MANCHESTER -- Using good ball movement and a zone defense that frustrated Division I Burr and Burton Academy through much of the night, Mill River routed the Bulldogs 47-27 on Monday.
"They outplayed us in every aspect of the game," said BBA coach Ed Panzarino. "Loose balls, rebounding, they ran their offense really well. Mill River definitely played much better than we did today."
The teams remained close throughout the first quarter with Mill River (5-6) having a slight 12-8 advantage going into the second.
"This is the first time we’ve played zone. We’re usually a man team, in you’re face," said Mill River coach Ken Webb. "We tried to mix it up a little bit. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Š I wasn’t sure how it was going to be, but the kids worked extremely hard defensively and I think that helped us on offense a little bit."
About two minutes into the second quarter, BBA center Hannah Nicholson -- who was just shy of the double double with 9 points and 11 rebounds -- hit a jumper in the paint off an inbounds pass to make it 13-10 Mill River, but that’s as close as the Bulldogs (3-7) would come.
After the game Panzarino said he was pleased with Nicholson’s performance.
"That’s really what we want from her," he said. "To be active on the boards [and to] get her shots. She’s been up and down this year, but I thought today was much better. Š I was really, really impressed with Hannah today because that’s the type of game you might not play as hard until the end [but] I thought her heart was there tonight."
A little less than midway through the second quarter the Minutemen (DII) broke the game open -- going on a 12-0 run and outscoring BBA 13-2 in the quarter to take a 25-10 lead into halftime.
"This was probably the best game that we’ve played as a team all year," said Webb. "And a lot of that has to do with Š (Ella Bankert) leading us on offense."
Bankert was the third leading scorer on the team behind Rylee Perron -- who led all scorers with 12 and Haley Hull who had 7 points. Bankert also added 3 assists and steal in the win.
In the third quarter it was more the same as the Minutemen outscored Burr and Burton 11-3 to put the Bulldogs in a 36-13 hole going into the fourth quarter.
BBA was able to mount a bit more of an offensive behind Nicholson and Stephanie Boucher who combined for seven of the team’s 14 fourth quarter points -- outscoring Mill River by three for the first time during the game.
The Bulldogs will face Windsor at home on Thursday beginning at 7 p.m.