by Ken Brown
HINESBURG – Several local seniors and up-and-coming stars in boys’ high school basketball were honored at the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association (VBCA) Senior All-Star games over the weekend at Champlain Valley Union High School.
Hazen Union senior Tyler Rivard was selected to the North All-Star Team roster and ended his decorated high school career with 12 points as the South eked out an 89-85 victory on Saturday. Poultney’s Marcus Lewis led the South with 13 in the win and Richford’s Elia Varisco (14) and Blue Mountain’s Evan Dennis (13) were the leading scorers for the North side. Danville’s Christian Young added eight points in the loss, finishing an impressive senior campaign scoring over 15 points a game and leading the Bears to the Division IV Final Four.
Rivard finished off a senior season for the ages earlier this month, averaging over 23 points and pulling down 17 rebounds per game. He’ll graduate as the only Wildcat in program history with 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. He shattered every rebound record at Hazen Union over the last two seasons and also broke the single game scoring record earlier this season with a 50-burger against Enosburg. He was a finalist for the Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year and was also honored this past weekend for his 1,176 career points. Rounding out the North Senior All-Star roster were: Peoples Academy’s Sawyer Beck and Chandler Follensbee, Winooski’s Trevon Bradley, Hassan Hassan, and Daniel Surma, Brady Donahue (Williamstown), Bryce Fontaine (BFA-Fairfax), Chase Lund (Oxbow), Harry Molesworth (Rivendell Academy), Jacob Gilman (Thetford Academy), and Blue Mountain’s Ricky Fennimore. Mid-Vermont Christian’s Joel Roberts knocked 17 treys to win the halftime 3-point contest. Winooski was honored with the Spalding Award after capping off a 22-0 season with the Division III state championship. Bellows Falls’ Evan Chadwick and Blue Mountain’s Chris Cook were named Coaches of the Year. Fair Haven’s Sawyer Ramey was named Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Vermont.
Hazen Union’s Xavier Hill, Brendan Moodie, and Twinfield-Cabot’s Tej Stewart were also honored over the All-Star Weekend for being selected to the Vermont Dream Dozen roster. Stewart was one of seven freshmen on a Trojan team that won 11 games and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Division IV playoffs. He was their leading scorer and dropped a career-high 30 points in their season opener, leading them to the Bob Abrahamson Tip-Off Classic Championship at Proctor. Hill earned his second straight selection after a junior campaign where he averaged over 11 points per game and orchestrated a potent Wildcat offense. He played some of his best basketball of the season in the playoffs, scoring a career-high 24 points in the quarterfinals and 19 more in the state title game. Sophomore backcourt mate Moodie earned his first selection after a sensational inaugural season at Hazen. He became a long-distance sniper for the Wildcats, including a nine 3-pointer 33-point performance in their quarterfinal win over White River Valley and 19 more in a crucial semifinal win over Thetford Academy. The future looks bright for basketball in the Northeast Kingdom with this trio of underclassmen leading the way.