ENOSBURG — Hannah and Sophie Burns, sisters from Enosburg Junior-Senior High School, exited the 2020 season with high honors in DII basketball.
Sophie was named to the Dream Dozen, and Hannah was named to the North/South Game, both for Divisions I and II.
Enosburg coach Gary Geddes, named coach of the year for Division II, coached the girls together at the varsity level for two seasons.
“Those two are some of the most competitive sisters I’ve ever seen,” said Geddes with a chuckle. “They are also some of the hardest working girls I’ve had.”
The hard work and effort didn’t go unnoticed when the highly competitive end-of-year awards were given.
“Being recognized in DII is a big deal. They were up against CVU, Essex, and St. Johnsbury,” said Geddes. “Enosburg is one of the smallest schools in DII.”
The girls were grateful for the chance to celebrate their success together.
“It was incredible that we both ended the year with a good accomplishment,” said Hannah.
Hannah, a senior, extended her congratulations to Sophie for a junior season well-played.
“She was an incredible shooter; if I was driving to the hoop, and I got into traffic, I’d pass her the ball and let her shoot the three, and she’d swish it.”
According to Hannah, Sophie was often the team’s high scorer, but offense wasn’t her only strong point.
“Sophie was also our best defender. Her hands are so good; she can get the steals. I was really impressed by her season this year.”
This year was the last the girls would play together, and they made for a dynamic duo when they were on the court.
“We had a lot of fast breaks together. If one of us was being guarded--we would pass to the other for the basket,” said Hannah. “We had each other’s backs, and we always knew where the other was on the court.”
Sophie, the smaller of the two, admired Hannah’s physical prowess.
“Hannah is ridiculously strong when it comes to being in the post,” said Sophie. “In the Fairhaven game, she scored 11 of our 20 points because she could drive to the hoop through their defenders.”
While Hannah’s defense garnered attention, Sophie noted her sister’s offense was also consistent.
“Hannah can make every shot she takes, including three-pointers, but she just likes to take layups,” said Sophie.
When asked what they learned from each other this year, the girls answered eagerly.
“Hannah taught me to be stronger with the ball and to protect it to the hoop. When we play against each other in practice, she always wants to guard me,” said Sophie. “I’m not used to going against post players--but we push each other to the limit.”
“Sophie has taught me never to give up. I watch her driving to the hoop against these six-foot girls, and she’s one of the smaller girls on the team,” said Hannah. “If she can do it, I can do it.”
When asked about moments they will remember, Sophie shared first.
“I can picture her in the Fair Haven game being such a beast out there! She didn’t give up! That made me realize how determined she was to win,” said Sophie. “I think she knew it was her last game, and she was wanted to keep playing.”
“This season, it hit me that it was my last time playing with Sophie,” said Hannah. “In the playoff game against Burr & Burton, we kept telling each other it wasn’t going to be our last game.”
The girls had a memory at the end of that quarterfinal that they will both cherish.
“The crowd rushed the court after the win. We ran to each other, and I picked her up,” said Hannah. “We ignored everything else and focused on each other.
“We had played our hearts out, and we were going to Barre. It really hit me how much she means to me, how much the game means to me, and what we mean to each other.”
Next year, Hannah will be in college, and Sophie will be the only Burns girl on the court in Enosburg.
“I’m going to be there in the stands cheering you on every single game I can get to,” said Hannah to her sister. “You had a heck of a season, and I know you can get it done next year. I know you can play even better next year and impress me like you always have.”
“Hannah is a very strong and independent girl, and I know she’s going to excel in college,” said Sophie.
“She had a great four years at Enosburg; she made soccer as a freshman, and she was pulled up to varsity for basketball playoffs as a freshman. She played her heart out, and we got to play together!”