Bulldogs hang on to beat Mount Anthony

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MANCHESTER — It was a tale of two halves on Monday night at E.H. Henry Gym.

Burr and Burton had a big first-half, going up 19 at the break, before Mount Anthony came back with a good second half.

The opening deficit was too much for MAU to overcome as the BBA girls held on for a 44-34 win over the Patriots.

"We knew they would make a run in the second half and they weren't going to let down, it's a rivalry," said BBA coach Erin Mears. "They got us out of the press in the second half."

It was a slow start for both teams early, but Burr and Burton used a 10-0 run at the end of the first quarter to take a 16-2 lead after the first eight minutes.

The second quarter was much more even, however, BBA used 14 first-half points from Grace Pinkus — as a part of her game-high 16 — to send BBA to a 29-10 lead at halftime.

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The Patriots came out of the halftime break inspired and pulled with 36-25 at the end of the third, led by seven points from sophomore Linnaia Connell, including a three-pointer.

"We have to get the ball into other kids hands and that can free up Grace [Mahar] a little bit too," said MAU coach Larry Andrews.

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Between the third and fourth quarters, Mount Anthony went on an 11-0 run and after Grace Mahar had two free throws to cut the lead to five at 36-31, Carol Herbert took over, hitting four straight free throws to give BBA a 41-31 lead with 3:40 to go.

"That second half was probably our best 16 minutes of basketball this year," Andrews said.

At that point, BBA went into a stall as Mount Anthony sat back in the zone. Nearly 90 seconds ran off the clock as BBA kept the ball moving around the perimeter, into the paint and back out to the perimeter before MAU was forced to foul.

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"I was impressed in the fourth quarter, when we needed to stall a little bit and we handled their pressure," Mears said. "I thought they'd come out in man after [the timeout], so I told them to look out for it, but they didn't for a while. The girls were ready for it."

Eventually Mahar got a steal and hit a basket and a foul to cut the lead to 41-34 with 1:52 left.

Mahar scored 16 points to lead the Patriots, but BBA finished off the game, getting free throws from Ashley Heaton and then in the final seconds, a steal and a hoop from Rebecca Montaufray for the final margin. Herbert ended the game with 14 points.

"Grace and Carol have been consistent scorers for us all year," Mears said. "I thought Carol sealed the deal for us with the [free throws] and a key rebound at the right time."

BBA improves to 10-5 on the year and into the fourth spot in the Division II rankings, while Mount Anthony falls to 2-13 and is danger of not making the Division I playoffs.


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