Mid-game surge leads Pittsfield over MAU

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BENNINGTON — After one quarter in the Mount Anthony girls basketball team's game against Pittsfield Wednesday night, it looked like it was going to be a defensive battle, with neither team willing to give an inch.

The first frame was defensive-minded to its core, with both teams stifling the other and just five points scored for each side.

Then the Generals offense woke up and the Patriots just couldn't keep up.

Pittsfield would handily control the second and third quarters as they went on to top MAU 59-41 at Kates Gym Wednesday.

Coming out of halftime was the time where the Generals really took control. Pittsfield would go on a 16-2 run coming out of the break and the Patriots struggled to fully recover.

The Generals were paced by senior Bella Aitken and junior forward Alexis Garvey. Aitken went for 16 points, while Garvey scored 13 on the night.

Garvey was particularly dominant in the second half as she scored 10 points after halftime and was a defensive force as well with multiple blocks in the second half.

The Patriots were led by Grace Mahar, who scored a game-high 19 points Wednesday. Mahar has shown herself to be the offensive leader on MAU thus far this season and that continued with her performance against Pittsfield. She scored 15 of her 19 in the second half.

A major struggle for MAU was its lack of success at the foul line. The Patriots were given numerous opportunities, in the first half especially, to convert from the line, but they weren't consistent. The Generals had fouled enough times to get them into the bonus pretty early on, but MAU struggled to make them pay.

In the first half, the Patriots shot just 7-for-12 from the free-throw line in the first half.

MAU coach AJ Mahar knew how much those struggles cost his team and the impact that played on the game.

"Mentally and emotionally and momentum of the game-wise, you need to take advantage of those free ones or you'll be in big trouble," AJ Mahar said. "We go into the half down nine, instead of it being a tie game or a two-point game. The demeanor is different coming out in the second half. It was a huge missed opportunity."

MAU did show some major fight in the fourth quarter as they outscored Pittsfield 18-13 in the final frame.

AJ Mahar was happy with the fact that his team didn't quit, even down a large amount heading into the quarter.

"That was a testament to our girls not quitting and continuing to play," he said. "Yeah, we were sped up and we were going faster than we needed to for most of the game, but they didn't quit. They kept battling which is something I need to see and I love to see out of them. It gives me hope for the rest of the year moving forward."

The Patriots are back in action this Saturday against Rice Memorial on the road. Tip off is set for 2:30 p.m.

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


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