Mahar double-double leads MAU over Otters

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BENNINGTON — Another day, another double-double for Mount Anthony girls basketball's Grace Mahar.

Mahar was in total control of Friday night's game against Otter Valley, as she paced MAU to a 61-45 win against the Otters.

The junior scored 26 points on the night, with 10 of those points coming in a second quarter where the Patriots outscored Otter Valley 20-8.

She added 17 rebounds, seven of the offensive variety, along with seven steals and four assists.

Mahar was attacking the paint all night and it paid off in a big way, as she racked up 20 of her 26 points in the paint.

It took a while for MAU to play to the level it wanted Friday and the first quarter exemplified that fact.

While the Patriots hung around, on the back of seven first-quarter points from senior Cat Worthington, the Otters took a three-point lead into the second quarter.

MAU coach AJ Mahar preached to his team to up the effort on the defensive end heading into the second and it seemed to pay off as the Patriots made it hard for Otter Valley to maintain its offensive rhythm.

"We really talked about commitment to the defensive end of the floor and it started to get better," AJ Mahar said. "It was much better than it was in the first quarter, so to see that progress was good.

While Mahar had a dominant second quarter, Worthington was right there to supplement the junior with five more points of her, as the two combined for 25 of MAU's 33 first-half points.

Worthington notched 20 points on the night, draining four shots from three-point range. The 20-point effort was her fourth of the season.

When Mahar and Worthington are both on their games, the chances for a Patriots win increase a great deal and Friday marked the first time that they both had 20 or more points in the same game.

A couple other girls really seemed to give MAU some great minutes around Mahar and Worthington. In particular, forward Sam White and guard Emilie O'Brien had strong games.

White had five points and three rebounds and always seemed to be in the right spot to make an energy play for the Patriots.

"Sam battles so hard. She's undersized every single game. She just goes up and plays harder and battles harder than anybody," AJ Mahar said.

O'Brien only had three points, but did a great job distributing the ball with four assists.

"It was awesome to have [Emilie] make some plays for us," AJ Mahar said.

Alia Edmunds scored 16 points to lead Otter Valley, while Leah Pinkowski added 13.

A pair of Otters players also had six points

As a whole, AJ Mahar thought his team contained Otter Valley well.

"We battled. [Otter Valley] had a couple of big girls inside," AJ Mahar said. "We did a really good job on the defensive boards tonight. It was nice to keep them off the offensive glass until the very end."

MAU improves to 4-5 on the season and will play Mill River on the road Tuesday, before a rematch against rival Hoosick Falls on Thursday.

Tip-off for Tuesday night's contest is set for 7 p.m.

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


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