BRATTLEBORO -- During a winter that included an NHL lockout and a fatal X Games crash by snowmobiler Caleb Moore, sports fans in this area also have their share of good memories.
Like where Libardoni’s Lads were seeded, that Halie Lange repeated, and that the Hinsdale girls basketball team went undefeated.
The 12 area hockey and hoops teams combined for a 108-128 record during the regular season. Eighteen of those wins came from the Lady Pacers, who pulled off the first perfect season in program history.
And it was absolutely electric inside "the Stable" on Feb. 15, when Skylar Bonnette went 5-for-5 from downtown and scored 20 points in a thrilling 51-47 victory over then 16-1 Sunapee on Senior Night. It was the ninth team that Hinsdale had completed a sweep of during the historic march -- Derryfield, Concord Christian, Wilton, Monadnock, Pittsfield, Newport, Mascenic and Nute were the others.
Memorial Park was packed on March 5, with late arrivers having to find a spot in the upper softball field’s lot, as Brattleboro fans poured into Nelson Withington arena to watch their second-seeded Colonel boys hockey team eliminate Mount Mansfield 3-1 in the Division 1 quarterfinals.
The purple and white, who would then lose a 2-1 heartbreaker to Burr and Burton in the semis, finished up with an impressive 18-4 mark. Not to mention, goalie Greg DiSilva posted nine shutouts, Eric Libardoni was named Lake Division
Under first-year coach Andrew Nystrom, the Leland & Gray boys basketball team also had a memorable season. The Rebels went 15-5, before earning the No. 3 seed in Division 3, knocking out Peoples Academy on a last-second trifecta by guard Zach Wilkins, and then being upset by an underrated BFA-Fairfax squad.
And a couple of individuals simply crushed.
Brattleboro’s Halie Lange repeated as the Nordic state freestyle champion by holding off the speedy Taylor Spillane of CVU on Feb. 21 in Craftsbury. "Super Girl" would then take fourth in the 5K Classic portion five days later in Woodford.
While Lange was resting between those two meets, Nolan Viens of the Bellows Falls-Hartford wrestling team was dominating on the mat in Vergennes. He earned a 7-3 decision over MAU’s Houston Shaler to strike gold in the 145-pound division of the Feb. 23 state meet.
On Saturday, March 23, at Windsor High School, the four senior All-Star basketball games will be held, with the Division 3-4 girls game leading off at 11 a.m. The official rosters for those games, which include the top seniors in Vermont, will be formalized after the team practices on March 19.
Shane Covey can be eached at email@example.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.