped the Eagles with 19 points, followed by Sheldon with 15 and Walsh with 13.
Danville will lose Pierce, Sean Ducott, Bailey, Clifford, Jesse Kittredge, Beattie and Delworth to graduation from this year's team, which finished with a record of 22-2.
Bucchieri 1-0-2; Sheldon 4-4-15; Reardon 1-0-2; Mears 4-10shy;19; Walsh 6-0- 13; Mone 1-6-8; Crosby 2-0-4; Totals 19-20-63
Clifford 3-3-9; Beattie 6-0-12; Pierce 4-0-9; J.Kittredge 3-2-9; Delworth 2- 1-5; Bailey 2-0-6; Aleksieunas 0-0-0; Totals 20-6-50
Arlingtonnbsp;nbsp;nbsp; 23 15 9 16 shy; 63
Danvillenbsp;nbsp;nbsp; 12 7 9 22 shy; 50
3-pointers: A shy; Sheldon 3, Mears, Walsh; D shy; Pierce, J.Kittredge, Bailey 2
Fouled out: D shy; Pierce
Records: Arlington 20-3, Danville 22-2
Poultney 74, Hazen 70
Monday's first game came down to the last minute before a winner was found. Bothh teams had numerous chances to come away with the win in the waning moments, but both turned the ball over and missed easy shots.
The game started out with the Wildcats' Tim Shedd and the Blue Devils' Phil Welch matching 3-pointers in the first 30 seconds of play. After Billy Welcome and Shedd tallied free throws for Hazen, Jesse Willard tallied a basket for Poultney to knot the game up at five with just over 1:30 gone in the game.
The Wildcats then went on a nine-point run over the next 1:21 to go up by nine. Joel Lussier fueled the run with a trifecta from the right elbow.
After Dan Foley stole the ball and went in for a layup off the Blue Devils pressure defense, Hazen tallied seven more points to go up, 21-7. Barry Cadorette fueled the run with two nice shots in the paint and a Randy Lumsden 3-pointer.
Poultney coach David Capman called a timeout to calm the troops. It worked, as they tallied the next seven points, all coming off th
sden, Hayden, Cadorette; P shy; Welch 4, Foley 2, Howard
Fouled out: none
Records: Hazen 17-6, Poultney 21-2