Mount Anthony leads throughout, gets past Bulldogs
BENNINGTON — The first basket of the game on Tuesday between Mount Anthony and Burr and Burton didn't come until three-and-a-half minutes were gone in the opening quarter, but it was a big one — a steal and slam from MAU junior Gavin Johnson that had the Kates Gym crowd rocking.
The Patriots led from start to finish in a 52-39 win over the Bulldogs.
"I guarantee you that's the best 32 minutes of basketball we've played this year," said MAU coach Marcus Hass. "They get hyped for this game every year, I know the Manchester kids do too. Our guys brought it tonight we came away with the win."
Mount Anthony's defense had arguably its best day of the season, holding Burr and Burton to two points in the first quarter and only 10 in the half as they took a 22-10 lead in the locker room.
"Good defense is contagious, guys were making plays early on and that energy gets everyone hyped up and that's the effort we're looking for," Hass said.
Burr and Burton made a run in the third, scoring 11 straight points, the final four from Madox Mathews to cut the MAU lead to 30-26 with 2:55 left in the third.
But a pair of hoops, one from Jordan Gardner and the other from Nick Salem, along with a three-pointer from Austin Grogan in the final seconds gave Mount Anthony a 38-28 lead into the final eight minutes.
"We knew they would put together a charge at some point and I told the guys we just had to keep our composure," Hass said.
The advantage was still 10 a couple minutes into the fourth when BBA's Matthew Carrara was called for a foul and then a technical foul when he argued the call with the referee.
Grogan made the two tech foul shots, missed the ones for the foul, but the lead was 12 with six minutes left.
Moments later, Johnson hit a nice turnaround jumper from 12 feet to make it 48-38 with under two minutes to go.
Johnson led MAU with 12 points, but eight players scored for MAU, including eight points from Jon McDonald, all in the first half, and eight from Braeden Billert.
Billert's greatest contribution on the night was defensively as he took four charges against the Bulldogs.
Mount Anthony was 10-of-16 in the fourth quarter from the line.
"Our guys knew they had to close tonight and making free throws is part of closing out a game," Hass said.
BBA didn't have any scorers in double figures, with Mathews and Matthew Kapusta each with nine and River DeFelice with eight, all in the second half.
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