By Sheri Duff
It’s difficult to beat an opponent three times in a row and Monday’s Division I state girls basketball championship game between Champlain Valley and Rice Memorial was testimony to that fact.
The Redhawks entered the title game with two regular season wins over the Green Knights, 48-44 and 51-43, while the Knights were gunning for another state championship three-peat. While turnovers plagued CVU, poor shooting was Rice’s nemesis throughout the first half. At the end of regulation it was the Redhawks who persevered thanks to the herculean efforts of Sadie Otley who sparked an 8-0 run with 4:30 left in the first half and Emily Kinneston who delivered a 3-pointer late in the second half effectively ending Rice’s two-year championship reign.
Kinneston, the Gatorade Player of the Year, contributed 12 points, 13 rebounds, and four steals while Otley delivered 11 points, and Kaelyn Kohlash scored 10 points to bring the crown to CVU for the first time in 26 years.