Eagles, Otters win in girls’ hoop

ADDISON COUNTY — In local high school girls’ basketball play earlier this week, Mount Abraham and Otter Valley each posted home wins, but Vergennes was defeated on the road.
Middlebury (10-4) was idle. The Tigers begin a tough three-game road stretch on Thursday at undefeated Milton, and then play Division I games at South Burlington on Saturday and Mount Mansfield early next week. Looking toward the playoffs, the Tigers are tied with Lyndon for third place in D-II and are just ahead of Fair Haven, which plays a less-challenging schedule.
EAGLES, 40-29
Mount Abe (6-9) coasted past winless D-I foe Colchester on Tuesday, 40-29. The Eagles led at every checkpoint, 13-9 after one quarter, 24-15 at the half, and 36-21 after three periods. Coach Connie LaRose said she substituted freely starting midway through the third quarter. “Everyone got to play,” she said.
Junior guard Jenn Loyer sparked the win with 21 points, eight steals and three assists. “Jenn put on a clinic in the first half,” LaRose said.
Senior forward Shanna Gebo played a strong all-around game with six points, 11 rebounds, seven steals and five assists; sophomore forward Lydia Stearns chipped in with six points and 10 boards; and junior forward K.C. Cousineau logged five points and a game-high 16 rebounds. “She just keeps working hard,” LaRose said of Cousineau.
The Eagles will look to build on the victory when they visit VUHS on Thursday. After that, they conclude with games vs. South Burlington, winless Missisquoi, Mount Mansfield and MUHS.
“We needed that win going into Thursday night,” LaRose said.
OTTERS, 44-21
OV ran past visiting Bellows Falls (1-15) on Monday, 44-21, to improve to 8-7. The Otters took a 24-7 lead at halftime and coasted home from there. Jessica Greeno led OV with 12 points, and Michelle Lefebvre added nine.
The Otters stand in sixth place in Division II, with a substantial lead over Mount Abe in seventh. OV, like Mount Abe, faces a challenging schedule the rest of the way, and the Otters may be locked into that No. 6 slot for the playoffs unless they string together some upsets.
The Otters will play Burr & Burton, at 11-2 the No. 3 team in D-I, this Saturday at home at 2:30 p.m., and then against 9-5 Windsor; undefeated Lamoille; Woodstock, a team they bested by 11 points earlier this season; and, in their regular season finale, a home game vs. Fair Haven, currently the No. 5 team in D-II. The Slaters won their first match with OV, 51-32, at Fair Haven.
Host Mount Mansfield improved to 8-7 with a 61-32 victory over the Commodores on Tuesday. VUHS fell to 4-11 and was led by Ali Provost’s seven points. It was the first game this season Provost did not score in double figures.
After the Eagles’ visit on Thursday, the Commodores have four games left: road contests at South Burlington and MUHS, and home games against currently winless Missisquoi and Colchester.
Despite their sub-.500 record, the Commodores are currently in eighth-place in the D-II standings, and would appear to have a reasonable chance to retain that spot.

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