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Commodores falter in state championships

The second seeded Vergennes Commodores boys basketball team, the only Addison County winter team to reach the semifinals, advanced to the Division II State Championship, but couldn't finish the deal. After eliminating the Montpelier Salons, the Commodores were defeated by the fourth seeded Springfield Cosmos in the state championship game last Saturday.

Vergennes forced some key turnovers in the final moments and managed to slip past the sixth seeded Montpelier Salons 64-58 in the Division II semifinals, played in Barre Feb. 25. Connor Merrill and Josh Carter led the Commodores to their biggest win of the year. Merrill turned in a double-double consisting of 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Carter paced the Vergennes' offense with 18 points. Logan Williams

Had a good night too for the winners, contributing another 15 points to the six point win. Montpelier, who end their season at 14-9, were led by Evan Parker (14 points) and Sam Brigham (13 points) who combined for 27 points in the losing effort.

But the Commodores momentum hit a brick wall last Saturday when they took on the fourth seeded Springfield Cosmos in the Division II State Championship game. With the Commodores leading 23-22 at the half, Springfield's Grant White scored the first 10 points of the second half and that sparked the rest of his team. Springfield went on to outscore the Commodores 37-8 in the final 16 minutes to claim the Division II State Championship with a 59-31 win. It was Springfield's first appearance in the championship game since 1975, and their first state championship in boys basketball since 1960. White had a lot to do with it. The talented senior ended the game with 33 points to pace the Cosmos in their schools biggest win in 49 years. Ethan McAllister added 11 points for Springfield who complete their memorable season at 18-6. Merrill led the Commodores offense in this one, finishing with 16 points. Cameron Curler added nine for Vergennes who finish a very successful 2008 / 2009 season at 19-5.

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