Mount Anthony dominates Hartford
BENNINGTON -- Using their supersonic style of play, the Mount Anthony Union High School boys basketball team had a lot of open looks at the basket against Hartford on Wednesday night.
The Patriots started the game with four 3-pointers by four different players and Sean Brundage led with 28 points and six from three-point land in the 85-54 victory.
"I was feeling good, I love playing at home, I haven't had a good home game yet," Brundage said. "I wanted to play good for the fans. I love the way we play, we move the ball well on offense and I got a lot of shots and they were falling tonight."
Brundage started the Patriots scoring with a three, which was then followed up by treys from Ethan Anderson, James Levin and Damon Burgess to give MAU an early lead it wouldn't relinquish. Overall, the Patriots knocked down 11 from beyond the arc.
Taking a 22-13 lead into the second, the offense started to bog down and Hartford took advantage, pulling within 25-23 after baskets from Josh Phipps and Branson Larson. But on the next two trips down the court for the Patriots, Brundage knocked down threes to extend the lead to 31-23. Tyler Champagne, who scored 11 points on the night, capped the 12-0 run two baskets in transition and two foul shots to give MAU a 39-25 lead at halftime. Brundage led the Patriots with 15 at the break.
"Depth trumps talent, when they got to within 25-23, we could have went with the starting five, but we didn't," Sleeman said. "It's part of our identity this year."
The second half was more of the same for Mount Anthony, as Brundage started the half with another trey, and the Patriots were off to the races again.
"Sean has been starting games well, he had another one tonight, but I was most impressed with how he got others involved," Sleeman said. "He gets in the paint and kicks it out to his teammates. In my eyes, I'm shocked he had 28. He's playing with confidence, it was a great game for him."
Extending the lead through the second half, the Mount Anthony defense was stout as ever, recording 16 steals as a team against the Hurricanes.
"One of our formulas is forcing turnovers, not letting teams run their stuff," Sleeman said. "Tonight, Hartford had a tough time running a half court offense, due to the pressure we're bringing. The tempo is dictated by our defense, it's a big part of what we do."
Hao Guo had one of the best games of his career, scoring 14 points and adding six steals as the Mount Anthony press continually harassed the Hurricanes' backcourt.
"His play was solid today, offensively, we still have to work on some things, but his energy, even at the end of the game, he was getting faster," Sleeman said. "The speed he was playing at, he wasn't tired at all and that was a big difference ... he was relentless on the press."
Other contributions in the scorebook included James Levin with eight (including two 3-pointers), Evan Sparta and Damon Burgess with seven points apiece. Justin Burgess added nine rebounds, keeping Hartford to a lot of one-and-done possessions on offense.
"In our best years, a formula for success is three [players] in doubles," Sleeman said. "A lot of different guys in singles, 8 and 9, that's a recipe [for success] too. I'm very happy about that."
The Patriots travel north on Saturday to face Mount Mansfield.
"We'll keep plugging away, we have a tough test in Mount Mansfield, we're in a good spot right now at 5-2," Sleeman said.
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