Mount Anthony girls No. 6 seed in Division I
Fast forward a few months and that statement couldn't be farther from the truth.
MAU continued to get better and better as the year went on and won 12 out of its last 15 games. Their lone losses over that stretch coming from powers like CVU and Fair Haven and a very strong South Burlington team.
Monday morning, the Patriots hard work paid off and they are slotted as the No. 6 seed in the upcoming Division I state tournament. MAU will play No. 11 Brattleboro in a first-round matchup Wednesday at home.
Patriots coach AJ Mahar is proud his team gets the chance to host a home game and noted it was one of their main goals coming into the season.
"After the 1-4 start, it wasn't looking too promising and the girls worked hard and we got there," said Mahar of that preseason goal. "It was just one of our goals that we were able to check off that we set out to do."
The Colonels played the Patriots tough both times the two team's met. Both matchups were two-point MAU wins and the first contest went to overtime.
With both teams knowing each other well, it will be important for the Patriots to grab the momentum early if they want to replicate last season's postseason success.
"Us coming out disciplined and doing the little things we've done since day one, if it comes down to that, I think we'll be alright," Mahar said. "We can't wait to do it later in the game. We've got to start and be solid the whole game. They're a really good team that's well-coached, so they're going to come out ready to play."
On top of the improvement of a whole slew of Patriot players, this season has been the coming out party for sophomore Grace Mahar. Grace Mahar averaged 16.6 points per game during the regular season and was a force on the boards as well. She broke her sister Jhonny Mahar's 10-year old record for most rebounds in a single season. She figures to be a force at MAU in the coming two years.
Along side Mahar, senior Anna Iannotti has been a consistent threat in the post. Over her last 13 games played, the center averaged more than 11 points per game.
Kaity O'Brien and Cat Worthington have both been great energy pieces for the Patriots and Caroline Musinski's ability to knock down a timely 3 has been huge for MAU.
The Burr and Burton girls basketball team has had its ups and downs this season.
There have been flashes of potential and how bright the future looks, but they've also struggled at times.
After finishing the regular season at 7-13, BBA earned the No. 15 seed in the Division I tournament. The Bulldogs will play five-time defending state champion No. 2 CVU on the road Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The game figures to be a tough task for BBA as they lost to the Redhawks both times they played this season.
Senior Emily Bleakie has been the Bulldogs' leader throughout the year. She is consistently a threat to reach double figures in scoring and has created a strong base for the young BBA team.
Freshman Carol Herbert and Madelyn Goebel have both showed major flashes as future potential centerpieces for the Bulldogs, along with sophomore Ashley Heaton.
In Division IV, the Arlington girls basketball team picked up the No. 5 seed in its upcoming state tournament.
The Eagles will play No. 12 Poultney in the first round Wednesday. That game will be played at Burr and Burton Academy at 7 p.m.
Arlington beat the Blue Devils both times the two team's played this season. The first came in the early stages of the season when the Eagles beat them convincingly 47-13. Sophomore Haley Mattison had 17 points and Katie Berger had 16 points in that game. The second win came in the late stages of the season, where the Eagles won by 12.
Mattison has been Arlington's most consistent offensive threat this season, but there have also been strong stretches from Berger, Kierstyn Hess and Erin Murphy, among others.
In Division I boys hockey, Burr and Burton will be the No. 5 seed in the state tournament and play No. 4 Spaulding Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
BBA has been led by the brother duo of Egan and Steven Schmitt throughout the year. They've also seen strong play from senior Alex Carpenter on the offensive end, among others, and sophomore Ethan Simonds has had a solid season in goal.
The one time the Bulldogs played the Crimson Tide this season, they lost to Spaulding 4-1 on the road.
BBA started out the season hot, but did run into a little trouble late in the season, only picking up five index points over the last five games of the season (two for a tie against South Burlington and three for a win against U-32). With that in mind, their late season stretch did include games against No. 1 BFA-St. Albans, No. 3 Stowe and the Blue Devils.
After a winless season last year, the Burr and Burton girls hockey team took major steps to getting the program back on track this season.
With a move to Division II, BBA finished the regular season with a 5-13-2 record.
The Bulldogs are slated as the No. 7 seed in the state tournament. They'll play No. 10 Hartford Wednesday at home at 5:45. The two team's tied in one of their matchups and BBA won the other when they played this season.
Adam Aucoin can be reached at email@example.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.
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