Lady Cats Dominate for Eighth Straight
by Ken Brown
HARDWICK – Since dropping their season opener, the Hazen Union girls’ basketball team pushed their unbeaten streak to eight straight games last week with lopsided victories over Milton and Winooski.
Caitlyn Davison poured in a game-high 22 points and dished out five assists to lead the Lady Cats to a 59-28 home win over Milton last Tuesday. Davison added seven steals to her stat sheet and backcourt mate Alexis Christensen complimented with 15 points and eight rebounds. Craftsbury Academy’s Ella Gillespie chipped in with 12 points as the Lady Cats raced out to a 32-10 lead at the break and never looked back. Marlie Bushey led Milton with 16 points in the loss as they fell to 4-5 on the season.
Christensen continued to heat up in her senior campaign, scoring 17 points, including a trio of long range bombs to lead Hazen to a 65-15 home win over Winooski over the weekend. Christensen and Tessa Luther hit a pair of three’s to end the first half, giving the Lady Cats a 37-9 advantage at the break. Caitlyn Davison added 15 points in limited action, freshman Julia desGroseilliers had another strong game inside with 10, and Haley Michaud chipped in with eight in the win. Hazen Union used a stingy man-to-man press and solid rebounding to open the second half on an 18-0 run. The loss dropped the Lady Spartans to 0-6 on the season.
First year head coach and Hazen Union alum Randy Lumsden is beginning to put his championship imprint and mindset on his ascending team. He describes his Lady Cat practices as “wars” and aims to instill a toughness on the defensive end, coupled with unselfish ball movement in the offensive halfcourt. He has a Vermont Dream Dozen selection in junior Caitlyn Davison, who is leading the Lady Cats in scoring with 20 points per game and experience in Christensen and Luther, who are always a threat from the outside. Haley Michaud brings a tenacious work ethic inside and the addition of Ella Gillespie has brought even more scoring balance and depth to the lineup. Their bench is young, but talented and Alison Blaney is skippering a junior varsity team that looks unstoppable and will be in varsity uniforms sooner than later. Since their opening season road loss to Division II Enosburg, in which they had a second half lead, Lumsden’s squad has averaged nearly 58 points per game on offense, while allowing under 30 points per game on the defensive end. Their 8-1 record has them currently ranked as the second best team in Division III behind Windsor. Thetford Academy’s championship pedigree looms at No. 3 and Peoples Academy’s scoring machine Shelby Wells sits at No. 4. Hazen won’t face any of the division’s top teams until the postseason and with the Mountain League in a down year, it’s not inconceivable that they could be on a historic win streak entering postseason play.
Hazen Union is scheduled to travel to Richford on Wednesday and will stay on the road for a match-up with Danville on Saturday.