BURLINGTON — Alex Carlisle scored 24 points, 14 of them in a game changing third quarter, and the St. Johnsbury Academy Hilltoppers beat the two time defending state champion Rutland Raiders 54-50 in the Vermont Principals Association Division One Championship game on Sunday afternoon inside the Patrick Gymnasium.
Down by four 24-20 at the break and as many as six at several points, St. Johnsbury rode the hot hand of Carlisle to climb back to within one at 38-37 after three quarters, seized the lead early in the fourth and built it to six before settling for the four point win.
Carlisle add eight rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots to the winning effort. Asom Hayman-Jones chipped in 12 points and nine board for the Academy, and Logan Wendell added eight points including six fourth quarter free throws, and hit double digits with 10 rebounds in the win.
Gatorade Player of the Year Jamison Evans led Rutland with 14 points and eight rebounds. Jacob Lorman added 12 points, five boards, two assists, three steals and four blocked shots.
The win, running their record to 17-7, gives the fifth seeded ‘Toppers their fourth ever state championship and their first since 1997. Combined with the St. Johnsbury Girls state title of a week ago the Academy becomes just the fourth school in Vermont Division One history to win both titles in the same year.
The loss ends Rutland’s run of championships at two in a row. The third seeded Raiders end their season at 18-5.