Lady Cats Start Season Early, Fall to Mid-Vt. on the Road

by Ken Brown

QUECHEE – The Hazen girls’ basketball team started the season with a tough road test last weekend, falling to a hot-shooting Mid-Vermont Christian (MVCS) team on the road.

photo by Vanessa Fournier | Hazen’s gym looked big and empty Friday night for the first basketball game allowed to be played since the COVID-19 pandemic. State officials announced that high school basketball games could begin Feb. 12, but that no spectators are allowed. Seated at the game Friday were Sue Lasher (temperature taker), someone filming the game for Northfield, and Hazen Principal David Perrigo.

Hayley Goodwin exploded for 33 points to lead MVCS to a 65-50 home win over the Lady Cats last Friday. Hazen led 13-12 after the first period behind a team-high 13 from Alleigh Gabaree, but the Lady Eagles got red hot in the second quarter, hitting 12-19 shots, ending the half on a 12-0 run to take a 38-25 lead into the break. Hazen wasn’t supposed to tip-off its season until this week, but when MVCS called looking for a last-minute fill in for their schedule Thursday night, the Lady Cats agreed to take the long cold bus ride to Quechee.

“I told the girls Thursday night at practice that we picked up a last-minute game if they wanted it and they couldn’t have been more excited,” said head coach Tim Whitney. “It was a couple of long cold bus rides, but in the situation everyone is in this season, you have to be ready for anything. They are a very good team and you can see how they made it to the finals last season. The Goodwin sisters are extremely difficult to mark in the back court and on the wing and they got hot in the second quarter and that was difference in the game,” said Whitney.

Cindy Goodwin chipped in with 15 points for the Lady Eagles who were co-Division IV champs last season, along with Proctor, after the title game was canceled due to COVID-19. Natalie Geoffroy added 11 points for Hazen and Macy Molleur chipped in with 10 in the loss. 

“It was great to see the girls able to get back out there on the court and compete. We are still very young as a team in many ways, we pushed the ball really well early, but we get impatient offensively instead of letting plays develop and flow and that is when they went on their big run. We played decent defensively, but as we get into the season we need to shore up rebounds a little better. Overall, it was a good effort against a good team and we’ll keep working on improving,” said Whitney.

The Lady Cats were scheduled to host Peoples Academy on Monday in the “Cat Den” before traveling to North Country on Thursday.