This tourney is gonna be awesome, baby!
BRATTLEBORO — COVID-19 may have wiped out the college basketball tournaments, but the virus wasn't able to torch this March Madness bracket.
This Sweet 16 is made up of the area's best high school hoop teams ever assembled. And your mission is to determine which former state champion you believe would advance to the Final Four.
A trio of undefeated teams are favored to get there, however this is the Big Dance and it's likely that the glass slipper will find its way onto someone's foot.
The Charly McLoughlin Region has a PTPer named Larry Scott, who scored 18 points to power Hinsdale to a 46-44 win over Inter-Lakes in the 1974 Class M championship game. Scott and company finished up with an impressive 23-0 record.
Larry's daughter also knows a little something about perfection. Allison Scott, who scored over 1,000 points and helped the Lady Pacers to a 22-0 season in 2014, now finds herself in the bracket of death. Luckily, she has former player of the year Skylar Bonnette, post player Bridget Bourne, defensive stopper Breanna Benjamin, wing extraordinaire Skyler LeClair, and "Diaper Dandy" Kyra Rideout on her side.
Also in the Tony Fecto Region is the 2018 Hinsdale team led by talented center Angelina Nardolillo, the 2004 Wilmington juggernaut that featured future Boston College player Corey Rusin, and the 1999 Wilmington squad — Jamie Rosso poured in 18 points and delivered the dagger in a 46-44 finals victory over Canaan.
Announcer Bill Raftery will see his share of "man-to-man."
The chalk in the Jerry Gagliardi Region is the 2003 Bellows Falls girls team, which went 23-0. Dani Rayner had a championship game to remember that season, going off for 32 points and pulling down a dozen rebounds in a 59-43 win over MAU for the Division 1 crown.
This corner of the bracket is loaded with Terriers, including the 1972 team that won it all on Debbie Higgins' two late foul shots and the 1977 team that defeated CVU behind Maureen Bresland's 29-point outing. It just doesn't seem right using "Cinderella" to describe the 1984 state champion Brattleboro girls, who got a combined 43 points from Barbie Barrett and Heidi Bristol in the finale that year.
Over in the Seth Christmas Region, buzzer-beaters and pig-piles are expected.
Do you want the 2000 Bellows Falls team that got 17 points from Judd Adams when winning it all or the 1993 Terriers who racked up 93 points in the championship game, guided by the big three of Matt Stevens, Jon Tenney and Josh Allbee? Do you want the 1986 Brattleboro buzzsaw that had All-Staters Tom James and Mike Winkler on its roster or the 1993 Colonels led by the great "Shoe" deJong?
If you're considering picking against Larry Scott's crew in the McLoughlin Region, good luck! Your other options are the 1972 Hinsdale team that rode Jim McCormick's hot shooting to a trophy, the 1977 Leland & Gray squad that earned gold when Pete Boyle recorded a double-double (15 points, 18 rebounds) in the title tilt, and the 1988 Rebels who beat West Rutland on the big stage thanks to center Heikki Darrow's monster performance.
It's time to break out your No. 2 pencil and get to work.
Seth Christmas Region
2000 Bellows Falls boys (20-4)
1993 Bellows Falls boys (16-7)
1993 Brattleboro boys (17-7)
1986 Brattleboro boys (20-4)
Charly McLoughlin Region
1988 Leland & Gray boys (21-2)
1977 Leland & Gray boys (20-4)
1974 Hinsdale boys (23-0)
1972 Hinsdale boys (21-2)
Jerry Gagliardi Region
2003 Bellows Falls girls (23-0)
1984 Brattleboro girls (20-3)
1977 Bellows Falls girls (20-3)
1972 Bellows Falls girls (17-2)
Tony Fecto Region
2018 Hinsdale girls (21-1)
2014 Hinsdale girls (22-0)
2004 Wilmington girls (22-2)
1999 Wilmington girls (19-4)
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