by Ken Brown
HINESBURG – Several local student athletes earned honors in girls’ high school basketball this past weekend at the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association (VBCA) Senior All-Star games at Champlain Valley Union High School.
Hazen Union’s Alexis Christensen and Craftsbury Academy’s (CA) Ella Gillespie were selected to the Division III-IV North All-Star Team for their outstanding play for the Lady Cats this past season. The North Team used an 11-1 run late in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 51-51 with seconds to play, but a put-back by Thetford Academy’s Madison Mousley proved to be the game winner.
West Rutland’s Arianna Coombs led the South with 12 points and Peoples Academy’s (PA) Shelby Wells led all scorers with 24 for the North. Christensen and Gillespie helped lead Hazen to a 20-2 record this past season and their first trip to the Division III Final Four in five years. Christensen has been a double-digit scorer for the Lady Cats since her sophomore season and ended her impressive senior campaign averaging over 11 points per game. Gillespie is a multi-sport athlete for CA and seamlessly fit into Hazen Union’s starting lineup from the get-go. She was the leading scorer for the Lady Chargers the past two seasons and brought depth and scoring balance to a Lady Cat roster that reeled off 19 straight wins.
Danville’s Laci Potter was also selected to the North team after averaging over 16 points per game for the Lady Bears this past season. She led Danville to a double-digit win season and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Division IV playoffs. Peoples Academy’s Shelby Wells and Emma Courtemanche were also named to the North team after leading the Lady Wolves to a 15-win season and a spot in the Division III Final Four. Wells has been a prolific scorer for PA since she was a freshman and was also honored as a 1,000-point career scorer, ending her high school career with 1,129.
Rounding out the North roster were: Faith Benjamin (BFA-Fairfax), Parker Reeves (Stowe), Ryleigh Butler (Rivendell Academy), Emma Fadden and Aubrey Fadden of Richford, Paige Moody and Isabel Humbert of Northfield, and Vergennes’ Finnley Jacobson and Kyra Bradford. Poultney’s Hannah Welch won the 3-point contest at halftime with 12 makes. The Spalding Award was given to West Rutland as they capped off a 23-0 season with a Division IV state championship. Their head coach Carl Serraini and Windsor’s Kabray Rockwood earned Coach of the Year honors. West Rutland sophomore Peyton Guay was voted Player of the Year by VBCA coaches.
Hazen Union’s Caitlyn Davison was honored with her second straight selection to the Vermont Dream Dozen roster. The junior point guard averaged over 21 points per game this season and will become the next 1,000-point career scorer for the Lady Cat program at some point next winter.