WASHINGTON — Thomaston High School girls basketball defeated Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) 53-25 in the Berkshire League tournament semifinals Tuesday, Feb. 20.
The defending champion Golden Bears advanced to the championship for a rematch of last year’s title game against Northwestern, which defeated Gilbert 61-44 in the semifinal match prior to the HVRHS/Thomaston game.
The Mountaineers entered the second round of the tournament coming off an electric win in the quarterfinals against Nonnewaug. The momentum did not carry over, however, and HVRHS wrapped up conference play on a tough loss to a strong team.
Round two of the Berkshire League playoff was played on neutral ground at Shepaug Valley High School in Washington. Supporters from both sides made the trip to cheer on their teams.
Thomaston set the tone of the game early. Unshakeable defense from the Golden Bears forced repeated turnovers and fueled a dominant performance in the first quarter.
Trouble for HVRHS persisted into the second quarter. Thomaston’s possession control and ability to find open shots caused the lead to grow to 37-6 by halftime.
HVRHS coach Jake Plitt adjusted to a zone defense in the second half, which proved effective and rattling the Golden Bears. Defensive stops led to successful fast breaks and HVRHS outscored Thomaston 10-4 in the third quarter.
HVRHS battled to the final buzzer, but the game was out of reach. Thomaston remained undefeated in the Berkshire League this season with a 53-25 win in the semifinals.
Nicole Dekker led the Golden Bears in scoring with 17 points. Ava Harkness scored 11 points and Lily VanOrmer finished with 10 points.
HVRHS’ top scorer was captain Anne Moran with 7 points. Kylie Leonard and Olivia Brooks each scored 5 points for the Mountaineers.
Thomaston advanced to the championship game against Northwestern Friday, Feb. 23. A win for the Golden Bears will make their seventh Berkshire League title since 2014.
HVRHS qualified for the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class S tournament as the 17th seed. The Mountaineers will head to Durham for round one Monday, Feb. 26.
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KENT — After months of consideration of disbanding the Kent Cemetery Association, the Board of Selectmen reviewed a nearly final draft of a new cemetery ordinance at a special workshop meeting Tuesday, Feb. 6.
If the new ordinance is approved at a town meeting, the town would take on responsibility for Kent’s six cemeteries, disbanding the association.
The selectmen voted unanimously to approve the new ordinance, pending one final review by the town attorney.
All assets of the Association will be transferred to a special account within the town budget. The town will appropriate funds to the new committee for cemetery operations.
The six cemeteries to be included are Bulls Bridge, Congregational, Flanders, Good Hill, Skiff Mountain and St. Andrew’s. Considered a department of the town, the new Cemetery Committee would consist of five volunteer members to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen. One member would serve for two years, two for four years and two for six years to stagger the term expiration dates.
“The ordinance should recognize the new cemetery committee and assume the obligations of the committee members,” advised town attorney Randall DiBella, who was present at the meeting. He added that the committee must be responsible for establishing and maintaining cemetery operations.
“We don’t want an ordinance with a lot of detail,” DiBella said, cautioning that a public hearing process would be required to make any change in an ordinance. Most operational questions, DiBella advised, could be administered by the committee’s cemetery rules and regulations, where changes could be recorded and implemented by simple action of that committee.
The schedule of fees should be found in the committee’s regulations, not in the ordinance itself, agreed Selectwoman Lynn Worthington.
“We can move this forward now,” said First Selectman Marty Lindenmayer. “We could just get it started,” he added, referring to the ordinance.
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FALLS VILLAGE — The Board of Selectmen approved the new Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) at a special meeting Tuesday, Feb. 13, which was held in person and online.
The selectmen and the Board of Finance both held special meetings Feb. 13 because the regular meeting date of Monday, Feb. 12, was the Lincoln’s Birthday holiday.
The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) approved the 2024 POCD last month. The selectmen voted to recommend the POCD to a future town meeting.
The selectmen appointed Sergei Fedorjaczenko to the Bridge and Infrastructure Committee, and set up a standalone committee to handle the solar project at the town farm site. The new committee will have Chris Kinsella from the Board of Selectmen, two members from the Board of Finance, one each from the Recreation Commission and P&Z, and community members for up to 10 members total.
The selectmen appointed Kim Mahoney to the P&Z per that commission’s recommendation.
First Selectman Dave Barger reported that food scrap collection at the transfer station was 1,100 pounds in October and 1,500 pounds in November and December. Barger said he was pleased to be getting that much weight out of the municipal solid waste stream.
Registrar Susan Kelsey reported that preparations for the new early voting procedures are underway. She said the presidential primary elections April 2 are limited to voters registered as Democrats or Republicans and has four days of early voting, so the flow should be manageable, with early voters using the back door of Town Hall.
The 2024 general election on Nov. 5 is open to all voters and has 14 days of early voting.
“That’s a big disruption” for Town Hall personnel, she said, adding that using another location such as the Senior Center would be difficult because it would require installing communications lines with the state.
But Kelsey was optimistic that the town would manage.
Barger noted that town departments and various outside agencies are submitting spending plans and funding requests. He said he has received several letters asking for more funding for the David M. Hunt Library. Selectman Judy Jacobs looked up the town’s contribution to the library in the current budget — $52,225.
The meeting opened with public comment from Sue Sweetapple of the Falls Village Inn, who said she is not satisfied with the town’s tree and snow plowing efforts over the last few years. She also said that nearby businesses were making nuisance complaints about the Inn:
“I feel we’re being harassed by other businesses around town.”
Laura Werntz spoke in support, saying the Inn is one of the few businesses that attracts visitors to town.
At another special meeting Wednesday, Feb. 14, the selectmen voted unanimously to confirm the appointment of Michelle Hansen as town treasurer/bookkeeper, with a term ending Dec. 31, 2027.
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