Featured, Sports

Lady Cats Steamroll into Postseason

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hazen Union ninth-grader Isabelle Gouin, rushes toward the basket followed by teammates Caitlyn Davison (center) and Haley Michaud (right) during action February 14. At left is Marlie Bushway (No. 23) and Kendalyn Mason (third from left) of Milton. The Lady Cats beat the Yellow Jackets 60-31.

by Ken Brown

HARDWICK – The Hazen Union girls’ basketball team officially ran the table last week by discarding Division II Milton at home, winning every game on their schedule since an opening season loss to Enosburg in December.

Junior point guard Caitlyn Davison poured in a career-high 31 points, including six 3-pointers to power the Lady Cats to a 60-31 win over Milton last Tuesday on Senior Night. Senior back-court mate Alexis Christensen added eight points and fellow seniors Haley Michaud and Ella Gillespie combined for eight more in the win. Hazen Union jumped out to a 31-13 lead at the break and never looked back for their seventeenth straight victory. Grace Williams led Milton with seven points and Marlie Bushey and Abby Garran tallied six apiece in the loss. The Lady Yellowjackets wrapped up their regular season at 12-8 and will be ranked twelfth in the upcoming Division II tournament. Davison also grabbed eight rebounds to add to her impressive stat line. She spoke glowingly about her senior teammates, how Christensen, Michaud, and herself have grown together the last two years, and the seamless transition of Craftsbury Academy’s Ella Gillespie into their potent starting lineup.

“Our three seniors are the rock and the drive of this team. Alexis always steps up and hits some huge shots to keep our heads up and our momentum strong. Haley always brings good energy to practice and her work ethic to get better throughout every season is definitely an inspiration to us all. We welcomed Ella in with open arms and never regretted it. She is a huge contributor to our team, cleaning up rebounds and bringing big energy on defense. Overall our seniors are tremendous role models to our underclassmen. They help make everyone better in practice and it shows on the court during games. Myself, as well as the team couldn’t be more grateful to have them for teammates,” said Davison.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hazen Union Lady Cat Caitlyn Davison (center) looks for an opening to pass guarded by Maeli Rutherford (right) of Milton February 14. Davison scored 31 points during the game. Hazen won 60-31.

First year head coach and former Wildcat great Randy Lumsden has brought a championship mindset to the Lady Cat program and Davison has taken her game to a new level as well under her uncle’s tutelage. Davison and Christensen led the Wildcat offense a season ago, averaging 13 points per game apiece. Her junior campaign is on pace for one of the best in school history, scoring over 20 points per contest. She was a Vermont Dream Dozen selection in ‘22 and is a lock to land on that list once again as one of the top scorers and rebounders in the state at the guard position. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when Davison will be the next 1,000 point scorer for the Lady Cat program.

Hazen Union will enter the Division III tournament this week with an 18-1 record as the No. 2 seed behind Windsor. They will welcome No. 15 Winooski to the Cat Den on Wednesday night in the opening round. The Lady Cats swept the season series with the Lady Spartans by an average of 46 points. If they advance, they will host the winner of seventh seed Oxbow and tenth seed Bellows Falls in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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