Patriots stymied in loss to Burlington

BENNINGTON — In the first four games this season, Mount Anthony's Grace Mahar has done the lion's share of scoring for the Patriots, averaging nearly 17 points per game.

On Saturday against Burlington, the Seahorses slowed down the sophomore, holding her to only five points in a 48-35 win at Kates Gym.

"Once we got settled in, we looked OK, we doubled the amount of points scored in the second half," said MAU coach AJ Mahar. "We got off to a slow start."

From the start, Burlington went into a full-court press, a tactic that messed up the Patriots, especially in the first half.

The defense held MAU to four field goals in the first half, three of those in the second quarter as Burlington built a 19-11 lead into the break.

"We have open layups, or layups that should be made and they aren't falling right now," Mahar said. "We have to battle through that."

In the second half, Mount Anthony tried to claw back, with Anna Iannotti making a pair of free throws and a layup and Kaity O'Brien hitting back-to-back layups to pull within 30-20 with 4:10 left in the third quarter.

But Burlington finished the quarter on a 8-3 run, capped off by an Emma Larivee basket at the horn, to take a 38-23 lead to the fourth quarter.

Iannotti led the Patriots with 11 points, while Ella Decelles and Lily Mitchell tied as the high-scorer for Burlington with 11.

"It's great to see Anna and Kaity up in the scoring column, they are our seniors and leaders and they finished the plays down low in the block," Mahar said. "I'm really proud of that and it'll be a big part of our success going forward."

One thing that Mahar wasn't happy about was his team's foul shooting. While Burlington went 6-for-10 from the line, Mount Anthony was 11-for-25, including missing six out of 10 in the fourth quarter.

"Shooting [44 percent] from the line is not very good," Mahar said. "If we make even half of those misses, which still isn't a good percentage, we're in the game and the flow is totally different. If we can clean that up, it'll look different."

Mount Anthony drops to 1-4, and some of that can be chalked up to an extremely tough schedule. Their five opponents so far — Essex, Spaulding, Pittsfield, Rice and Burlington — have combined to go 14-7 so far.

"The schedule's been tough, but more than the competition, I've thrown them new things and it's been a lot," Mahar said. "Game reps are crucial for our development, we're building for February and March. We're getting better every game and once it starts to click, we'll be all right."


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