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Photo galleries: Upper Valley sports championships! bc SPORTS!

Windsor sophomore sensation Olivia Rockwood cuts a piece of the net with the rest of her teammates after they defeated Thetford 51-34 to win the Division III state championship in Barre, Vt., on March 10, 2018. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com

We <3 sports and we <3 photos, so photo galleries of sports are a pretty great thing, and the Valley News photography staff have put together four of them for state championship teams.

(As a reminder, you can always browse all of our photo galleries — find the link about halfway down on the www.vnews.com homepage!)

Sharon Academy head coach Blake Fabrikant is mobbed by his team at the buzzer as they defeated Danville, 60-56, to win the Division IV state championship in Barre, Vt., on March 19, 2018. In eight state final appearances by three sports in school history, the 60-56 win was the first title for a team in school history. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

About that rematch: Windsor wins over Thetford, 51-34

Windsor sophomore sensation Olivia Rockwood cuts a piece of the net with the rest of her teammates after they defeated Thetford 51-34 to win the Division III state championship in Barre, Vt., on March 10, 2018. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com

I was there and I have to say my jaw was on the floor following the play that Valley News correspondent Adam Boffey described in the opening of his story:

When Olivia Rockwood sank a deep turnaround floater off the glass at the first-half buzzer in Saturday’s VPA Division III girls basketball championship game at Barre Auditorium, it pushed Windsor’s lead to a commanding 18 points at intermission.

 

The one-handed heave, which looked like something from a game of H-O-R-S-E, was also a microcosm of the evening for the Yellowjackets — everything seemed to go their way in a 51-34 victory over defending state champion Thetford.

 

Rockwood dominated the rematch of last year’s final, finishing with 29 points including three 3-pointeers.

 

The Yellowjacket standout offered her take on the shot of the game, which developed from a loose ball she picked up just inside the arc.

 

“I didn’t really shoot it,” Rockwood said. “I kind of just picked it up and threw it, I guess. It looked on, but I thought it would go hard off the backboard, but I guess it was just right.”

Congrats, Windsor! Read more here.

RELATED: It’s a rematch: Thetford, Windsor advance to a championship rendezvous on Saturday (w/ video)

It’s a rematch: Thetford, Windsor advance to a championship rendezvous on Saturday

Windsor’s Olivia Rockwood, left, and Angelina Bigwood, right, fight to bring down a rebound against Peoples’ Melaira Fogg during their VAP Division III semifinal at the Barre Auditorium in Barre, Vt., Thursday, March 8, 2018. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

 

Emi Vaughan, of Thetford Academy, right, competes for a dropped rebound with Lizzie Brown, of Hazen, as Brooke Horniak, of Thetford, middle, provides backup during the Vermont Principals Association Division III semifinal at the Barre Auditorium in Barre, Vt., Thursday, March 8, 2018. Thetford won 51 – 40. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Yowza.

On Thursday night, Windsor beat Peoples Academy and Thetford beat Hazen … which means the two Upper Valley teams will face off in the championship once again in Barre on Saturday!

The Windsor vs. Thetford championship of 2017 was quite the last-minute nail-biter, with Thetford coming out on top, 53-52, after trailing by 15 points with fewer than six minutes to play.

Full disclosure: My husband grew up in Thetford and had been working at Thetford Academy for a few years at the time, so the come-from-behind victory was pretty thrilling to witness (see video). But overall, I’m always just looking for an exciting game between two good teams, and this one promises to deliver.

It’s all going down at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Barre Auditorium.