BENNINGTON -- They had the right play set-up and the ball in the right hands. With eight seconds left, the Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball team trailed by two.
"We called the old pick and roll," said junior Kate Goodell.
Goodell took the ball nearly the entire length of the floor, trying to get to the basket. But the Brattleboro defense was solid.
Goodell's last-second shot hit the front of the rim and bounced away as the Colonels won 42-40 on Monday night at Kates Gym.
"I couldn't get away from the defense and I had to shoot a jumper," said Goodell, who was held scoreless.
Brattleboro improves to 7-9, while MAU drops to 5-11 and is still looking for the all-important sixth win to qualify for the postseason.
"We preach defense wins games and on the last couple of possessions we did a great job on the ball and took away the opportunities," said Brattleboro coach Paul Freed.
MAU was down one at the start of the fourth quarter and the teams traded baskets early. With 4:03 left, Lacy Parmenter banked in a layup to push the Patriots to a 37-34 advantage. But then Ari Harrison, Brattleboro's leading scorer with 13 points, pulled the Colonels back to within one. On the next offensive possession, Kayla Savage drained a trey to give Brattleboro the lead, 39-37.
Keira Goodell hit one-of-two from the line moments later to make it 39-38, but then sophomore Abbie Lesure hit another long-range bomb with a hand in her face to make it 42-38 with 90 seconds remaining.
"That three killed us, because then we're down two possession instead of one," said Mount Anthony coach Courtney Reif.
But MAU still had a chance.
Trailing 42-38 with 19 seconds left, Lacy Parmenter had a steal, passing it to Brinkley Legacy who was fouled. Legacy, the Patriots' leading scorer with 14 points and 11 rebounds, hit both free throws to make it a one-possession game.
Savage missed a free throw that could have iced it, giving Mount Anthony a final chance to either tie or win the game.
"They did what they had to do to win," Reif said. "We had our opportunities. It's never the last play of the game."
It looked like there would be no drama after the first half. MAU scored the first six points and finished the quarter up 15-6. Brattleboro pulled to 17-13 with 2:17 left in the first half, but a run late gave MAU a 24-14 lead at halftime.
But Brattleboro came out fast in the third, eventually taking the lead into the fourth quarter.
"I said we can't letdown, need to extend the lead," Reif said. "We need the intensity for 32 minutes, not 16 or 24."