Patriots edge Brattleboro

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BENNINGTON — Call the Mount Anthony girls basketball team the comeback kids.

The Patriots trailed by eight with 4:06 left against Brattleboro on Thursday night in a Marble Valley League matchup, but they roared back with a big run to get the game to overtime, where they finished off a 63-61 win over the Colonels at Kates Gym.

In overtime, the Patriots took a 61-57 lead after Anna Iannotti scored a three-point play with 2:13 left in the extra session.

But Brattleboro wouldn't fold, getting hoops from Rachael Rooney and Lauren McKinney to tie the game at 61-61 with one minute left.

On the next Patriot possession, Grace Mahar — who led Mount Anthony with 25 points, her best scoring output of the year — got the ball inside and hit a layup to give MAU a 63-61 advantage.

Rooney, went to the line on the next exchange and missed a free throw, but the Colonels got the rebound to set up another chance with 10.6 seconds left.

Brattleboro coach Paul Freed ran a play for Rooney, who had a game-high 27 points, including six 3-pointers, but she was off on the shot. Julie Hendricks pulled down the rebound, but the Patriot defense was there to disrupt her putback and the buzzer sounded on a two-point Mount Anthony victory.

Brattleboro was 7-of-12 on the night from beyond the arc.

"[Rooney] was lights out all night, that was a concern for us," said MAU coach AJ Mahar. "I had a feeling they would draw something up for a three. It was a great play, they executed beautifully, the only thing is that the ball didn't go in the hoop. We got lucky there, but we'll take it."

Behind 51-43 after a three-pointer by Nicole Norcia, the Patriots started to get on a run. Mahar buried a three to make it 51-46, then added a layup on the next possession to cut the lead to 51-48 with 3:17 to go.

Iannotti was the next one to get in the paint for the Patriots, chopping the lead to 51-50, but Lauryn Sargent scored two of her six points to make the lead three again.

But MAU wouldn't be denied. Mahar got to the hoop, missed the shot but was fouled and made both to make it 53-52 and then less than a minute later, Sam White was fouled in the act of shooting. Her first free throw tied it and her second gave MAU a 54-53 lead.

"It was good to see them not quit, I told them, we're still in striking distance," Mahar said. "We got a couple of stops and they started to have fun and make some shots and finish the fourth quarter on a run."

Mount Anthony shot 17-of-23 from the free throw line, including 9-of-12 in the fourth quarter and overtime as they outscored Brattleboro 11-3 in the final four minutes of regulation.

Rooney made 1-of-2 with under a minute left to tie the game and each team had a chance to take the lead in the waning seconds of regulation, but neither couldn't connect, sending the game to overtime.

Mount Anthony improves to 8-6, while Brattleboro drops to 7-7.


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