Windsor 46, Richford 33: No. 2 to face No. 1 Hazen in Saturday’s final

Windsor players cheer from the bench in the final minutes of a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game against Richford at Barre Auditorium in Barre, Vt., on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Windsor won, 46-33. (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.

Windsor players cheer from the bench in the final minutes of a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game against Richford at Barre Auditorium in Barre, Vt., on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Windsor won, 46-33. (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 photographs — Alex Driehaus

Windsor forward Sydney Perry (20) shoots the ball while being defended by Richford centers Sierra Derby (20) and Gracie Sylvester (14) 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.

Windsor forward Sydney Perry (20) shoots the ball while being defended by Richford centers Sierra Derby (20) and Gracie Sylvester (14) 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.

Megan Roberts, a math teacher at Windsor High School, hangs signs with players’ names in the student section before the start of a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game against Richford 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.

Megan Roberts, a math teacher at Windsor High School, hangs signs with players’ names in the student section before the start of a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game against Richford 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.

Windsor head coach Kabray Rockwood talks to his players before the start of a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game against Richford 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.

Windsor head coach Kabray Rockwood talks to his players before the start of a VPA D-III girls basketball semifinal game against Richford 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 5:41 PM

BARRE, Vt. — Saturday’s Vermont Division III girls basketball title game at the Barre Auditorium will be a clash of past and recent champions when Windsor High and Hazen meet at 7:30 p.m.

The second-seeded Yellowjackets, who coolly dispatched third-seeded Richford, 46-33, during a Thursday semifinal, have won the last two tournaments and eight overall. Top-seeded Hazen earned rings in 1975, 1976 and 1991.

“I think this is the matchup everyone’s been waiting for this season,” said Windsor coach Kabray Rockwood, whose squad never trailed after the second minute Thursday. “We’ve got to play with more composure. We played well defensively tonight, but we missed a lot of offensive opportunities.”

Guard Audrey Rupp led the Yellowjackets with 13 points, shooting 6 of 16 from the floor. She had six steals, three assists and committed six of her team’s 15 turnovers. Windsor post player Sydney Perry had 11 points and five rebounds, all offensive. The senior made 4 of 12 field-goal attempts.

“Sydney’s a force inside, so teams send two or three people at her,” Rockwood said. “She was getting to her spots but the shots weren’t falling the way they normally do.”

Yellowjackets swing player Kamari Wildgoose had 10 points and 13 rebounds during an impressive performance off the bench and helped her team extend its third-quarter lead. Sophia Rockwood, at times her side’s star this winter, had eight points and six turnovers.

It was a mixed bag for Windsor, which showed it can use diverse scoring to win under pressure. On the other hand, it’s hard not to believe the Yellowjackets will have to be better to knock off Hazen, which walloped fifth-seeded White River Valley, 70-49, in the bracket’s opposite semifinal.

“We made some uncharacteristic mistakes,” Kabray Rockwood said. “This building will do that to you, even with all the experience we have. Credit to Richford. They’re scrappy and flew around, getting hands on balls. They didn’t make it easy, but we certainly didn’t make it easy for ourselves.

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“I don’t see us having two games like that in a row. We’ll come back and be in position to battle.”

Hazen features several familiar faces for the Rockwoods. Kabray coached an eighth-grade club team featuring Sophia and current Wildcats Kelsie Rivard, Caitlyn Davison and Mya Lumsden.

“Our players are familiar with each other and what they can do,” the Windsor coach said. “It should be a lot of fun.”

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