White River Valley loses in semi-finals

White River Valley head coach Gordon Barnaby consoles Olivia Tuller (13) as she exits the court during a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game against Hazen at Barre Auditorium in Barre, Vt., on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Hazen won, 70-49. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

White River Valley head coach Gordon Barnaby consoles Olivia Tuller (13) as she exits the court during a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game against Hazen at Barre Auditorium in Barre, Vt., on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Hazen won, 70-49. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News / Report For America — Alex Driehaus

White River Valley guard Tanner Drury (3) dribbles down the court while being defended by Hazen guard Isabelle Gouin during a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game at Barre Auditorium in Barre, Vt., on Thursday, March 7, 2024. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

White River Valley guard Tanner Drury (3) dribbles down the court while being defended by Hazen guard Isabelle Gouin during a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game at Barre Auditorium in Barre, Vt., on Thursday, March 7, 2024. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News / Report For America — Alex Driehaus

White River Valley forward Olivia Tuller (13) faces off against Hazen forward Julia des Groseilliers (14) during the tip-off a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game at Barre Auditorium in Barre, Vt., on Thursday, March 7, 2024. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

White River Valley forward Olivia Tuller (13) faces off against Hazen forward Julia des Groseilliers (14) during the tip-off a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game at Barre Auditorium in Barre, Vt., on Thursday, March 7, 2024. (Valley News / Report For America - Alex Driehaus) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Alex Driehaus

By TRIS WYKES

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 03-08-2024 6:46 PM

BARRE, Vt. — Two teams of Wildcats clashed in girls basketball Thursday night at the Barre Auditorium. Sadly for Upper Valley fans, the wrong bunch of Felis Silvestris prevailed in the Vermont Division III quarterfinals.

Top-seeded Hazen’s 70-49 defeat of White River Valley wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The top-seeded gang from Hardwick received 33 points from Kelsie Rivard, few of them scored from outside the lane.

“She took it to us hard,” said WRV coach Gordie Barnaby, whose team finished 16-7. “She’s automatic.”

Mya Lumsden added 13 points and Caitlyn Davison 12 against a WRV team that made only 2 of its first 13 shots and trailed, 20-7, after a quarter. Tanner Drury led her fifth-seeded Wildcats with 11 points.

“They were out-rebounding us and we couldn’t get any shots to drop,” said Barnaby, whose previous coaching trip to the semifinals came with the now-shuttered Chelsea High more than a decade ago.

“Some of that’s the Aud. We only had one player (Drury) who had played here before and the rest of them seemed a little nervous.”

Although his team trailed, 38-20, at halftime, Barnaby reminded the players how they had rebounded from a similar deficit and nearly overtaken West Rutland earlier this season. Another comeback wasn’t in the cards, however.

“We played some Division II schools this year but (Hazen) was the best team we played,” Barnaby said. “The way they passed and moved the ball was outstanding and they put their noses to the ground defensively. When you keep Tanner boxed up, you’re doing a real good job.”

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Hazen improved to 19-1. Its lone loss was to Division II Lyndon during its second game of the season.

“The good news is that everyone except Tanner is coming back and there’s a pretty good group of JV players coming along,” Barnaby said. “They’ll have to learn to deal without her.”

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.