BENNINGTON -- The rivalry between Mount Anthony and Brattleboro in girls basketball is entertaining, no matter the records.
Of course, when both teams are having successful seasons, it ratchets things up a notch.
On Saturday, the Patriots and the Colonels were fighting for Division I playoff position and Mount Anthony got the upper hand, securing the No. 3 seed in a 56-51 win over Brattleboro in a game moved to the Mount Anthony Middle School because of weather delays.
"It's a rivalry, a typical MAU-Brattleboro game," said Brattleboro coach Paul Freed. "Everyone goes hard and we give each other all we have. It's nice there are two powers in the south."
The game was up in the air heading into the fourth, as Brattleboro held a 1-point lead at 40-39. MAU took the lead in the first three minutes of the quarter as Maddy Main hit a three and Carly Rogers jumper made it 44-42. But the Colonels came right back with a basket of their own to tie the game.
Arianna Harrington was a monster in the post for Brattleboro, scoring 22 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.
"Her nickname is Russell, as in Bill Russell," said Freed, referring to the Hall of Fame center for the Celtics. "That's the kind of player she is, she's an incredible leader to the younger kids, I'd love to have five of her in the lineup.
On the next possession, Mount Anthony got into the bonus and took advantage, with Brinkley Legacy nailing 1-of-2 from the line and then Kate Goodell scoring on a drive for a 49-44 lead with three minutes left. But Brattleboro came back again, pulling within 51-49 after another basket by the senior forward Harrison.
"No question coming in, this game was a coin flip and a battle and that's what happened," said MAU coach Brian Harrington. "Brinkley had a monster game against their post player. They got into some foul trouble and that's where we got separation."
Legacy missed a pair of free throws with 1:46 left, but the Patriots forced a turnover on the next possession and Kathryn Frasier converted for a 53-49 lead.
"The little things add up to big things, we had a couple opportunities that didn't drop and then you have to foul [late]," Freed said. "We had a good trap, and we got a couple of jump balls down the stretch."
Makayla Farrara led the Patriots with 14 points, nine in the second half, while Kate Goodell and Keira Goodell each added seven.
For Brattleboro, Kayla Savage and Maddy Derosia had 10 and 11 points, respectively.
"We got some good momentum going into the playoffs, we're looking forward to playing at home," Harrington said. "They're excited to win an MVL title, that was one of the goals at the beginning of the year."