by Ken Brown
MORRISVILLE – The Hazen Union boys’ basketball team passed another tough road test last week against a stout Peoples Academy (PA) squad, building off some impressive wins over the Holiday Break to stay a perfect 6-0 on the season.
Tyler Rivard led the Wildcats with 13 points and hit some clutch free throws down the stretch to lead Hazen to a tough road win over PA last Tuesday 57-49. Hazen took a commanding 33-20 lead into the break, but the Wolves clawed back within four points after three quarters behind a team-high 12 points from Gus Veit. The Wildcats’ balanced scoring attack of Lincoln Michaud (12), Carter Hill (11), and Jadon Baker (10), along with five clutch free throws from Rivard down the stretch was too much for the home team to overcome. Ezra Allen chipped in with 10 points in the loss for PA as they fell to 2-2 on the season.
“They’re a strong team with good size, athleticism, and some guys who can shoot. They came out in a zone and we did a nice job of adjusting to it and were able to get off to a nice start in the first half. We were flat coming out of the break and let them get back into the game, but finished pretty well down the stretch to get a good win on the road,” said head coach Aaron Hill.
Hill’s squad was perfect over the holiday break, with dominant wins over Stowe and Oxbow, before solving one of the top teams in Division III in Enosburg on the road 45-43 on December 29. Rivard has been a dominant force inside for the Wildcats, scoring 18 points and pulling down 17 boards against Stowe and leading Hazen Union with another team-high 15 points in the win against the Hornets. Hill likes the size, chemistry, and versatility of his team so far this season and hopes that growing postponements of games doesn’t slow down the momentum they’ve created.
“I love the chemistry of this team and the way they share the basketball. Our versatility and balanced scoring make us very tough to defend, it allows us to play multiple style, and I just love coaching this group of guys. This is a hard season to navigate for everyone with multiple postponements and hopefully we can get to February and everyone can get healthy and back to full strength. It is tough on the kids as they get excited for games and then they are rescheduled, but we just have to keep taking it one day at a time and not get too far ahead of ourselves,” said Hill.
Hazen Union’s game last Friday against Williamstown was postponed as well as their home matchup against Randolph this Friday. They hope to reschedule their game with the Blue Devils this Friday if Williamstown passes COVID protocols. The Wildcats are scheduled to travel to Lyndon Institute next Monday.