BENNINGTON -- The Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball team cuts its deficit against Rice to three points with 4:32 to play on Saturday afternoon, but Rice was able to hit 11 free throws as MAU fouled to try and get the ball back to hang on for a 61-50 victory at Kates Gym.
"I thought our energy level was really good," MAU coach Brian Harrington said. "We missed some shots that we would normally make. Turnovers in the first half [hurt us], and then we were forced to foul them late to get the ball back."
The Patriots opened strong, with point guard Kate Goodell (19 points) opening the game with a layup and then a converted and-one attempt to give MAU a 5-0 lead.
But Rice was able to get the lead back by going on a 13-2 run that spanned a majority of the quarter, with Hailee Barron (game-high 25 points) scoring eight points during the stretch.
Mount Anthony would trail 16-12 after the first, and to start the second Makayla Farrara (14 points) hit a three to cut the deficit to 16-15. Rice would get the lead back out to four at 23-19 on a pair of free throws from Fleur Diambou, but a free throw from Brinkley Legacy (7 points) and another three from Farrara tied the game at 23-23 midway through the quarter.
But Rice was able to pull away again, stringing together a 12-2 run to close the half up 35-25. Barron was once again in the middle of the action, scoring six points during the stretch, including a steal and coast-to-coast layup to end the half.
"I thought, in the first half, we had a lot of unforced turnovers that ultimately cost us," Harrington said. "I think we could have had a lead at halftime if we didn't have those."
Mount Anthony would outscore Rice 14-11 in the third, with Farrara and Meghan Bishop each hitting treys and Goodell scoring six, to get the Patriots within seven heading into the fourth.
From there, Mount Anthony would cut the lead to three when Legacy made a free throw, grabbed a defensive rebound on the next possession and then scored on an offensive putback to make it 48-45.
But for the third time in the game, Rice was able to go on a run to create separation and see out the game.
Michelle Bolger would hit six free throws during the final stretch of the game to give Rice a cushion, while at the other end Mount Anthony could not find the bottom of the net.
"Basketball is a game of runs, and I was especially pleased because [Barron] got banged up a little bit," Rice coach Tim Rice said. "It made the younger kids grow up a bit. MAU did a good job of cutting the lead down to three. We were very pleased with our younger girls for weathering that storm."
Rice converted on 30 of the 48 free throw attempts the team tok, while Mount Anthony was 11-for-19 from the line. Legacy finished with seven rebounds to lead the Patriots, while Goodell pulled down six.
Mount Anthony falls to 0-1 with the loss, while Rice moves to 2-0. MAU plays next on Wednesday, when the Patriots host Massachusetts school Pittsfield in a non-league contest.