Thanks to a 17-4 run to end the game the second seeded Commodores avoided being upset by the fifteenth seeded Fair Haven Slaters in opening round action in Vergennes on Feb. 17. Behind the strong finish the Commodores held off the Slaters, and eliminated them with a 50-42 win. Connor Merrill (16 points) and Josh Carter (15 points) led the victorious Commodores by combining for 31 points. Fair Haven, who ends their season at 6-15, were led by Christian Doran with 20 points, and Nate Marcell who added another 15.
The Commodores then advanced to the semifinals in the Division II state championship tournament by knocking off Harwood 75-60 in quarter final action last Friday night. Merrill (23 points,) Carter (21 points,) and Logan Williams (18 points) scored 62 of the Commodores 75 points, leading them back from a third quarter deficit to get the huge home win. Harwood had three players reach double digits too, with Steve LaRock leading the way with 22 points. Tyler Hoare added 13 more and Thomas Jacobs-Moore contributed another 10 for Harwood in their season ending game. Vergennes needed to defeat sixth seeded Montpelier (13-8) this past Wednesday to earn a spot in this Saturdays state championship game.
The fifth seeded Middlebury Tigers weren't so fortunate, as they were upset in the opening round by the twelfth seeded Mount Abraham Eagles 53-50, in Middlebury on Feb. 17. Mount Abraham was led by Kyle Kayhart with 16 points, while Bela Dobkowski and Corey Kimball added another 10 and eight points respectively to the upset win. Middlebury's Cooper Quenneville led all scorers with 17 points, and Seth Delorme contributed an additional 11 for the Tigers who finish their season with a 13-8 record.
Mount Abraham however couldn't pull of the second upset they needed to advance to the state semifinals in Division II. The Eagles were eliminated from the tournament when they suffered a 63-33 rout at the hands of the fourth seeded Springfield Cosmos last Saturday in quarterfinal action. Grant White led the Cosmos offensive attack with 22 points, and Ethan McAllister added another 15 to the lop sided win. The Eagles, who finished the year at 10-12, were led by Kayhart and Jake Goldstein with seven points each