MIDDLEBURY — It’s somewhat fitting that on Friday night, an hour or so after Missisquoi Valley Union punched its first-ever ticket to Patrick Gymnasium for the boys Division I basketball Final Four, Matt St. Amour was leading Middlebury College through to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament 70 miles away.

St. Amour was, after all, the Thunderbirds’ all-time leading scorer with 2,064 points before graduating in 2013 and attending Middlebury College — where he was just named the 2016-2017 NESCAC Player of the Year in his senior season, setting a school record this year for points in a season, and ranks third in the country this winter in 3-pointers with 103, also a Panthers’ record.

The Middlebury senior is a finalist for the Jostens Trophy, an award given to the nation’s top Division III basketball player who excels on the court, in the classroom, and in the community. St. Amour sits third all-time in scoring for Middlebury, leading the team to a second-straight New England Small College Athletic Conference championship and through to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament after a pair of wins last weekend.

MVU coach Jim Bose still uses St. Amour’s work ethic and attention to detail as an example when motivating his roster of nine, which will take on No. 1 Champlain Valley Union tonight at the University of Vermont at 8 p.m. But this team has accomplished one thing St. Amour never could — winning two games in the Division I tournament to earn a trip to Patrick Gymnasium. St. Amour, the fourth-leading scorer all-time in Vermont high school boys basketball, helped the Thunderbirds win a Division II title in 2011 at The Aud in Barre.

“I am so happy for all of the guys and for coach Bose. I am really excited to get to see them play on Tuesday and I hope they just really enjoy the moment. You never know how many moments like that you’ll get to have in life,” St. Amour wrote recently in an e-mail to the Messenger.

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