BENNINGTON -- Starting its Christmas break the day before, Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball coach Courtney Reif told her team to be ready to go for Saturday's 2:30 p.m. start against Burlington.
Unfortunately for Reif and the Patriots, it took a little while to wake up.
Burlington scored the game's first 10 points en route to a one-sided 44-24 win at Kates Gym.
"We came out really flat, and I'm not sure why," Reif said. "We didn't work together, that was really obvious. We weren't on the same page and we got down on ourselves early."
Burlington (3-0) junior Ilona Mahar was the key for the Seahorses' fast start as she scored seven of the 10 points in the game-opening run.
"We wanted to get a quick start on the road. That's our goal," said Burlington coach Doug Cheeseman. "Once we did that, MAU was paddling upstream for the rest of the game."
Mahar finished the day leading all scorers with 15 points and nine rebounds. Kaitlin Garrison added 11 points for Burlington.
"Ilona creates her own shots and she's a tough defensive assignment," Cheeseman said. "We have a lot of kids on the floor that can score, but she makes the others around her better."
On the other side, the Patriots (1-3) had trouble holding onto the ball, committing 27 turnovers against the Seahorses.
"We're struggling with fundamentals, the stuff we work on every day in practice," Reif said. "We look so good in practice, we're waiting for the switch to flip to do it in games."
Down 23-7 at the half, Makayla Farrara tried to key a comeback, scoring eight of her team-high 12 points in the third quarter.
"She's had a couple of off-games shooting, and I could see she was getting frustrated," Reif said. "It's nice to see how make some shots and pick up her confidence."
Defense took over in the fourth, as the teams combined for just seven points.
"The second half was much better than the first and we had a lot more defensive energy," Reif said.
Sophomore Maddy Main (two points) was a major part of the defensive surge in the second half, grabbing nine rebounds and not allowing the Seahorses many second chances.
"She just has an air about her she's not flashy but she just gets the job done," Reif said. "She's a scorer and gives us a presence coming off the bench. We have a lot of potential on the team."