BURLINGTON — The top seeded St. Johnsbury Hilltoppers and the second seeded and four time defending state champion CVU Redhawks have advanced to Saturday’s VPA Division One championship game … both with wins on Thursday night inside the Patrick Gym.
In the opener the Redhawks pulled away with a 30-19 second half run and beat the Mt. Anthony Patriots 51-36. Jamie Vachon scored 12 points and Marlee Gunn added 10 for the Redhawks and Shannon Loiseau came up one point short of a triple double with nine points, 14 rebounds and ten blocked shots. Harper Mead and Abby Thut eached added seven points for CVU.
Madison Little led all scores, exploding for 25 points for the Patriots, but her teammates could only add a total of eleven to the cause as MAU ended their season at 18-5.
CVU will go to the title game at 20-3.
In the nightcap St. Johnsbury rallied from a ten point third quarter deficit and beat the fifth seeded BFA-St.Albans Comets 32-30 in overtime. BFA controlled the first half, leading 16-8 at the break, and built the lead to ten early in the third. But St. Johnsbury responded, keyed by the play of Sadie Stetson who scored eight third quarter points to rally the Hilltoppers into a 23-23 tie after three.
The fourth quarter was a defensive struggle with Josie Choiniere of the ‘Toppers and Andi Esenler of the Comets exchanging treys for the only points of the stanza and the teams went to overtime tied at 26.
In the extra session a hoop by Choiniere and a pair of free throws by Stetson gave St. J. a three point lead late, but Esenler was fouled shooting a three with 6.6 seconds remaining and converted all three free throws to tie the game at 30.. Choiniere then took the inbounds pass and raced the length of the floor and laid the game winning shot into the hoop at the buzzer for the win.
Freshman Choiniere led the Hilltoppers with 15 points.Stetson added 10 and seven rebounds. Kelly Laggis put up a double-double 13 points and 18 boards to lead the Comets, and Esenler added nine as BFA ends their season at 16-7.
St. Johnsbury goes to the championship game at 20-2.