In boys’ basketball: VUHS, Otter Valley win; Tigers fall

ADDISON COUNTY — Vergennes won at Mount Abraham and Otter Valley rallied for a road victory to highlight local boys’ basketball as the regular season concluded late last week. In the only other game Middlebury fell at home to the Lake Division’s top team.
The Vermont Principals’ Association was set to release Division I and II playoff pairings on Monday morning. First-round games will be played on Tuesday and Wednesday, and quarterfinals on Friday and Saturday.
On Thursday the Commodores avenged an earlier 27-point home loss to the Eagles with a 72-54 win at Mount Abe. Senior Lance Bergmans led with way with 22 points, including 18 in the second half as VUHS pulled away from its 29-26 halftime edge. Bailey Smith andLuke Bergmans chipped in 13 points apiece as the Commodores closed the regular season with three straight wins.
Four-year starter Jackson Counter led the Eagles with nine points, and fellow senior Dustin Whitcomb and sophomore Liam Kelliher added eight apiece.
The Commodores improved to 7-13 and appear to have earned the No. 12 seed in Division I, which appears to mean a first-round date with No. 5 Otter Valley (13-7). OV outlasted VUHS, 52-45, in Vergennes this winter.
The Eagles finished at 6-14, improving by one win from this past season and three wins from the year before. They look like the No. 14 seed and could travel to face No. 3 Milton (14-6) in the first round. The Eagles upset Milton, 64-57, in Bristol, but lost to the Yellowjackets, 65-36, in Milton this winter.  
The Otters apparently nailed down the No. 5 seed on Friday by knocking off Mount St. Joseph, 59-51. The teams finished with identical 13-7 marks and the same number of quality points, but the Otters defeated the Mounties twice this season and should earn the tiebreaker, leaving MSJ at No. 6.
The Mounties led by 37-30 late in the third period, by the Otters dropped a 19-0 run on them. Payson Williams (24 points) and Tyler Rowe (eight) sparked the run, and Dylan Mackie (17) hit six straight free throws down the stretch to help ice the win after MSJ cut the lead to 53-49. The Otters closed their season by winning four straight and seven of eight, losing only to top seed Fair Haven (15-5) in that stretch. Logan Mantilla led MSJ with 14 points.
On Thursday visiting BFA-St. Albans finished its unbeaten Lake Division campaign by topping the Tigers, 62-46. Jens Ulrich-Verderber and Will Harvey each scored 11 points to lead the 16-4 Bobwhites.
Tyler Buxton (15) and JD Goettelmann (10) led the Tigers, who finished at 6-14 and look to be the No. 14 seed in Division I. A first-round date with No. 3 Mount Mansfield (15-5) probably looms. MMU and MUHS did not face one another this winter.

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