MAU challenges, but Rutland remains unbeaten

BENNINGTON — Coming off a 40-point loss earlier in the week, the Mount Anthony boys basketball team wanted to make a statement that one bad game won't define their season.

Against the defending Division I champion Rutland on Friday night, the Patriots held their own for the first 16 minutes before the undefeated Raiders pulled away for a 66-45 win at Kates Gym.

"We started the season with a little depth and it has shrunk a little bit with injury and sickness," said MAU coach Marcus Hass, who had seniors Matt Glanovsky (flu) and Jack Bushee (ACL) out for Friday's contest. "I'm really proud of how the guys came out in the first half. It doesn't mean a lot in a loss, but coming off the loss against Pittsfield, we wanted to measure ourselves and see how well we could compete."

Jamison Evans scored 22 points to lead Rutland, while Abe Amidon was best for Mount Anthony with 18 points — all on threes. Evans also had 10 steals on the night.

Mount Anthony got behind early with the strong play of Evans (nine points in the opening quarter) propelling Rutland to a 17-9 lead after one quarter. But the Patriots made a run in the second with strong shooting from Amidon and Matt Steadman. Amidon hit two triples in the quarter, the second one cutting the lead to 21-18 and forcing Rutland coach Mike Wood to call a timeout. Coming out of the stoppage, Steadman — who had six of his 12 points in the second quarter — made it a one-point game with a basket underneath.

"We talk about taking a few punches and giving a few back of our own," Hass said. "We don't want to get rattled when the other team makes a drive, we've made plenty on our end."

Jacob Lorman (eight points) and Steadman traded baskets to make it 23-22 Rutland with 2:47 left, but the Raiders ended the half on a 9-2 run, including a three from Noah Tyson, to give Rutland a 32-24 lead at the break.

Rutland picked up in the third where they had left off, scoring the first six to put the lead into double digits at 38-24 as Hass called time to regroup. Evans had nine more points in the third.

"Props to Evans, he torched us in the third quarter," Hass said. "That was tough for us. We also didn't get a lot of offensive rebounds in the [second half]."

Amidon had three of his 3-pointers in that period, each one trying to will the Patriots back in contention.

After Jack Morgan (nine points) hit a three to give Rutland a 49-30 advantage, Amidon nailed a pair of threes — the second from well beyond the arc — to make it a 49-36 game. In the fourth, MAU scored the first five to make it 53-41, but that was as close as the Patriots got.

Steadman was second-highest scorer for MAU with 12 points, while Gavin Johnson added seven. For Rutland, Jared Nelson had 12 points, including seven in the third as Rutland pulled away to a big lead.

MAU made 13 field goals, nine 3-pointers and four 2-pointers.

"These guys like to shoot the ball, thankfully they shoot it well," Hass said. "Abe has been doing a better job of getting away from the face-guarding and getting good shots in open space."

MAU is 9-7 and travel to Wahconah on Tuesday.


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