Eagle, VUHS boys’ basketball teams to host playoff games Tuesday

MOUNT ABE FORWARD Norman Benoit Vergennes guard Elijah Duprey race upcourt in a game last month. Both the Eagles and the Commodores will host first-round playoff games on Tuesday. Independent file photo/Steve James

ADDISON COUNTY — The Mount Abraham Union High School boys’ basketball team posted the program’s first winning record in a decade and will host its first playoff game since 2011 after finishing at 15-5 and receiving the No. 7 seed in Division II.

But when the Vermont Principals’ Association announced the boys’ playoff games on Monday, the 13-7 Vergennes Union High School boys earned the highest seed among local high school teams, a No. 4 nod in D-III.

The Otter Valley and Middlebury boys, both 4-16, earned the Nos. 13 and 14 seeds in D-II, respectively.

On Tuesday the Eagles will entertain a familiar Lake Division foe in their first-round game — Milton (9-9), a team that has played better recently after a slow start. The Eagles handled Milton easily at home in January, but more recently eked out a one-point win at Milton.

A win over the Yellowjackets would almost certainly mean a 7 p.m. Saturday visit to No. 2 Montpelier (19-1), a team the Eagles have not faced this winter.

The Commodores earned a chance at two home games by virtue of their No. 4 seed. No. 13 Thetford (4-15) is up first on Tuesday, followed most likely by No. 5 Bellows Falls (15-5) on Friday. VUHS did not play either of those teams this winter.

The Otters on Tuesday will also see a familiar foe in their first-round matchup: No. 4 Fair Haven (15-5). The Slaters defeated OV twice this season, by 11 points in Brandon and by a larger margin at home. If the Otters upset the Slaters this time they would in all likelihood face No. 5 Mount St. Joseph (15-5) on Friday at 7 p.m. MSJ also defeated OV twice this winter.

The Tigers will open the D-II playoffs with a visit to No. 3 Spaulding (18-2) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Tide rolled the Tigers by 30 points in their only meeting this winter. If the Tigers turn the Tide this time, No. 5 Hartford (14-5) would probably be next at 7 p.m. on Saturday. The Tigers and Hurricanes did not meet one another this season.

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