Essex High School (EHS) had more players selected for 2020 Division 1 Girls’ Basketball All-League accolades than any other team in the Metro region while the Hornets’ head coach received stellar recognition from his peers.
Fellow team heads recently voted Essex’s Shawn Montague as the Metro Coach of the Year while giving enough nods to seven Hornets for them all to pick up honors.
EHS senior Noelle Lyon and sophomore Paige Winter were both selected to the All-First Team while senior Mary Finnegan made her way to the All-Second Team.
Picking up an Honorable Mention were juniors Anna Sabourin, Emma Sabourin, and Cindy Sheeran along with senior Emma Whitney.
"Noelle not only took her basketball skill set to a different level, but her mental approach was extraordinary,” Montague said of Lyon. “She was a true leader on and off the court. There were games where she just put us on her back and simply refused to let us lose."
"I am really proud of Paige for receiving this honor in her first year on varsity,” said Montague about Winter. “She can do everything on the court. She can score and shoot really well, but her vision and passing are on a different level. She loves basketball, and she puts a lot of time in--and it shows. She has a very bright future."
"Mary was clearly one of the best shooters in the state,” Montague said in regards to Finnegan. “I am so happy that she received this honor. Her confidence, shooting accuracy, overall play, and leadership took a huge leap this year. This is an extremely well-deserved honor."
"Cindy is a fantastic shooter,” said Montague about Sheeran. “To have her type of instant offense coming off the bench was something that the team needed, and it was something that not many other teams have. She emerged as a dependable player that truly worked hard on her game all of the time."
“Emma was already a terrific defender and a phenomenal rebounder, but her confidence on the offensive end of the floor was where she really saw a lot of growth,” Montague commented about Emma Sabourin. “The skill set has always been there, but she really was more confident in her shooting especially."
"Anna is such a hard-working and extremely-coachable player,” said Montague on Anna Sabourin. “She does a little bit of everything on the court. She is a true team player who sees her individual improvement as a way to help her team succeed."
"Emma's defense was extraordinary,” Montague said about Whitney. “She was a part of a solid group of guards who can defend any opponent's best guard. There were also many times she had to guard players that were bigger and taller. She took her role as a leader very seriously. Her 3-pointer against Burlington in the quarterfinal game was amazing!"
Montague led the Hornets to a final record of 18-3 and a share of the D1 championship--the team’s first since 2006. He helped bring Essex to the semifinal round of the state tournament for the first time since 2015, but his team was--unfortunately--unable to participate as the Vermont Principals’ Association cancelled the remainder of the postseason and crowned quad-champs.