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I hope everyone is enjoying the down time before the spring season kicks into high gear.
Our Varsity Insider blog has been integrated into our Web site.
Starting today, follow our blog coverage, here.
The winter season wouldn’t be complete with one more power ranking. Hockey was posted Tuesday. Now, here’s the power rankings for boys and girls basketball.
1. Essex (20-3): What a crowning achievement for coach Jeff Goodrich and his Hornets. Certainly a deserving bunch that formed one team goal: Win the state championship.
2. Burlington (21-2): While the Seahorses fell short of claiming the Division I crown, one can’t overlook the program’s stretch of finals appearance — 13th in 17 years, including the last five. Is that streak in jeopardy with Joe O’Shea graduating?
3. Mount Anthony (18-5): The Patriots routed BFA-St. Albans in the quarterfinals and nearly toppled Burlington in the semifinals.
4. Brattleboro (18-5): The Colonels have made it to Patrick Gym four times in the last nine years, with a loss in the 2002 title game.
5. South Burlington (15-7): The Rebels possessed plenty of talent and gave BHS a good battle at Buck Hard Gym in the quarterfinal round.
1. St. Johnsbury (11-13): So a team that never sniffed our power rankings – or on the bubble category – ends the season in the top spot? Hard to argue with what St. Johnsbury accomplished in the Division I tournament, upsetting Rice, Champlain Valley, Burr and Burton and finally Rutland in the final. What a magical run. It’s only fitting SJA land in our top spot.
2. Rutland (20-4): A long scoring drought was the difference in Rutland’s Division I finals loss. Still a great season for the Raiders.
3. Burlington (20-3): Two of BHS’s losses came to Rutland. Again, a fine season for the Seahorses, a team that was always high in our rankings.
4. Burr and Burton (19-3): The top seed for the Division I tournament fell in the semifinal round.
5. Lamoille (22-1): Chelsea Dunham’s big night – on a Sunday for that matter – guided Lamoille to a mild upset of a Milton squad that had a 10-point win over the Lancers earlier this season. Lancers finished with most wins in the state.
OK, I think I’ve procrastinated enough. Time to unveil the final power rankings of the 2009-10 high school winter season.
I’ll start with boys and girls hockey. I’ll post the final basketball rankings tomorrow at some point.
1. Spaulding (16-6-2): Is there any question about the Tide finishing the year as the state’s top team? Spaulding put together a splendid tournament, capping it with the Division I state championship by defeating defending champion CVU.
2. Champlain Valley (13-9-2): A late-season swoon was soon forgotten come playoff time. The Redhawks regrouped for a strong run at trying to defend their crown. They fell one 15-minute period short. But No. 2 ain’t so bad.
3. Essex (17-3-1): Their one-and-down 2010 playoff was a surprise. However, at No. 1 in our rankings before the playoff started, the Hornets had another outstanding campaign. Still worthy of a spot here.
4. North Country (14-7-1): A leap from Division II to Division I didn’t bother the Falcons. N.C. made the Gut and gave CVU a battle once there.
5. Missisquoi (19-4): Missisquoi finally broke through in boys hockey with a championship, blanking Stowe in the Division II final. MVU had zero Division II losses during its title-worthy season.
1. BFA-St. Albans (15-4-4): The Division I title returned to BFA after missing the final for the first time in school history last year.
2. Spaulding (18-4): Another tough championship-game loss for the Crimson Tide. Plenty of star power returning, however, so expect Spaulding to be in the mix next season.
3. Champlain Valley (16-5-1): The Redhawks had a five-win improvement from last season to this on — plus a Kreitzberg appearance. They were a mainstay in our rankings this winter, too.
4. Essex (13-7-2): The defending champs lost in the semifinals. Alas, they did avenge regular-season losses to Hartford in the quarterfinals.
5. U-32 (21-1-1): It’s nice to win a state championship. It’s also nice to redeem a regular-season loss in the championship. U-32 did both.
Mollie Gribbin nabbed a pair of top-10 finishes, including sixth in the 55-meter dash, at Friday night’s 23rd annual New England high school indoor track championships.
Gribbin, winner of three individual events at the Vermont indoor state meet early last month, trains with South Burlington as an independent but lives in Montpelier.
Her 55 time of 7.34 seconds tied a state record held by North Country’s Kasey Hill (2003) and Fair Haven’s Ashley Brown (2007). Kind of weird to see three runners hold the record; alas, it is the sport’s shortest event.
Gribbin also tied for eighth in long jump (16-07.25). She did not compete in the 300, the third event she won at Vermont states.
For those keeping track, that’s the second medal finish at an New England meet for the sophomore Gribbin. As a freshman at outdoor New Englands — held right at Burlington High School – Gribbin took sixth in triple jump. Quite the start to a career, wouldn’t you say?
Essex’s Katie Polakowski was eighth in the 55 hurdles.
Here are links to results:
Last high school weekend of the winter is upon us. And what a way it will finish: Four boys basketball finals.
It’s been a long road for all eight teams and, for one in particular, its coach forecasted a hopeful final four bid.
“I drew a road on our (chalk) board, drew a little school and a bus and at the end of the road was the Barre (Auditorium),” Missisquoi coach Jim Bose said. “Ultimately, this is where we want to be.”
And it’s where the Division II Thunderbirds ended up. Missisquoi made its first boys basketball final in program history and will play No. 3 U-32 in Saturday’s D-II final at 3:45 p.m.
It’s one of four finals on tap. (the others are: D-I, Burlington vs Essex; D-III, Lake Region vs. Hazen; D-IV, Proctor vs. Williamstown).
We will have previews of each championship game in Saturday’s paper. I’ll post links to each once the stories go live. For now, here are some championship notes, courtesy of Paul Stanfield, a Vermont sports historian who has compiled tournament and team playoff histories.
- 33rd final all-time, 5th straight, 7th in last 8 years, 10th last 12 years and 13th final in last 17 years (1994-2010) after 0 finals previous 16 years (1978-93) … Won 12 straight semifinals.
Overall: 132-61. Semifinals: 33-12. Finals: 20-12.
- 4th championship game all-time and 3rd in Division 1 … 1st finals appearance since winning state back in 1998 … Had lost its last 4 semifinal games before 59-39 win over Brattleboro.
Overall: 42-45. Semifinals: 4-10. Finals: 2-1.
Finals: 3-5. Semifinals: 9-7
- 9th final overall and 1st since winning back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004 (other state title in 1992)
- 3-1 in last 4 semifinal games played and 6-2 in last 8 semifinals played dating back to 1992
Finals: 0-0 (0-0 D2). Semifinals: 1-0 (1-0 D2)
- 1st final overall in just its 2nd Division 2 tournament all-time (other D2 tourney in 1975)
- Went 2-28 in 28 Division 1 tournament played, while now 3-1 in D2 tourney games
Finals: 1-0 (1-0 D3). Semifinals: 2-4 (2-2 D3)
- 2nd final overall and 2nd in last 3 years (won the 2008 state title as #2 seed)
- Have reached at least semifinals last 4 years (lost in 2007 and 2009 semifinals)
Finals: 5-2. Semifinals: 8-4 (8-3 D3)
- 8th final overall, 2nd straight year and 5th title game in last 7 years
- Won titles in 2006 and 2009, while losses in 2004 and 2005 (also won in 1981, 1996 and 2000)
Finals: 14-7 (6-0 in D4). Semifinals: 22-17 (7-3 in D4)
- 22st final overall, 5th straight and and 7th last 8 years (won 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 D4 finals)
- Have won 17 straight and 21 of last 22 playoff games (Won 7 D3 state titles 1955-72)
Finals: 2-2 (0-0 D4). Semifinals: 5-5 (1-0 D4)
- 5th final overall and 1st Division 4 championship game (2-2 in 4 Division 3 title games)
- Last championship game appearance was 1986 (won D3 title), while other D3 title in 1939
The Division I basketball finals are set.
Who’s going to take it all?