Bolognani was one of 13 graduating seniors chosen to represent Vermont. Her former coach, Buddy Hayford, said he was happy for Bolognani and he expects her to do well at the upcoming tournament. “I’m thrilled for her to get picked,” said Hayford. “Only a dozen or so get chosen statewide. I hope she has a good game and enjoys the experience.” On Wednesday, Bolognani traveles to Bellows Free Academy-Saint Albans where she met her teammates and her coach Glen Johnson, of BFA-Saint Albans. Bolognani said they’ll practice on Thursday and Friday, and play on Saturday. “We’re staying at players’ houses when I arrive, and then we travel to Burlington on Friday,” said Bolognani. “We have a banquet with parents Friday night, a shootaround Saturday morning, and the game Saturday afternoon.”
The Twin State Basketball Classic, now in its 29th year, features the top high school basketball seniors from Vermont and New Hampshire. Teams play for bragging rights and showcase the best talent they have to offer. New Hampshire leads Vermont in the boys’ and girls’ divisions, 18-10 and 16-12, respectively. Vermont hopes to turn the tables on New Hampshire in this year’s tournament. Bolognani says she hopes to play an important role in winning a championship for Vermont. “I’m excited to meet all the top Vermont players in the state and get to to know them more,” said Bolognani.
The Vermont girls’ basketball team comprises the following: Tiffany Johnson (BFA-St. Albans), Rachel Wellman (Lamoille), Kelsey Beynnon (South Burlington), Marissa Velez (Spaulding), Nicole Lawton (BFA-St Albans), Ally Dowen (Burlington), Diantha Driscoll (St. Johnsbury), Donna Lawson (Lake Region), Becca Sklepowicz (Mount Anthony), Maria Gleason (Enosburg), Renee Denison (Essex), Robyn Kennedy (Chelsea), head coach Glenn Johnson (BFA-St. Albans), and Bolognani.
Bolognani played shooting guard for four seasons at Twin Valley. Bolognani said it’s likely she’ll resume her role as a shooting guard for the tournament. If not, Bolognani said she’ll play wherever coach Johnson wants her. “I heard we have more height than (New Hampshire) does, but we won’t know how strong they are until we play them,” said Bolognani.
Bolognani will attend Castleton State College in the fall. Castleton State College women’s basketball coach Tim Barrett recruited Bolognani heavily for the past two years and Bolognani said she is excited to play for them. “I feel comfortable there. I like the school environment, my teammates, and I’m looking forward to starting next October,” said Bolognani.
The 2009 Merchants Bank Rotary Twin State Basketball Classic will be held at the University of Vermont Patrick Gymnasium on Saturday, July 11. The women’s game begins at 1 pm and the men’s game at 3 pm. Tickets are $6.