BENNINGTON -- The Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball team has had, quite possibly, the toughest Division I schedule so far early in the season -- facing Rice and CVU, the two state finalists.
Things weren't any easier on Monday night as Burlington, a semifinalist last season, came to Kates Gym. But thanks to the high-flying Patriot offense, the Seahorses were run right out of the gym.
Mount Anthony used a 22-6 first quarter run en route to a 71-39 rout.
"A lot of these kids have played together in AAU," said Mount Anthony (4-2) coach Brian Harrington. "Before the game, we were talking about how they didn't lose a lot from the Final Four and that we were up against it. But I said we can't worry about how they play, we need to play our game and see if they can keep up."
Freshman Brianna Legacy led 11 Patriots on the scoresheet with 17 points, including 10 in the second half.
"I think those freshman, Brianna and Madison [Little], they come in and they're not scared," Harrington said.
Maddy Main added 13, on the strength of three 3-pointers -- one in the first half and two on consecutive possessions to start the second half.
"They work really hard on driving and getting open," Brinkley Legacy said. "They're there when we needed them to make big points."
"That second group of kids are relentless and non-stop," Harrington said. "If we can make shots, then we can set up on defense and that puts us at an advantage."
Burlington (2-1) opened the game with a basket, but the Patriots scored the next nine points, including a three and a two from Main and a three from Little in MAU's get-up-and-go offense.
Later on, Carly Rogers nailed a three in transition as Mount Anthony finished the first quarter with an 11-0 run.
"I can rotate all 13 girls willingly," Harrington said. "We've got the speed and the kids, we can put a lot of pressure on the other team."
The offense slowed in the second, but the Patriots hit shots to keep Burlington down by double digits, including a Little three.
Ilona Maher was the main offensive threat for the Seahorses, leading her team with 18 points and 16 rebounds.
MAU got into some foul trouble in the first half, but avoided the consquences as Burlington's free throw shooting was poor, 8-for-32 overall, after a 1-for-12 performance in the first half. By comparison, Mount Anthony was 16-of-26, including nine in the fourth quarter to keep Burlington at bay.
"I said [to the team] at half, [we're] lucky they cant shoot free throws like CVU. That's how we got beat by Rice, and it's one of the things we have to improve going forward," Harrington said.
In the second half, Mount Anthony continued to shoot the ball well, getting back-to-back threes from Main to start and contributions from the rest of the lineup as well as Brinkley Legacy (eight points and eight rebounds) and Kate Goodell made their presence felt on both ends of the floor.
"It's a warning that we're here to do business," Brinkley Legacy said. "It's a new team, a new year, and we're ready to come out and win."
"I think we can only worry about one game at a time, the kids are buying into what were doing and it's working," Harrington said. "We just have to keep plugging away at it."