Bellcate Claims Unified Basketball Title

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The Bellcate Bulldogs took down Mill River 51-47 to claim their first ever Unified Basketball title Thursday afternoon at Patrick Gym.

Abdi Awayle led the way for the Bulldogs, who held of a furious rally from Ian Smith and the Minutemen.

Unified Basketball is a joint project between the Vermont Principals Association and Special Olympics Vermont to allow students with intellectual disabilities to represent their schools and compete for a state title alongside other students, known as partners. This is the third year of Unified Basketball in the state.

"I think as a partner, it's pretty cool because at the beginning, it was a struggle," said Bellcate's Eric Davis. "We didn't have a lot of players and now we're state champs and I just want to congratulate the other team because they gave us a good performance and a showdown."

"It's a great feeling," added Bellcate Head Coach Jamie Moore. "Every kid in the world deserves a moment like this and our kids have worked so hard throughout the year, done everything we've asked of them and I'm just so excited for our kids. Truly great kids."