Sports

Lumsden Shines in Special Week for Lady Cat Program

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Jan (Rowden) Howard (behind third banner from left) was honored on February 2 by over 40 former Hazen Union athletes that were coached by she and Jean Hackett from 1970-1981. Coach Jean Hackett was unable to attend as she was gone on vacation. The event celebrated The Birth of Lady Wildcat Championships from 1972-1977. The festivities were organized by the Hardwick Academy/Hazen Union Alumni Association and members of the 1975 basketball championship team.

STOWE – In a week where the Hazen Union girls’ basketball program honored the historic teams of the ’70s, led by the great Jan Howard and Jean Hackett, freshman Mya Lumsden broke out for a combined 34 points in dominant wins over Stowe and Blue Mountain.

Lumsden poured in a career-high 18 points, including a three-pointer to power Hazen past Stowe on the road last Tuesday 65-7.

Freshly minted 1,000-point scorer Caitlyn Davison complimented with 16 of her own and sophomore Isabelle Gouin drilled a three on her way to a nine-point night.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
The Hazen Union girls varsity team listen to their coach Randy Lumsden (center) during a time out last week against Blue Mountain. They beat Blue Mountain 55-38 and won their twelfth game in a row. They were, standing (from left): managers Kennidee Gouin and Chloe Moodie, Tessa Luther, Sarah Collier, Taylor Thompson, Sadie Skorstad, assistant coach Alison Blaney, Mya Lumsden, assistant coaches Sue Rivard and Dorothy Hill; seated (from left) Autumn Dailey, Caitlyn Davison, Kelsie Rivard, Julia des Groseilliers and Isabelle Gouin. Missing were Ella Renaud, Carrie Gonyaw and Baylie Christensen.

Ella Renaud, freshman Autumn Dailey, and Craftsbury Academy’s Sadie Skorstad combined for 12 more as Hazen took a 33-5 lead into the break and never looked back. The loss dropped the Lady Raiders to 1-11 on the season.

“I think understandably the physicality at the varsity level intimidated Mya a little bit at the beginning of the season, but it’s been great to see her get more comfortable and confident with every game. We’ve had some lopsided wins the last few weeks, so it’s important that we continue to stay focused and use our practices to push each other to get better as a team every single day,” said head coach Randy Lumsden.

Davison netted 19 and Lumsden 16 more on Friday in a 55-38 home win over Blue Mountain, in what was a community celebration of the historic championship runs of the Hazen Union girls’ basketball and softball teams under Howard and Hackett on ’70s Banner Night.

Presenter Jon Lussier honored all the players, coaches, and contributors of those great teams that won an unprecedented four state titles and two state runners-up over a five-year span, that included back-to-back undefeated seasons by the girls’ basketball and softball teams in 1974-75.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
A plaque was presented to Jan (Rowden) Howard (right) by some members of the 1975 championship basketball team who were (from left) Cindy (Rathburn) Winette, Paula (Hodgdon) Pecor and Lorrie (Brochu) Curtis.

Brand new replacement banners were unveiled for those great team’s accomplishments, along with an additional banner that was unveiled on the near baseline commemorating what Howard, Hackett, and all the great players under them helped build at the inception of Hazen Union athletics. Howard’s son and current Hazen baseball head coach Spencer, along with her grandchildren unveiled the banner.

“It was pretty special to see how many of those past players and coaches came to the event and how much joy it brought them to be recognized by their community. So many people in the Hazen alumni and community put a lot of hard work into making this happen and they just did a phenomenal job. The legacy that Jan, Jean, and those players helped build is inspiring to our team and I hope it pushes them to put in that kind of work to write their own chapter in the Lady Cat program,” said Lumsden.

Davison and Lumsden combined to connect on seven threes in the win and freshman Kelsie Rivard returned from injury to add 11.

Felicity Sulham led Blue Mountain with 13 in the loss.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Jan (Rowden) Howard watches as a special banner is unveiled in Hazen Union’s gymnasium, February 2, for her and Jean Hackett for their many years of successful coaching. At right is Jon Lussier, master of ceremonies for the celebration.

The 13-1 Lady Cats remain in the No. 2 spot in the current Division III standings behind defending Division III champion Windsor. The Lady Yellowjackets opened the season with seven straight wins but have shown signs of being human the past two weeks, dropping two of their last four.

“They returned everybody from a dominant state championship run last winter and have been viewed as an unbeatable team within our division. Watching them stumble a little lately gives our team confidence that if we keep working on the things in practices and games that make us better every single day, we can get to where we want to go. I’m very happy with where we’re at and the way the girls have battled through a couple lulls throughout the season. We’re going to keep grinding towards playing our best team basketball by year’s end,” said Lumsden.

Hazen Union welcomed Enosburg to town on Monday and will stay at the Cat Den for a pivotal divisional match-up with a third-ranked 10-3 Richford team on Thursday night.

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