MANCHESTER -- Powered by a strong defensive effort and solid play by several members of the team, the Brattleboro girls basketball team defeated Burr and Burton Academy 53-40 on Senior Night.
In what was at times a sloppy first period for both teams, Brattleboro (14-5) took control going on a 15-2 run in the quarter which was capped by a long range buzzer beater by Brattleboro's Taylor Bird.
The Bulldogs (8-11) were able to climb back in the game the next quarter when the Colonels got into foul trouble early. The Bulldogs scored 11 of their 17 second quarter points from the charity stripe to narrow the gap to 24-19 by the break -- all the while doing it without two big components of their offense in center Hannah Nicholson and guard Hailey Brockett who were out sick.
"I think you see Hannah, we've won three in a row and she's been fantastic. She's been averaging about 18 (points) a game and she's just been posting up fabulously. It opens up everything else," said BBA coach Ed Panzarino. "So we kind of had to go back to that old offense that we never run so when she's out you're just looking for that next person to step up."
One of those players was Maggie Oliver who led the team in scoring with 15 points, 5 rebounds and had 2 steals on the night.
"We talked about that. She was the next one up for scoring," said Panzarino. "We tried to get her some scoring opportunities in the second half. We just got a little too fast and and threw the ball away before we could do anything.
Teammate Olson Humphrey was not far behind her with 14 points.
Coming into the third, Bird (7 points, 2 rebounds) hit back to back to back 3-pointers to put the Colonels on top 30-19 forcing Panzarino to call a timeout.
After getting a 32-19 lead, the Bulldogs went on an 11-4 run capped by an Oliver field goal in the paint just before time expired to bring BBA within striking distance at 36-30.
But it was there, behind good ball movement and the offense provided largely by senior guard Kayla Savage -- who dropped 8 of her game high 16 points in the final frame that Brattleboro put the game out of reach.
While Savage may have been the team's leading scorer, the win was a team effort as several members of the team, such as Maddy Derosia (8 points, 6 rebounds), had multiple points in the win.
"One of our strengths is that we don't really have a pillar per se that we need to get 15 to 18 points. We have different kids on any given night that lead us in scoring and those three their greatest assets are their heart," said Brattleboro coach Paul Freed. "They play so much bigger and stronger than they are."
Burr and Burton will close out the regular season on the road Friday against Rutland. The game begins at 7 p.m.