Sports

Champion Lady Cats Move to Lamoille Summer League

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HARDWICK – Coming off the program’s first state championship in 33 years, head coach Randy Lumsden and his Hazen Union Lady Cats will be playing summer hoops in the Lamoille Summer Basketball League starting next month.

The Hazen Union girls’ varsity basketball team will unofficially start their Division II state title defense next month in the Lamoille Summer Basketball League. Last season the Lady Cats played summer hoops at U-32, but increased competition and geographics makes sense for Lumsden and his squad to make the switch. The U-32 varsity program is transitioning to a new coach and won’t be hosting a summer league this season.

“It actually worked out well because the Lamoille League is closer, and the competition is going to be really good. I also like the fact that there is one game a week and not two. This will allow us to do more skill work and focus on team concepts,” said Lumsden.

Lumsden has turned the Lady Cat program into a powerhouse in just two seasons on the bench. The former Wildcat champion as a player is an eye-popping 40-3 to start his coaching career, including a school record back-to-back 20-win seasons and consecutive seasons with 19 game winning streaks. His team won the state title this past March with four dynamic freshmen playing key roles, pivotal sophomores raising the level of their games, and a generational senior point guard in Caitlyn Davison that the Hardwick community hasn’t seen since the likes of the great Penny Libercent and Jennifer des Groseilliers. Davison finished her high school career with nearly 1,200 career points, a school record 34 points in the state title game at the Barre Auditorium, and back-to-back Mountain League Player of the Year honors. Replacing a player like Davison is impossible, but in coming sophomore Kelsie Rivard will make the transition a little easier for Lumsden next winter. Rivard pushed Davison for lead scoring honors last season, scoring 33 points in her Barre Auditorium debut, while capturing Mountain League Freshman of the Year honors.

“It’s not going to be easy to replace what we lost in Caitlyn and the leadership of that senior class led by Tessa Luther, Sarah Collier, and Sadie Skorstad, but I feel like if we can get the girls to handle pressure from teams by committee, we’ll be fine,” said Lumsden.

Skills clinics started for Lumsden’s squad last week and they were scheduled to scrimmage Harwood this past Monday. They tip off the Lamoille Summer League on July 1 against North Country. Enosburg, St. Johnsbury, MMU, and Lamoille round out the league and games will be played at Lamoille’s gym. Games will be played on Monday evenings through the month of July. The Lady Cats will wrap up their summer hoops season at the Norwich University Team Camp that runs from August 2-4.

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