As expected, the Vergennes Union High School boys’ basketball team and both Middlebury Union hockey teams learned on Monday from the Vermont Principals’ Association they would host first-round playoff games.
The 18-2 Commodore boys earned the top seed for the Division II playoffs and will host No. 16 Lamoille (6-14) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. A win on Tuesday means VUHS will host a Friday quarterfinal at 7 p.m. against either No. 8 Fair Haven (10-10) or No. 9 Bellows Falls (11-9). The Commodores have not faced any of those three teams this season.
Also in D-II boys’ hoop, Otter Valley (8-11) drew the No. 12 seed and a Tuesday evening trip to face No. 5 Harwood (13-7). If the Otters upset the Highlanders in a match-up of teams that have not met this winter, the will either travel to meet No. 4 Mill River (16-4) or host No. 13 Hartford (4-16) on Friday evening. OV did not face Hartford, but lost twice to Mill River this season.
In D-I boys’ basketball, No. 9 MUHS will travel to face No. 8 Colchester on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a battle of 10-10 teams. The teams had identical point totals in the VPA standings, and had equal records against common foes, according to Coach Chris Altemose. But Colchester earned the higher seed and the home game by virtue of its stronger schedule, at least on paper: The Lakers played more D-I foes than the Tigers. Tuesday’s winner almost certainly travels to No. 1 Mount Mansfield (19-1) on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Turning to hockey, the defending D-II champion Tiger boys’ hockey team earned a first-round home game with an 11-8-1 mark. The No. 6 Tiger will host No. 11 Rice (6-14) at 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Rice upset MUHS, 4-0, at the same venue on Jan. 11, but if the Tigers reverse the result this time they will travel on Saturday at 7 p.m. to meet No. 3 BFA-St. Albans. The Tigers took the 16-4 Bobwhites into overtime at home on Feb. 8, but lost, 2-1.
Finally for today (the girls’ hoop regular season ends this week and pairings will be out next Monday), the MUHS girls’ hockey team will also host Rice on Wednesday, with that game set for 5:30 p.m. The Tigers are the No. 8 seed at 9-9-2, and Rice is No. 9 at 9-10-1. On Feb. 18, the Tigers edged the visiting Green Knights, 3-2. Wednesday’s winner goes to No. 1 Burr & Burton (18-1), a team that tamed the Tigers three times, 2-1, 5-1 and 6-2. That game is set for 7:15 p.m. on Saturday.
As always, best of luck to all.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].