Lady Mustangs Take Second at St. Mike’s as Rivard Heads to the Midwest

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Former Hazen Union player Kelsie Rivard is playing for the New England Crusaders in tournaments throughout the Midwest.

COLCHESTER – The Hardwick Mustangs girls’ AAU basketball team claimed runner-up honors last week at St. Michael’s College without their star freshman Kelsie Rivard, who was in Iowa playing in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL) series.

The Lady ‘Stangs were fresh off the heels of winning the Kingdom Invitational last month in the varsity bracket. Head coach Sue Rivard and her young squad went a perfect 4-0 in the two-day tournament, despite having a roster made up mostly of freshmen and sophomores. Assistant coaches and Hazen Union greats Caitlyn Davison and Tyler Rivard took a depleted ‘Stangs roster to St. Mike’s over the weekend to face off against varsity squads from the Lamoille and Winooski area. Hardwick finished second with a shorthanded team, including reigning Mountain League Rookie of the Year Kelsie Rivard.

“This weekend went well. We were a little short on numbers both days and had some players playing some positions they weren’t used to. All in all, I would say we learned a lot as a team and having the rest of the summer to prepare for the winter, we have a better idea what we need to work on moving forward,” said Assistant Coach Tyler Rivard.

Sue Rivard was on the Lady Cat bench this past winter as an assistant coach under Randy Lumsden as senior star Caitlyn Davison and freshman phenom Kelsie Rivard broke school records at the Barre Auditorium on their way to bringing the Division III state championship back to Hardwick for the first time in 33 years. Rivard’s Lady Mustang roster mirrors that championship team and includes Hazen’s Rivard, Julia des Groseilliers, Mya Lumsden, Isabelle Gouin, Taylor Thompson, Autumn Dailey, Ella Renaud, Baylie Christensen, and Sadie Gann. Peoples Academy’s Ari Nichols and Ava Baisley round out Rivard’s roster, with Nichols expected to transfer to Hazen this coming fall.

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Julia des Groeilliers is playing on the Hardwick Mustangs AAU basketbaall team that earned runner-up honors at a tournament at St. Michael’s College last weekend.

Kelsie Rivard played in national tournaments along with Davison last summer for Lone Wolf Athletics out of Colchester. She will be playing for the New England Crusaders this season out of Nashua, N.H., and traveled to Des Moines over the weekend for her second 15 and under tournament of the season. The two-day tournament consisted of five games as the Crusaders faced off against teams from Colorada, Michigan, Connecticut, North Dakota, and Iowa. This was stop two of the four-part Nike EYBL series that will finish up in Chicago in July.

The Lady Mustangs will be back in action for their final tournament next weekend in Rutland at the Spartans Green Mountain Gauntlet. The State Champion Hazen Union Lady Cats will have their own float at the Hardwick Memorial Day Parade this weekend.

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