BENNINGTON >> Coming into Friday night's game averaging nearly 22 points a game, Mount Anthony senior Jonas Parker and the rest of the Patriots knew that rival Burr and Burton Academy would try to crowd the paint, trying to neutralizing his game.
That's the thing about this Patriot team, though. Stop the inside, and they'll kill you from the beyond the arc.
MAU hit four 3-pointers just in the first quarter and nine on the night as they cruised to an 86-61 victory.
"We were trying to pack it in, but [Jonas] was offensive rebounding," said BBA coach Dave Shehadi. "That's a really good team, the best in the south and maybe the state. I think we were anxious against the zone in the first half, in the second half, man was better, energy was better, but hats off to MAU."
Parker made his presence felt anyway against a smaller BBA lineup, scoring 25 points before coming out early in the fourth quarter after MAU had a big lead.
BBA remained in striking distance after the first, despite the hot shooting, the MAU lead was nine heading into the second quarter. But the Patriots' defense was stout, keeping BBA off the board and outscoring them 23-9 in the second to go halftime ahead 47-23.
Tyler Champagne and Damon Burgess each had 15 on the night.
Eleven of those points were from Parker, who used a plethora of moves down low to get baskets and good touch from the line to go 5-for-5 at the stripe.
In all, Mount Anthony had its most efficient day at the line against the Bulldogs, shooting 23-of-26 at the line. Josh Parker was 7-of-8 from the line en route to 10 points.
"It's all about making shots," said MAU coach Dan Sleeman. "Coming into a game, we want to know what do they do well and how can we take it away, I probably would have done the same thing [packing down in the paint]. No one wants to give up layups, but we got some stuff off the dribble and got Jonas some touches."
Coming out of the break, the Bulldogs took advantage of a wavering Patriot front line, scoring the first seven of the quarter to force Sleeman to take a timeout with the score 47-30.
"We want to come out of the gate fast and we had a little letdown after halftime," Sleeman said. "The question is, can we continue to eliminate the mistakes that will hurt us in tight games? We need to be sharper than that."
Then the MAU train started to roll, with Parker scoring eight in the third, along with Burgess, Pat Powers, Josh Parker and Henry Salem scoring in the period to give the Patriots a 65-38 lead heading into the fourth.
"Everyone can shoot, so if they wanted to suck in, that leaves us open," Burgess said. "If they come out, it's easy to get it inside."
In the fourth, Shehadi and Sleeman started to sub second and third team players to play it out and many had memorable outings, including Eric Fenton's eight fourth quarter points for BBA and Brian Grace and Ben Winslow each hitting threes in the rout for the Patriots.
Carter Vickers was the top scorer for the Bulldogs with 20 points, while Griff Stalcup added 12.
"They extend the zone really high, that's where the holes are [in the defense], you have to make those shots and Carter did an especially good job," Shehadi said. "It's a good group, in an atmosphere like this, you have to be excited. We coach them to play hard. We were outmanned tonight, but we'll be back."