Sports Shorts

By Joe Gonillo

If you blinked last week, then you missed a ton of high school sports action. Boys’ and girls’ hockey ended their regular seasons, as did boys’ basketball. The girls’ basketball team is deeply entrenched in the playoffs. Oh yeah, the gymnastics team won yet another state championship. Winter vacation came and not a moment too soon. March Madness is approaching. Enjoy the week.

Gymnastics

Congratulations to the girls’ gymnastics team for winning the 2015 state championship last weekend. The Hornets literally ran away from the field scoring 144.425 to win their 10th straight title. South Burlington, coached by former Hornet, Hope Watson, finished seconnd with 130.4 edging Champlain Valley’s 128.95. Middlebury, St. Johnsbury, Randolph, Harwood, and Milton followed, but they were not even in the same area code. The Hornets’ dominance began on the vault as Kylie Svarczkopf 9.2; Jenna Puleo 8.8; Mya Dusablon 8.675; and Allison Green swept spots 1-4. Anna Charland placed seventh. Essex extended its lead on the bars with Svarczkopf 9.225; Puleo 8.85; and Green 8.75 placing1-3. Dusablon 8.55 was fifth with Abigail Gehsmann 8.35 sixth and Abigial Evans 8.25 eighth. Honestly the meet was over after the beam as EHS grabbed the top five. Svarczkopf won 9.35; Gehsmann second 9.25; Charland third 9.025; Lindsey Gleason fourth 8.95; and Puleo fifth.8.85. To nail down the championship, the girls placed in five of the top six spots on the floor. Puleo took first 9.425; Dusablon second 9.35; Green, Essex fourth 9.225; Svarczkopf fifth 9.15; and Gehsmann sixth 9.1.

The All-Around standing went as follows: Svarczkopf 36.925 first; Puleo 35.925 second; Green 35.375 third; Gehsmann, 35.1 fourth. Talk about dominance.

Cheerleading

Congrats to the cheerleaders for placing in their state competition Saturday. The girls scored 181 points to finish second to a talented Rutland squad that racked up 196 points. 181 was the Hornets’ highest score of the year.

Basketball

The girls’ basketball team, now 17-5, advanced to the Final Four this Saturday with relatively easy wins in their playdown game and quarterfinal contest. Essex drilled NCU 50-28 as they rolled to leads of 14-4, 21-9, 36-17 by quarter. All ten healthy Hornets played as some chalked up their first playoff experience. They dropped South Burlington 39-29 and next play No. 2 BFA Saturday night at 7 p.m. at UVM. The D-I championships are March 5.

The boys’ basketball team lost their final two regular season games and enter the playoffs with a record of 13-7. First year coach Jesse Coutrayer and his staff of ex-Hornets Shaun Diminick and Mike Visker are doing a great job with the team. They are seeded seventh and hosted MVU Tuesday. A win puts them into the quarters Friday vs. the BHS vs. St. J winner at 7 p.m. The semis are scheduled for Monday at UVM.

Hockey

The boys’ and girls’ hockey teams are ranked No. 1 heading into this week’s playoffs. The Essex boys topped CVU on Senior Night and take a sparkling 16-1-3 record into the post season. Their first game is Wednesday evening vs. No. 8 Rice in the quarters at 7 p.m. The ladies secured the top seed in D-I as well with a win in their season finale. They own a solid 14-6 record and begin their quest to repeat on Wednesday also. The Hornets host Jake Orr and No. 8 South Burlington in a quarter starting at 5 p.m.

Indoor Track

Rose Monahan and Connor Knowles lead a small contingent of Hornet track and field athletes who are competing in the New England Championships this weekend at the Reggie Lewis Center. Eric Sharf and the boys’ and girls’ 4×800-meter relay teams also qualified. Hope most of the snow is gone in Boston.

Skiing

The Nordic skiers compete in states on Thursday in Craftbury. The alpine team skied slalom and giant slalom last week and had NVAC Districts this past Tuesday. Their states are Monday and Tuesday if they qualified. Get well soon Beverly Briley.

Spring Sports Sign Up

Feel free to begin signing up for spring sports if you are not involved in winter sports playoffs. If your season is over, or if you took the winter off… then head to the EHS athletic website, log in, and follow the directions to sign up for your favorite spring sport.

ADL

From what my stringers reported to me, the ADL girls defeated Colchester Middle School in the ADL Tournament. The EMS boys fell in the championship game to Edmunds.