A very full two days of basketball at the Lamoille Union
gymnasium on Friday and Saturday, December 20 and 21.
Four games were held each day, with both the Lamoille Union boys and girls hosting teams from around the area in their annual Holiday Tournament.
Hazen Union girls topped Peoples Academy 62-25 in the opening game of the tourney, at 2:30 Friday afternoon. The Wolves kept the game close in the first quarter, but a three point barrage from Hazen allowed the Wildcats to run away. Rebecca Whipple, of Hazen, led all scorers with 19 points. Michelle Yando led the Wolves with 10 points.
Lake Region topped Missisquoi, 67-38, to earn a victory in the first boys game of the day.
In the 5:30 contest, host Lamoille stopped the Missisquoi girls, 59-34. Katelin Collins led the Lancers with 14 points and Jammie Lafountain added 13. Kylie Aither added eight points and nine assists.
After three lopsided games, the crowd was treated to a barn-burner in the evening’s finale. Enosburg topped Lamoille 61-59 on a layup as time expired in the game. The Lancers came back from about a 20 point first half deficit to tie the game at 59 with eight seconds left to go.
Eric Hoadley scored 24 points to lead the Lancers and Riley Fitzgerald scored 15.
Day two of the tournament kicked off with Peoples Academy taking on MVU in the girls’ consolation game at 2:30 p.m. PA grabbed an early lead and the two teams spent the first half battling back and forth, with MVU taking a 14-11 lead into the locker room at the half. The Wolves came out strong to start the second half, taking a 19-16 lead midway through the third quarter. The two teams battled back and forth for the rest of the game, with PA utilizing the free throw line to stay with MVU when the Wolves’ offense went stagnant. With the score tied at 28, PA’s Makayla Kreb put back a Wolves’ miss with 3.3 seconds remaining to give the Wolves a 30-28 lead. A missed three-pointer by MVU sealed the game. Michelle Yando’s nine points paced the Wolves for the game.
The Lamoille Lancers also took on MVU in the boys’ consolation game. The two teams both got off to fast starts and the score was tied, 14-14 at the end of the first quarter. The scoring slowed down in the second quarter, with MVU taking a 24-23 lead into the locker room. The Lancers battled back in the third, with a three by Riley Fitzgerald giving Lamoille a 39-37 lead at the end of three quarters. Lamoille was able to make that lead stand up in the fourth as a last second shot by MVU fell short, giving the Lancers their first win of the season by a score of 52-51. Eric Hoadley led Lamoille with 11 points, while teammates Riley Fitzgerald and Evan Slayton each chipped in nine.
The Lady Lancers took on the Hazen Wildcats in the girls’ championship game next. Hazen’s Jordan Manning hit a three to open the scoring, but Lamoille quickly made short work of the ensuing Hazen press and continued to do so all night. The Lancers also consistently got out on the fast break, which was led by seniors Kylie Aither and Jammie Lafountain and sophomore Katelin Collins. Their ability to get out and run along with a stiff defense allowed the Lancers to take a 37-17 into the half. The second half brought much of the same, with Lamoille taking the game by a final score of 65-25 to win the tournament championship.
The boys’ championship game followed the Lamoille win, with the Lake Region Rangers narrowly defeating the Enosburg Hornets by a score of 61 to 59 in another high scoring game.
“I would like to thank and congratulate all the teams and communities that were involved with our tourney,” commented Lamoille Athletic Director Tim Messier, “We had an exceptional turnout and the spectators were treated to two great days of basketball.”
“I must also commend the players, teams and fans for their exceptional efforts and sportsmanship,” Messier continued, “On behalf of Lamoille Union, we certainly look forward to hosting the Tourney for many years to come.”
In addition to all three Lamoille County teams earning victories on Saturday members of the three teams also represented their schools on the All Tourney Teams. The Girls’ All Tourney Team included Michelle Yando of PA, Katelin Collins of Lamoille, and her teammate Kyle Aither, who was also named MVP of the girls’ tournament. Rebecca Whipple of Hazen and Kristin Ward of MVU rounded out the Girls’ All Tourney Team.
Lamoille’s Eric Hoadley also made the Boys’ All Tourney Team and was joined by MVU’s Tyler Cooper, Enosburg’s Calvin Carter, and Lake Region’s Dakota McAlister and Alex Beauregard. A third Ranger, Dennis Newland, was named the MVP of the boys’ tournament.