Seniors Paige Winter of Essex and Jonah Cattaneo of Montpelier were named the Vermont high school basketball players of the year by the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association during the return of the day-long North-South Senior All-Star Classic on Sunday.
The senior classic was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. hosted Sunday.
Winter, who missed a month due to an ankle injury, returned to help lead Essex to the Division I Final Four, where the Hornets lost to eventual state champion Rice. Winter averaged 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals per game.
Cattaneo transferred back to Montpelier and guided the Solons to back-to-back Division II crowns. For the season, he averaged 23.5 points, 3.7 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game.
Coaches who are members of VBCA are allowed to vote on the POYs.
The long-running event, hosted at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, also featured four all-star game and various year-end awards, which were announced last week.
In Sunday’s four all-star games, the North and South split. The North leads the all-time series 52-28 in the last 20 years of the event, which features many of the top senior players in the state.
South 70, North 67: Proctor’s Meghan Cole sank a game-breaking 3-pointer in the final minute as the South spoiled the North’s furious comeback bid.
The South rolled out to a 21-0 lead and had a 40-20 halftime advantage. The North used a 15-3 spurt to level the game at 67 before Cole drilled her game-winner.
A trio of Windsor stars, Reese Perry (15 points, 15 rebounds), Elliot Rupp (10 points) and Peyton Richardson (eight points), paced the South. Green Mountain’s Kim Cummings chipped in eight points.
For the North, Winooski’s Kiara Mack put up a dozen points and BFA-Fairfax’s Hazel Albee and Oxbow’s Emma Parkin each had eight points.
South 88, North 86: White River Valley’s Dominic Craven banked in the go-ahead 3-pointer to power the South to the comeback victory.
The North’s double-digit lead swelled to as many as 15 points in the second half before the South staged its rally.
Windsor’s Kaleb Swett scored 15 points, Craven finished with 11 points and Long Trail’s Tomasz Koc (12 points) and Rivendell’s Kyle Carter (12 points) also reached double figures for the South.
For the North, Williamstown’s Thomas Parrott totaled 12 points while his teammate Blake Clark added 11 points. Northfield’s Carson Smit and Randolph’s Andrew Lewis each had 10 points.
North 81, South 50: The North opened the contest on a 9-0 run and then cruised from there for a wire-to-wire triumph.
The North gained a 24-point halftime advantage.
CVU’s Allison Bates sank four 3-pointers in the second half to total a game-high 15 points. Mount Mansfield’s Jada Diamond and Enosburg’s Alexis Kittell each had 10 points.
Woodstock’s Emma Tarleton paced the South with eight points.
North 92, South 77: The North raced to a 20-2 lead to close out the quartet of games with a convincing victory.
Colchester’s Jackson Miller led the North with 15 points. Montpelier’s Rashid Nikiema (15 points) and Jonah Cattaneo (nine points), MMU’s Sean Farrell (nine points), South Burlington’s Khalon Taylor (nine points) and Milton’s Colin Mathis (nine points) contributed to the balanced North attack.
For the South, Hartford’s Jacob Seaver struck for 14 points. St. Johnsbury’s Fritz Hauser added a dozen points while Burr and Burton’s Maddox Mathews (11 points) and Fair Haven’s Brandon Eastman (10 points) also scored double digits.
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