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Pair of Otter boys’ basketball losses affect playoff seed

BRANDON — The Otter Valley Union High School boys’ basketball team dropped a pair of road games on back-to-back nights last week, missing a chance to clinch the No. 4 seed for the Division II playoffs.
As of Sunday, it was not certain whether the 14-6 Otters or Vergennes (13-7) would be the No. 4 seed; regardless, the other will be No. 5 and the teams will face each other in a quarterfinal if both win their first-round games.
The teams are tied at 58 points in the D-II standings. They did not play each other this winter, eliminating the head-to-head matchup that is the first tiebreaker.
The next tiebreaker is record against common opponents. Both OV and VUHS beat Mount Abraham twice, while OV lost to Middlebury once and Vergennes fell to the Tigers twice.
The preliminary word to VUHS athletic director Peter Maneen, who cautioned on Sunday nothing would be final until the Vermont Principals’ Association released pairings on Monday, is that OV would get the No. 4 seed based on its better winning percentage against MUHS and Mount Abe.
The No. 4 seed will apparently face Harwood (4-16), while the No. 5 seed will probably draw a 6-14 Hartford squad that has played a tough schedule and looks to be better than its record. First-round games will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday and quarterfinals on Friday and Saturday.  
The Otters could have made the seeding question moot, but suffered two close losses to close their regular season. On Saturday, D-III Leland & Gray improved to 9-11 by edging visiting OV, 55-52.
The Otters, playing the second of two games in two days were led by John Winslow’s 19 points, while Derek Aines added 10.
On Friday, host Proctor moved to 14-6 with a 61-56 victory over OV. The D-IV Phantoms led by seven going into the final period and withstood an outburst from Winslow, who scored 15 of his 26 points in the final eight minutes. Proctor’s Nick Swane countered with 12 of his 25 to help Proctor hold on. 

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