Hartford & Windsor Boys Battle on Stretch Gillam Night

Coach Gillam

Yellow Jackets defeat the Hurricanes 54-40

By John Seaver 

Wednesday night in Hartford, the Upper Valley community honored the late, great basketball coach, Robert ‘Stretch’ Gillam in a pregame ceremony prior to the Windsor-Hartford boys basketball game.  The Hurricane players honored the coach by wearing throw back warm-ups from the Gillam era and adding commemorative patches to their uniforms. 

As for the game itself, Windsor, led by senior forward Ben Meagher's game high 21 points, knocked off the home town team 54-40.  The Canes were led by senior forward Alex Valley's 18 points and 8 rebounds in what was arguably his best game as a Hurricane.  Valley won the match up in the pivot with Windsor's big man Adam Stapleton (12 points, 6 boards & 4 blocks) by attacking the rim for easy baskets.  But Meagher proved to be too much as the lefty scored in every quarter both inside and out including a trifecta of 3 pointers in the game and 12 of his 21 points in the second half.  Hunter Gaudette added 7 points and Hunter Perkins 6 for the Canes.  

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Said Hartford coach Steve Landon "Windsor is the best coached team we face all year.  Their players are very skilled and experienced.  If we want to compete with those teams we need to do a better job taking care of the basketball and playing together.  We will work harder in practice to make that happen."

Hartford athletic director Jeff Moreno announced near the end of the night that the game raised over $1,100. All proceeds from the game will be donated to benefit the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Stretch Gillam Scholarship Fund.

Gillam, who passed away in July at the age of 82, coached at KUA, Hartford, Oxbow, Green Mountain & South Royalton amassing over 600 wins.  Coach Gillam is a member of the VBCA Hall of Fame and in 2009 was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.

Contributions to the scholarship fund in his name can be made to the VBCA for Coach Robert Gillam Scholarship, c/o Dave Fredrickson, 317 Silver St, Bennington, VT 05021.

Follow me on Twitter @John_K_Seaver for game updates.

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