BENNINGTON -- Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball coach Brian Harrington knows the importance of a fast start. It builds a team's confidence for the rest of the game or even the season.
The Patriots were flying high on Tuesday night, starting the game on a 31-2 run en route to a 74-32 rout over Springfield at Kates Gym.
"We've been learning new different defenses in practice, and this was the first game we got to do every single one," said senior point guard Kate Goodell. "It was a good time to bring them out, practice them so we can use them later, the new defense definitely helped get those extra baskets."
The full-court press slapped on by the Patriots (5-2) forced turnover after turnover, resulting in easy layups. Four of those and a Makayla Farrara 3-pointer later, it was 11-0, and Springfield was scrambling.
"We knew they had one good scorer, so I put my best defenders on her and rotated them in and out," said Mount Anthony coach Brian Harrington. "If we handled her, we could manage the game from there and we did."
Six Patriots scored in the first quarter, taking a 19-2 advantage after the first eight minutes and drawing an exasperated response from Springfield coach Joe Brown.
It was more of the same in the second quarter, as Mount Anthony scored the first 12 points, started by back-to-back threes from Michalia Glanovsky and punctuated by two baskets from Kathryn Frasier (6 points) and one from Carly Rogers (7 points) to make it 31-2 with five minutes remaining in the half.
"It's like cogs in the machine, they work hard at practice, it's hard to separate the ones at the end of the bench," Harrington said. "They are just rotating in and filling the spots for the others, giving everyone a breather and [keeping them fresh]."
The halftime break didn't faze the Patriots as six different players found the net, continuing to extend the lead.
Brinkley Legacy led all scorers with 12, while Farrara added 10, Morgan Hewitt 8 and Carly Rogers and Brianna Legacy each with seven.
While only scoring two points, Goodell led the team with nine rebounds, controlling the post.
"I had two points, I shot twice," Goodell said. "The way I see it, I'm 50 percent. Everybody else scored more than that. I'm the point guard, it's my job to distribute and when they are scoring, it makes my job easy."
Chelsea McAllister was the leading scorer for the 2-5 Cosmos, scoring 10 points and adding six rebounds as the junior nears the 1,000-point plateau.
In the fourth, Harrington switched some players into different positions, giving his younger stars a chance to work in a different spot with the game in hand.
"It's an opportunity to play against varsity basketball players in those positions, we might need them to step up at times later on," Harrington said.
Freshman Madison Little had the highlight play of the game, getting to the hoop, then changing direction and scoring a reverse layup behind her head for a basket. Little had four points.
"The freshman step up, they dont play like freshman," Goodell said. "There were some jitters early [in the season], but they've progressed a lot already, turning turnovers into points. I remember going through that."
With the Patriots now at 5-2, the schedule tightens up with five games in the next nine days.
"We can't rest here, there are big teams to play against coming up," Harrington said. "We just have to get better every game. The confidence of the kids who didn't play as much at the beginning of the season, they're playing more and the confidence is coming."