Boys’ seeds up for grabs at finish line

ADDISON COUNTY — In local high school boys’ basketball action earlier this week, Vergennes lost and Otter Valley won in what has become a two-team duel for the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds in Division II, while Middlebury kept up its winning ways by knocking off Mount Abraham.
The teams will play their final regular season games late this week, and the Vermont Principals’ Association will announce playoff pairings on Monday morning.
On Tuesday, the Tigers coasted past the visiting Eagles, 71-26, to maintain their hold on the No. 5 seed in D-I. The Tigers have at least a chance of earning the No. 4 seed in D-I if they defeat host Vergennes on Thursday and current No. 4 Burr & Burton loses its final game.
Against the Eagles, Austin Robinson (15 points) and Jon Fitzcharles (11) led MUHS, which saw all 12 Tigers score. Tyrus Keith scored seven to lead the 0-19 Eagles.
On Monday, OV outlasted visiting Bellows Falls, 50-39, to move past the Commodores and into the No. 4 spot in D-II. John Winslow scored 15 points for OV, which had a stronger second half after trailing the 2-16 Terriers at the break, 21-18.
The Otters are 14-4 heading into their final two games, both against D-IV teams on the road — at Proctor on Friday at 7 p.m. and at Leland & Gray on Saturday at 7 p.m. Wins in both will give OV the No. 4 seed, but a split and a VUHS win over the Tigers will leave the teams tied in points. VUHS could then prevail in tiebreakers in that circumstance, with edges in records against common opponents (MUHS and Mount Abe) and strength of schedule.
On Tuesday, VUHS suffered a damaging loss at D-I Missisquoi, 55-52. The 10-9 T-Birds took a first-half lead and held off a VUHS comeback spurred by Adam Gill’s 17 points.
VUHS will seek to keep the pressure on OV when it hosts MUHS on Thursday.  The Commodores and Otters could face each other in a D-II quarterfinal unless OV wins twice this weekend and third-place Lyndon (14-5) loses its last regular-season game.

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