Mahar sets rebounding record, MAU wins

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BENNINGTON — Double-doubles have become commonplace for Mount Anthony girls basketball player Grace Mahar.

Game in and game out the sophomore reaches double figures in points and rebounds and that continued to be the case Monday night in MAU's 54-42 win over Burr and Burton at Kates Gym.

This double-double had a special significance for the the Patriots star player.

Mahar scored 22 points and pulled down 19 rebounds and with it, broke the program's single-season record for most rebounds.

That record was set by Jhonny Mahar, Grace's sister, back in 2008, when she had 284 rebounds. With Grace's performance Monday night, she now has 288 for the season.

Jhonny Mahar was in attendance Monday night to see her sister break the record, which meant a lot to Grace.

"It's definitely been on my mind all season," Grace Mahar said. "She was here tonight, so it was really nice to do it while she was home. It was something I think I can continue building upon and it felt good."

The Patriots wasted little time getting out and taking control in the game. MAU had four made three-pointers in the quarter with two from Caroline Musinski and one from Grace Mahar and Cat Worthington.

"Caroline and Cat hitting those 3's early really opened up the middle for Grace and Anna (Iannotti) and Kaity (O'Brien) and Sam (White) to work inside," said Patriots coach AJ Mahar.

MAU held a 17-6 lead after the first quarter. With the second quarter being evenly matched, the Patriots kept that 11-point lead heading to halftime.

MAU ballooned its lead to 20 at one point in the early third, but BBA came out with an inspired effort late in the third quarter to get themselves back into the game. The Bulldogs got the lead down to as low as five at one point early in the fourth.

AJ Mahar recognized that change in play, but was happy with the effort down the stretch to close out the game.

"We had a little lapse in the second half," AJ Mahar said. "There was a stretch there in the third quarter and fourth quarter where we weren't doing what we can do. After letting them back into game, we buckled down and got the stops that we needed to and executed well down the stretch."

The fourth quarter proved to have much better results for MAU and a lot of that can be attributed to the play of Grace Mahar. She scored 11 of her 22 points in the final quarter.

"We started to struggle at the end of the third quarter and I knew that in order for us to pick it back up again, it all had to start with someone," Grace Mahar said. "Playing good is contagious, so as soon as I step it up, everyone else starts to step it up too. It ends up all coming together and we play better as a team."

MAU center Anna Iannotti scored 10 points in the game. Musinski and Worthington both notched a pair of 3's in the contest and both had seven points.

On the BBA side, senior center Emily Bleakie led the way with 13 points. Bleakie was especially strong in the fourth with seven points coming in that quarter. Sophomore Ashley Heaton scored 10 points for the Bulldogs as well.

The Patriots are back in action Thursday at home against Rutland, while BBA plays Brattleboro at home the same day.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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