Eagle girls earn top seed in basketball rankings

ADDISON COUNTY — In local high school girls’ basketball play last week, Mount Abraham locked down the top seed in Division II, Otter Valley apparently sealed a home playoff game, and Vergennes avenged its earlier loss to Middlebury.
Saturday concluded the girls’ basketball regular season, and the Vermont Principals’ Association will release official pairings on Monday morning.
On Wednesday, the defending champion Eagles clinched the top seed in D-II by routing host Mount Mansfield, 63-24. Coach Connie LaRose said the team’s trademark 2-2-1 full-court press was effective as the Eagles took a 27-0 lead in the first quarter. She was also pleased with their ball movement, as Sam Driscoll and Ashlie Fay racked up seven assists apiece.
“We were really clicking,” LaRose said.
Fay led all scorers with 21 points and also chipped in eight steals and five rebounds. Meghan Livingston scored 14, Driscoll scored nine, Isabel Brennan contributed eight points and eight boards, and Stephanie White came off the bench to grab seven rebounds.
The Eagles finished at 15-4 after their Friday game at Milton was postponed. They edged Fair Haven (15-5) for the top seed. Milton (13-6) looks to be the No. 3 seed, and Fairfax (15-5) No. 4.
The Eagles will host a first-round game on Tuesday. MUHS (1-19) will be the probable opponent if the Tigers choose to compete; they were not listed in the VPA standings as of Sunday. If not, the Eagles would get a bye until Friday.  
On Saturday, the Otters won their fourth straight game, 54-31, over visiting Leland & Gray. The win pushed the Otters to 9-10 and, according to the unofficial VPA standings, into eighth place in D-II. They apparently will host No. 9 Mill River either on Tuesday or Wednesday; OV has defeated MRU twice this winter.
OV’s game on Saturday began with special recognition for injured OV senior Jessica Frazier, with the cooperation of Leland & Gray. Frazier, an outstanding athlete who tore her ACL in OV’s opener vs. Mt. Abe, was allowed to score an uncontested layup for the game’s opening points before returning to the bench.
OV then raced to a 16-7 first-quarter lead on the way to the big win. Brittany Bushey led the attack with 13 points, Laura Beth Roberts hit four three-pointers and scored 12, and Sophia Bloomer added eight.
On Friday, visiting VUHS overcame the Tigers’ 9-5 first-period lead to prevail, 42-27. The Commodores took control by outscoring the Tigers by 13-4 in the second quarter.
K.C. Ambrose sparked VUHS with 13 points, five steals, and three assists; she also went six-for-six from the line as the Commodores pulled away from an eight-point lead in the fourth. Tamara Aunchman added eight points, nine rebounds and three blocks; Breanna Lapan scored 11; and Brianna Gebo recorded seven rebounds, five points and four steals.
VUHS coach Billy Waller said MUHS senior guard Hannah Hobbs had “an excellent game,” scoring 13 points.
The 7-13 Commodores appear to be in line for the No. 11 seed and a first-round date with No. 6 Lake Region (11-9). The teams have one common foe, Winooski, and both earned close victories over the Spartans, the Rangers having done so twice.

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