Panthers ride defense in rout of MAU
On Saturday night, when the rivalry moved to Hoosick, the Panthers' suffocating defense was on full display as they routed the Patriots, 65-38.
"We've played better defense the past 10 games or so, that's what going to win games," said Hoosick Falls coach Mike Lilac. "The defense was good, the offense will come and go, but defense has to be something to count on. If we can play good defense, we'll be tough."
Hoosick Falls came out on fire offensively at the outset too, getting baskets from four of the five starters in the opening quarter as they took an 18-7 lead.
A mix of strong defense and quick offense eventually extended the lead to 22 after an Evan McCart basket with 1:58 left in the half.
McCart led the Panthers with 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Guy Milliman added 16 and Jon Kempf chipped in with 12.
"[Evan's] very athletic and he's works hard for us. He's got a good motor and he's athletic for a kid that tall," Lilac said. "We ask him to do a lot, I'm sure he's exhausted after these games."
Mount Anthony trailed 36-18 at the half and scored the first basket of the second on a layup from Gavin Johnson, but Hoosick scored the next seven to extend the lead to 45-20, capped off by Guy Milliman's hoop.
"We didn't come to play today, top to bottom," said MAU coach Marcus Hass. "Give credit to Hoosick Falls, they came in hungry. Our energy was down, we have a trend of not playing well on days when we don't have school.
Hoosick Falls pushed the lead to 30 at 56-26 with 5:11 left and the big deficit started tempers flaring a moment later. With under four minutes left, Milliman drew a charge on a Matt Glanovsky drive to the rim. As the two crashed into each other, they started jawing back and forth as the crowd roared.
Milliman was given a technical foul on the play.
The Patriots were missing two of their leading scorers. Jack Bushee is out for the season and Matt Steadman didn't play on Saturday night.
"Matt will be back, we're trying to get everyone healthy," Hass said. "That's 30 points between him and Jack. We had to play better defense then last time and we didn't do it."
Abe Amidon led the Patriots with 12 points and was quieted for most of the night as Milliman kept him bottled up.
"Guy is so strong, he really has a subtle way to muscle guys up on defense," Lilac said. "He's turned himself into a physical player."
Hoosick Falls improves to 14-4 overall, while Mount Anthony drops to 8-5.
"We'll be all right, we have our Marble Valley League games coming up," Hass said.
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