Raiders use big second quarter to down Bulldogs
MANCHESTER — Friday's Marble Valley League matchup between Burr and Burton and Rutland was a measuring stick game for the Bulldogs.
They came in at 11-3 with their only losses to CVU and St. Johnsbury.
BBA played pretty even in the first, third and fourth quarters, but Rutland outscored the Bulldogs by 13 in the decisive second quarter in a 66-44 win at E.H. Henry Gym.
"Totally a measuring stick game for us and the thing we can take from it is that it's all correctable," said Burr and Burton coach Eric Green. "We were down 16 in the first half and 12 of those points came off turnovers and the transition hoops. We need to take better care of the ball and make better decisions. We also have to keep our composure better as well."
After a frantically-paced first quarter ended with Rutland ahead by three at 15-12, the Raiders went on a 19-3 run, including 11 points in a row from Jamison Evans, part of an 18-point night for the senior coming off an injury and missing the past couple of games. The final basket in the run was a three-pointer from Jacob Lorman from way outside the 3-point line — part of a game-high 24 points — as Rutland took a 36-20 lead into the break.
"When you put Jamison back in the lineup, it changes the way other teams have to guard," said Rutland coach Mike Wood. "It also gives other guys opportunities. We shot the ball really well in the first half."
Evans did it on both sides of the ball, adding six rebounds and six steals to his line.
"Lorman caught fire in the second," Green said. "He's a special kind of scorer and you just have to weather that storm. That's why those turnovers come back to haunt you because it's only a matter of time until they hurt you."
BBA came out stronger in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 10, 37-27, after a basket from Jake Nicholson with 5:14 left in the quarter. The mini-run got Wood to call a timeout and the Raiders responded by scoring the next six points of their own get the lead back to 16.
"We were able to use our defense to get some easy buckets in transition," Wood said. "They made a run in the second half and we did a nice job countering that run."
Nicholson led the Bulldogs with 12 points, followed by Will Frank with 10.
BBA fought into the fourth quarter trying to cut into the Rutland advantage, but for every BBA basket, a Rutland basket quickly followed. A three-pointer from Jake Baker with 4:30 left cut the lead to 12 at 55-43, but on the next defensive possession, Nasier Camp was hit with a technical foul after blocking a shot and from there, the Raiders separated themselves with good free throw shooting in the final minutes.
"It's not a foul if there's no whistle and we've been trying to teach them that all year," Green said. "You've got to be able to handle adversity and play through that stuff. They both came in big spots for us."
Rutland only had four scorers, but all of them were in double figures. Lorman led the way with his 24-point effort, Evans added 18 and Eric Coughlin chipped in with 13. Evan Pockette was the fourth in doubles with 11.
"I think Eric played one of his better games and we're going to need him to be solid for us if we're going to make a solid postseason run," Wood said.
Green said he felt it came down to experience in high-pressure situations, something that Rutland, as the defending Division I champions, have had the past couple of seasons.
"They've been through it and we haven't yet," Green said.
Burr and Burton plays on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against Mount Anthony in a makeup from last week.
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