Hot start propels Rutland past Mount Anthony
BENNINGTON -- After winning their past two games and inching ever closer to playoff eligibility, it seemed that the Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball team had momentum on their side.
Rutland put an end to that early on Friday night.
The Raiders hit four first-quarter 3-pointers and out-scored MAU 23-8 in the opening stanza en route to a 55-30 win at Kates Gym.
"They were on fire and hit just about everything they took," said Mount Anthony coach Courtney Reif. "We came out flat on defense, we were late to get to shooters and they hit their shots."
Rutland took a 9-6 lead four minutes into the game, then scored the next 11 in a row, getting baskets from five different players, to pull away to a 20-6 advantage.
"It's not the first time we've seen the flex offense, most teams in Vermont run the flex," Reif said. "We just let them take shots."
Mount Anthony tried to make a run in the second, scoring the first six points to make it a 10-point game. But Rutland scored twice in the final minute of the first half and took a 31-17 lead to the locker room.
"We had some instances with more urgency, got more run outs and got the ball into the basket to cut into the lead," Reif said. "We got out and worked harder and when we work hard, good things happen."
In the third, Rutland started to pull away using some timely shooting and forcing MAU into turnovers. Late in the period, Rutland went on a 8-2 run to put MAU behind the eight-ball.
Overall, The Patriots committed 21 turnovers and shot 0-for-9 from behind the arc and held to 12-for-35 from the field.
"We struggle to come back and when we dug the hole, we just couldn't score enough and capitalize on the shots," Reif said. "Basketball is a game of runs. We beat [Burr and Burton Academy] because we answered theirs. [Rutland] jumped on us which made it hard to go on a run that amounted to anything."
Offensive rebounding hurt the Patriots as well. Rutland had many second and third chances, while MAU was one-and-done on their offensive end.
"I thought we did a poor job on offensive rebounds. I talked about it on every timeout, but we just didn't crash the boards," Reif said.
At 5-10, MAU still needs another win to become playoff eligible.
"Rutland wanted it more, they played more of a put together game. We didn't capitalize on our chances. They came out ready to play and we didn't," Reif said.
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