Boston High School: Hazen

New England Roundup: Vermont

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
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Rice Memorial guard Reagan Jewell and Essex guard Ben Ferris have been selected as Vermont’s Miss Basketball and Mr. Basketball, respectively, for the 2010-11 season.

VermontThe awards, which are given to the top boys and girls player in the state, are determined by the Burlington Free Press.

Jewell helped Rice win last season’s Division I championship by beating Champlain Valley Union 45-36 in the title game. The Green Knights completed the season with a 19-5 record and won the program’s first state championship since 2001.

Jewell led Rice in scoring (14 points per game), rebounds (10.0), assists (4.2), steals (3.0) and blocked shots (3.0).

She will continue her basketball career at Holy Family University, a Division II school in Philadelphia.

Ferris helped Essex win the 2009-10 Division I title. He was the only returning starter from that team and averaged 23.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists per contest last season.

Essex finished the season with an 11-10 record after it won eight of its last 11 games. The Hornets were one of two teams to defeat Division I champion Rice during the regular season.

Ferris became the fifth player in the program’s history to score more than 1,000 career points in high school. He will play college basketball for Division III Tufts University.

Ferris was also selected as Vermont’s Gatorade Player of the Year following the 2010-11 season.

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New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 26, 2011
1/26/11
5:01
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Paul Pecor guided the Rice Memorial boys basketball team to two Division I championships in his first seven seasons as the program’s head coach, so it made headlines when he called the 2010-11 Rice team the most talented group he’s ever coached.

VermontThen Rice made headlines again when it lost to an 0-2 Mount Mansfield team that failed to score more than 47 points in either of its first two games.

Pecor said that loss may have been a good thing, and it’s hard to argue otherwise. Since then the Green Knights have won seven games in a row to raise their record to 8-1. Rice’s latest victory came Tuesday night, when it avenged its earlier loss to Mount Mansfield, 55-34.

“Everybody was freaking out and saying we were overrated after that loss, but you know what? It helped us. It refocused us,” Pecor said. “I’m literally watching us get better as we go.”

That’s not good news for other Division I teams. Rice returned four starters from a team that won nine games last season: sophomore forward Marcus Willingham, sophomore guard Casey Tipson, junior forward Jake Maynard and junior forward Tim Rensch. Willingham, Tipson and Rensch are each averaging more than 11 points per game.

The Green Knights also added guard Austin Robinson, a transfer from Burlington High School, to the mix. Robinson is averaging 14.1 points per contest.

Pecor said the most indispensible player on the roster isn’t a starter, however. It’s senior Christian McCormick, a senior captain who agreed to come off the bench.

McCormick, a guard, was the starting quarterback for the Rice football team, which won the 2010 Division II championship. He was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year for football.

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New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 12, 2011
1/12/11
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Vermont has 75 boys' high school basketball teams, 74 girls' high school basketball teams and, technically speaking, one co-ed high school basketball team.

VermontThe Stowe boys basketball team became a co-ed program when senior Hannah McNulty joined the team earlier this month. McNulty, a 5-foot-6 guard, began the season on Stowe’s girls basketball team, but that team was disbanded due to a lack of players.

“We knew in the summer that the girls team was iffy because of numbers,” Stowe boys' basketball coach Evans Bouchard said. “They had enough girls sign up, but there was a point where they had only six or seven healthy players and the parents decided to disband the team for one season.

“Hannah had asked me if I would consider taking her on the (boys) team if the girls team was disbanded. She’s a go-getter. She’s not afraid.”

When her team’s season came to a premature end, McNulty tried to join the girls team at nearby Peoples Academy in Morrisville, but was told Peoples had a full varsity roster and didn’t want to take playing time away from anyone already on the team. At that point, McNulty asked the Vermont Principals’ Association for permission to play for the Stowe boys' team.

The VPA approved her request on Jan. 4, and that night she played 10 minutes in Stowe’s Division III loss to Hazen.

McNulty, who plans to play college basketball at Suffolk University in Boston, had been practicing with the boys' team after the girls' team disbanded, and Bouchard said he had no reservations about adding her to the boys' roster.

“With Hannah I didn’t think it would be a problem,” he said. “Had it been anybody else I would have had some concerns.

“She told me she’d change in the girls bathroom. Then she sits with me until the boys are dressed. Once I make sure everything is OK, we go into the locker room.

“Defensively, she’s probably the most solid player I have. She’s gonna end up helping us. The boys have been very accepting of her. The parents seem to have accepted her as well.”

McNulty played just over a half and scored five points in her second game, a 57-42 victory over Richford. Stowe (1-5) will play at Danville on Friday.

McNulty, who was a goalkeeper for the Stowe girls' soccer team that beat Green Mountain Union for the Division III state championship last fall, is not the only girl who is suiting up for a boys athletic team in Vermont this winter. Nikki-Lyn Lauziere is in her fourth season as a goaltender on the Milton boys' hockey team.

“She’ll probably end up starting some games for us,” Bouchard said. “She’s like one of the boys to me.”

RUTLAND SUFFERS FIRST LOSS
The Rice Memorial boys basketball team overcame a nine-point deficit with 3:10 to play and defeated previously unbeaten Rutland, 61-58, in overtime Monday.

Rice’s Austin Robinson sparked the comeback by sinking back-to-back 3-pointers down the stretch and Marcus Willingham made a three-point play to tie the game with 13 seconds remaining.

Willingham scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help Rice raise its record to 5-1. Mike Triller scored a team-high 17 points for Rutland, which dropped to 8-1.

MEETING MILESTONES
  • Ross Mandigo surpassed the 100-point plateau for his high school career when he collected two goals to help the Stowe boys hockey team defeat Peoples Academy 4-0 on Jan. 4. Peoples entered that contest with a 7-0 record.
  • BFA-St. Albans guard Nick Swim scored the 1,000th point of his high school basketball career when he tossed in a team-high 19 points during a 51-42 triumph over Champlain Valley on Jan. 8. Swim, who entered the game 16 points shy of 1,000, also led his team in steals (10) and rebounds (eight).
BERNARD, BIANCHI EARN TOP HONORS
Colchester’s Lauren Bernard and Essex’s Paul Bianchi have been selected as Vermont’s high school All-Americans by the National Soccer Coaches’ Association of America.

Bianchi, who led Essex to the Division I boys' soccer title last season, will continue his soccer career at the University of New Hampshire. He holds the Essex records for career goals (46) and career points (108). He scored 21 goals last season.

Bernard, a junior, collected 18 goals and 11 assists last season. She has made a verbal commitment to play at Boston College.

Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.

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