BENNINGTON -- In a run-and-gun offense, scoring efficiently is the key to winning ballgames.
Unfortunately for the Mount Anthony Union High School boys basketball team, the Patriots could not find a consistent rhythm, especially in the third quarter, as the team fell to Burlington 78-62 on Monday night at Kates Gym.
"We just couldn't get over the hump," coach Dan Sleeman said. "We couldn't get in the groove offensively in that third quarter. It felt like we were spinning our wheels."
And while the Patriots struggled to find a rhythm offensively, the Seahorses were able to find the bucket from all different angles in the win.
Josh Hale and Asmin Mostarlic led all scorers with 21 each in the win, while Bryan Vachereau posted 17 for Burlington.
"[The three] are capable of doing that," Burlington coach Matt Johnson said. "I like playing that up-and-down style. What it does is it gives you some good looks at the basket. Those three are able to hit shots for us and put points on the board."
In the first, Mount Anthony came out as the hotter of the two teams, racing out to a 7-2 lead off a pair of buckets from James Levin (12 points) and a trey from Hao Guo (9 points), but Burlington responded by going on a 14-0 run to take a 16-7 edge that was capped by a three from Mostarlic on a pass from Shaquane Cooperwood (8 points, 7 assists). Burlington would take a 29-22 lead into the second quarter.
The teams played even ball in the second, with Mount Anthony able to chip away at the lead. The Patriots would tie the game up at 32-32 on a spot-up three by Alec Little (12 points), but Burlington would push back with a 9-3 run, sparked by two nice finishes under the rim by Hale, to close the half up 41-35.
"I liked where we were at the half," Sleeman said. "I thought we were in good shape. But then we came out a little flat in second half."
Burlington would score on a jumper and a three to start the second half. Little stopped the bleeding when he hit another spot-up three to cut the deficit to eight, but two more quick baskets, including a three from the corner for Vachereau, pushed the lead back to 13. Burlington would take a 15-point lead with just over a minute to play in the third, but a pair of MAU threes, one by Tyler Champagne (8 points) and one by Levin at the buzzer, sandwiched a basket by Hale to make it 62-51 going into the fourth.
"It is always good [to have a strong third quarter]," Johnson said. "Against a team like [MAU], you never know, they could score nine points on three-straight possessions."
In the fourth, Burlington would go on a 13-3 run to open and put the game out of reach. Sean Brundage (team-high 13 points) was able to chip away at the lead late, scoring six over the final three minutes, but it was not enough to bring the Patriots back in it.
Hale finished with a double-double, adding 17 rebounds to his 21 points.
"We didn't have an answer for Hale tonight," Sleeman admitted. "He had some nifty moves down low coming out of the press. It seemed that every one of his buckets hurt."
Justin Burgess pulled down 11 rebounds in the loss for Mount Anthony, while Brundage added 7.
Mount Anthony falls to 3-2 after the loss, while Burlington improves to 5-0. The Patriots are off until Saturday, when the team hosts Hoosick Falls in a 7 p.m. game.