BENNINGTON >> To paraphrase Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, R. Lee Ermey's drill instructor character from the film Full Metal Jacket:
"You got guts, kid, and sometimes, guts is enough."
In the fourth quarter of Monday night's boys basketball interstate showdown between Hoosick Falls and Mount Anthony, the Patriots showed what type of guts they have as they outscored the Panthers 19-5 in the final eight minutes en route to an entertaining 52-43 victory at Kates Gym.
"At half, we were down quite a bit and I told the team, the harder the struggle, the more joy in winning," said MAU coach Dan Sleeman. "At a certain point, we had to go to our late game defense. There would come a point we weren't playing Hoosick Falls, but against the clock."
The two biggest plays of the night for the Patriots both came courtesy of senior Pat Powers.
Tied at 42-42 after a Tyler Champagne bucket with 3:30 to go, Mount Anthony came down the floor with a chance to take the lead. Taking nearly a minute off the clock, a shot was off the mark but Powers came down with an offensive rebound to keep the possession alive for the Patriots. He then found Damon Burgess in the corner, who calmly stepped up and knocked down a three for a 45-42 lead.
Moments later, still ahead by three, Powers was in the right place at the right time. Champagne, guarded one-on-one, drove to the basket and found Powers all alone underneath for the hoop and the foul to make it 48-42 with 1:05 to go.
"I thought the biggest possession was that offensive rebound, he hustled after that and found [Burgess]," said Hoosick Falls coach Mike Lilac. "Shortly after that, it's a scramble situation to him and now we're panicked a little bit."
The Patriots held Hoosick Falls to zero field goals in the fourth quarter, all five points coming off foul shots.
"Ty drove to the hole, gave me a dish, I pump faked and I knew [Alex] Mendez would go up," said Powers, whose basket was his only one of the evening. "We were playing hard defense and that wins championships. We knew we were down the whole game and we had to step up, everyone was clutch."
Trailing 38-33 heading into the final frame, Mount Anthony took the lead for the first time since early in the contest when Matthew Anderson picked the pocket of Guy Milliman and went the rest of the way for the layup to make it 41-40 Patriots with 5:13 to go.
"Matthew was sick, so I took him out in the first half," Sleeman said. "I put [Henry Salem] in and he did his job and was fantastic. Atrael [Pineiro] gave us good minutes, Ryan O'Neill hitting threes off the bench. They've had games this year where they haven't taken the warm-up off. When they were called, they answered the bell."
Milliman hit two free throws to give Hoosick a 41-40 lead, but that would be the last time the Panthers were ahead.
Jonas Parker led all scorers with 15, nearly seven points below his season average, but he also grabbed 16 rebounds. Tyler Champagne added 11 and seven boards.
The Panthers got 12 points from Alex Mendez to lead the way, while Milliman added 11.
In the first half, the Panthers had the bulk of the momentum. Hoosick Falls got threes from Mendez and Milliman as the teams were tied 11-11 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, Hoosick got its shot in. Trading baskets back and forth with the game tied at 16, the Panthers went on an 8-0 run to end the half, led by Kellen Skott, who knocked down his two baskets in the second quarter.
"We executed perfectly there in the second quarter, we attacked where we could," Lilac said.
Skott and Parker battled throughout the 32 minutes, with Skott having the advantage underneath, despite Parker's 15 points and 16 boards.
In the third, MAU started to claw back into the game, with Ryan O'Neill playing a major role off the bench with a pair of threes to get the Patriots closer.
Mount Anthony improves to 15-3, while Hoosick Falls ends the regular season at 13-7 overall and now waits to see what the seedings will be on Wednesday.