BENNINGTON — A Hollywood screenwriter might enjoy this one.
After scoring a season-high 12 points to help her No. 8 seed Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball team to a opening playdown win, junior Brenna Harris saw her classmate, Dylan Blowers, come out of the stands with a flower bouquet and a big sign with a simple question: Will you go to prom with me?
Her 'yes' to Dylan was the cap of a pretty productive day for Harris and the Patriots as they moved on in the Division I playoffs with a 73-37 win over Middlebury on Tuesday night.
"I had no idea it was going to happen," Harris said. "I was impressed he had the courage to do that, so yeah."
Before the proposal, the Patriots took control in the third quarter with a 21-2 run. Leading 32-21 at halftime, Mount Anthony started to make its presence felt on both ends of the floor as they outscored the Tigers 25-7 in those eight minutes.
"Our tired legs caught up with us and they made a bunch of shots," said Middlebury (11-10) coach Jen Heath.
Middlebury made only one 2-point field goal in the first half, so MAU coach Brian Harrington said during halftime the team needed to get stops without fouling.
"I noticed they were getting tired, we have to keep running playing in and we'll start getting some open shots," Harrington said.
In the fourth, MAU continued its tough defense, allowing nine points, all from Middlebury's leading scorer, sophomore Keagan Dunbar, who had 22 points overall, including four triples.
Madison Little led all scorers with 24 points, while Harris was second with 12, eight of those in the second half.
"I love playing with everyone, I can share that with them, they make me a better player," said Harris, whose best game before Tuesday was nine against BBA.
Anna Iannotti pitched in with nine points and Jordyn Burke scored all her points at the foul line, going 8-for-10 from the stripe.
Jordyn Burke had a nice game, Anna, all our bigs," Harrington said.
Brianna Legacy and Kathryn Frasier each added eight points.
In the first half, it looked like it would take a little while for the Patriots to get going, but a mini-run in the last couple of minutes of the opening quarter made it 18-9 after one. Middlebury, on the strength of a pair of threes from Payton Buxton, went on an 8-0 run of its own to pull within one at 18-17 with 4:11 left in the first half. MAU didn't make its first field goal of the second quarter until the 2:05 mark, then Little raised some eyebrows when she drained a three from nearly half-court as the half ended to give MAU an 11-point lead into the break.
In the second half, Mount Anthony pushed the lead to 30 as they frustrated Middlebury with their size and speed.
"I think we came into the game underestimating them a little," Harris said. "During our halftime talk, we opened our eyes, [realizing] we have to win this to go to Patrick [Gym]."
Mount Anthony, who improves to 11-10, travel to No. 1 CVU on Friday. MAU has a pair of losses to the Redhawks this year, but in their game up there, MAU lost 59-49, one of the closer games for CVU this season.
"We'll need to play solid defense and make shots that we didn't make tonight," Harrington said. "If we don't, they'll hammer us on the other end. We'll have good practices over the next couple of days."