Assistant Sports Editor
MANCHESTER -- After six lead changes and two ties in the first 5-plus minutes of the third quarter, Burr and Burton Academy and Fair Haven looked poised to play out a down-to-the-wire classic.
Except only the Bulldogs made it to the wire.
Silencing Fair Haven for a nine-minute stretch late in the second half and closing the night on a 20-2 run, BBA snagged a 49-33 victory in Division II boys basketball on Friday at E.H. Henry Gym.
Six-foot-5 forward Jake Stalcup powered the Bulldogs (12-2), winners of four straight, with 21 points and seven rebounds. The senior was effective inside and out, showing off his repertoire with a fastbreak dunk in the first half and a pair of 3-pointers in the second, including the trifecta that put BBA ahead for good, 32-31, late in the third quarter.
"We came out in the third [quarter] and the defense stayed on, we made some shots and the crowd gets going and we got rolling," BBA coach Dave Shehadi said. "It's a good win for us.
"They got tired. I think our fitness tired them out a little bit."
Fair Haven, another D-II title hopeful after its 7-0 start to the season, now sits at 8-6. Alex Fontaine finished with 11 points and eight rebounds to lead the Slaters.
"That's a very good team.
Fair Haven led 14-10 after one quarter and trailed just 21-20 at halftime. They traded jabs with the hosts to start the second half before the Bulldogs' defense made its stand.
"I think it started in the second quarter, because they were playing well and we only held them to six points in the second quarter and we weren't playing well," Shehadi said.
Sophomore guard Joey Shehadi tallied nine points, all in the first half, for Burr and Burton, which got a boost off the bench from Conor Harrington (eight points, six rebounds), Gecaun Ellis and Tieshawn Gadson.
Senior guard David Shehadi provided crucial perimeter defense to shut down the Slaters while piloting the Bulldogs to a scant eight turnovers on the night.
"Our bench players played very well," Dave Shehadi said. "Everybody showed up."
Gadson (five points, five rebounds) set the gym off with a buzzer-beater to finish the third quarter run. Collecting the outlet pass from Stalcup after a missed Fair Haven free throw, the sophomore sped up the left side and pulled up for a 25-footer that put BBA up eight, 39-31.
"I just took a chance. I looked up to the clock and knew I had to shoot it," Gadson said. "I meant to pass it to [Gecaun Ellis], though, it was not my plan to shoot it at the last second. But it's pretty fun."