CVU defense stifles Mount Anthony
BENNINGTON — The Mount Anthony girls basketball team had a tall task ahead of it on Saturday, hosting undefeated Champlain Valley Union at Kates Gym.
They knew to have a chance against the RedHawks, they'd have to play a perfect game.
But CVU put a end to that early, using a suffocating defense to dispatch of Mount Anthony, 62-16.
"This summer we started really breaking down our defense," said CVU coach Ute Otley. "I recognized I had some quick guards and a lot of them, so if we could be a really good full-court, man-to-man team, a lot of teams would get tired."
Every player but two scored for the Redhawks, led by Mekkene Boyd's 16 and Catherine Gilwee's 14.
It was a rough start out of the blocks for the Patriots, who struggled to even get shot attempts up against a relentless CVU defense. The Redhawks scored the first 12 of the day, and MAU finally got on the board with 2:42 left in the quarter on a basket from Grace Mahar.
CVU allows only an average of 21 points per game so far this season.
A Gilwee three ended the quarter at 20-2, but Mount Anthony made a pair of three-pointers early in the second quarter, one from Ari Douglas and the other from Erin Farrell, to cut the lead to 20-8. That would be the rest of the scoring for MAU in the half, as CVU scored the next 14 to take a 35-8 lead to halftime.
"We're trying to win each individual matchup, but we know we'll get beat off the dribble sometimes," Otley said. "It's about working on what happens next. They're starting to do it instinctively now."
Mount Anthony came out determined in the third to cut into CVU's advantage, with the Patriots scoring the first five points of the frame on a pair of free throws from Sam White and a three-pointer by Emilie O'Brien to make it 35-13. But the next 12 points were all Redhawks and the third ended at 47-13.
Defensively, CVU had 16 steals on the afternoon.
"We've been working on the footwork and hand placements, the fundamentals," Otley said. "There's a level of intensity to it this year that we haven't had in the past. They have figured out that pressure on defense leads to opportunities on the offensive end. Do the job down here and fun things will happen at the other end."
Farrell was the leading scorer for Mount Anthony with six points on a pair of three-pointers.
Mount Anthony drops to 8-7 and get back on the court tonight at Brattleboro in a game rescheduled from a couple of weeks ago.
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