MANCHESTER -- Keeping it moving. Playing the second of three-straight games, the Burr and Burton Academy boys basketball team weathered a close first quarter against Vergennes to post a 74-36 win at home on Wednesday night to stay undefeated.
Joey Shehadi led the Bulldogs with 16 points, while Taylor Muench scored all 15 of his points in the first half to propel BBA to the win.
"Defense is what we work on the most," Shehadi said. "Holding teams under 40 is what we go for. And on three nights in-a-row we have three games, holding teams low is key."
But while the final score indicated a blowout, the Commodores gave BBA all it could handle in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs would race out to an early 10-2 lead, with Tyeshawn Gadson (12 points) starting the scoring by burying a triple on a pass from Shehadi. Muench would cap the early run on a three of his own on a pass from Ryan Smith (6 points).
Vergennes would battle back, though, and cut the deficit to 18-14 going into the second on a free throw from Jarret LaFleche (4 points).
In the second, though, BBA created some separation.
The teams exchanged the first two baskets of the quarter before BBA went on an 8-0 run to take a 28-17 lead on a bucket by Drew Herbert under the basket. Vergennes would score two quick baskets to cut the lead to seven, but the Bulldogs responded right back with a 13-0 run highlighted by threes from Muench, Smith, and Shehadi. In the second quarter, BBA would force 10 Vergennes turnovers to take a 48-25 going into the half.
"[Vergennes] was handling our zone press, so we ended up going man and I think we got some turnovers and got some runouts," said BBA coach Dave Shehadi.
"We played well for a quarter, then we ran out of gas," said Vergennes coach Peter Quinn.
At halftime, Smith had five assists for BBA.
"I think we just had more focus in the second," Muench said. "We saw it was close but knew we were a better team. And if we just outplayed them the score would show it."
The scoring slowed down in the second half, but the Bulldogs would not let off the gas as the team recorded five steals in the third leading to three fast break baskets.
In the fourth, BBA held Vergennes to one free throw from Liam Hayes (4 points), while scoring 13 points from six different scorers at the other end. The fourth also allowed coach Shehadi to use players off the bench, giving the second unit some valuable minutes while resting his starters for another game on Thursday.
"We are lucky, I like to play a lot of the guys," coach Shehadi said. "That second group works hard in practice. We are hoping that there are games when they are going to play meaningful minutes. I think it is great to be able to do that, and we always try to do that."
Joey Shehadi finished with six rebounds and two steals to go with his 16 points, while Muench added five rebounds and three assists to his total. Smith finished with five rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Vergennes was led by Wesley Miedema and Aaron Gaines with seven points each.
BBA moves to 5-0 with the win, while Vergennes falls to 2-6.
"It is nice to be undefeated, but we take it one game at a time," Joey Shehadi said. "It is a nice accolade to have, but we are going to keep working hard."
The Bulldogs return to action on Thursday at MSJ.