Assistant Sports Editor
MANCHESTER -- At one end, Rutland's Sam Brochu nailed a 3-pointer from the left corner, punctuating the fourth-quarter effort with a fist-pump.
Moments later at the other end, Joey Shehadi saw his catch the back iron, then the front, before popping up and out of play on the top stanchion. His Burr and Burton Academy team in the middle of a nightmarish second-half stretch, the result left him standing in place, shoulders arched in frustration.
Firing on all cylinders before halftime, the Bulldogs went scoreless for more than eight minutes after the break as the Raiders reclaimed the lead and raced away for a 61-50 win in Marble Valley League boys basketball on Monday night.
Rutland (7-4) darted out of intermission to trim a seven-point BBA (9-2) lead to two, 33-31. Burr and Burton fired back with six points of their own before the Raiders, Division I semifinalists the last two years, set out on a crushing 28-2 run that seized control for good.
"We just lost our confidence. We actually got decent looks but didn't make any shots," BBA coach Dave Shehadi said.
"It's disappointing because we played as good a first half as we played all year," he said.
Brochu came off the bench to notch a game-high 17 points, including 13 in the second half. Tre Hysell added 14 and Rocco Stoutes 13 for Rutland, which became the first team to score 50 or more against BBA this season.
BBA led 33-26 at halftime despite committing nine turnovers to just three for the Raiders. The Bulldogs committed 11 more in the second half as Rutland (nine turnovers) ratcheted up its defensive pressure.
Conor Harrington's two free throws with 2:30 left in the third quarter were the hosts' only points during the Rutland surge and the last for more than eight minutes until Tieshawn Gadson connected on the first of his three consecutive 3-pointers to narrow the final margin.
Gadson and Weston Muench led Burr and Burton with 11 points apiece.
"I thought we really, from maybe about the four-minute mark of the third until [Gadson] banged in a couple at the end, I thought our defense was outstanding," said Rutland coach Mike Wood.
"I thought we played with a lot more energy, a lot more purpose, a lot more determination," Wood said. "Don't get me wrong, they're a very, very good basketball team, certainly with aspirations of winning [a championship] and I can see why.
"They took it to us in the first half. They really did."
Burr and Burton led by as many as nine points in the second quarter and owned the momentum at the buzzer when Taylor Fuller's baseline floater spun through the hoop.
After that, however, foul trouble kept the Bulldogs from gaining traction, as Joey Shehadi, Muench and Jake Stalcup each took to the bench for prolonged stretches.
"We can take some good from this but we felt like we let one get away," Shehadi said.