Wolves escape Kates Gym with victory

BENNINGTON — Last year in the Division I girls basketball quarterfinals, Mount Anthony and South Burlington played an old-school rough-and-tumble matchup that the Patriots ended up winning 34-30.

So the Wolves — same team, different mascot — had that in their minds in their first matchup since, on Saturday afternoon at Kates Gym.

And it was two of South Burlington's leaders, Emma MacDonough and Grace Hoehl, who each hit outside shots to send the game to overtime where they would eventually finish off a 51-49 win.

"We had a slow start, shots looked good but they weren't falling," said South Burlington coach TJ Sawyer. "Hats off to MAU, they played hard defense and created tough shots for us. But big time players make big plays in big moments."

Mount Anthony had a eight-point lead, 45-37, with 3:40 left in regulation, after Anna Iannotti scored on a layup. But over the next few minutes, MacDonough hit a pair of clutch three-pointers. The first cut the lead to 46-42 and then after Caroline Musinski gave MAU a 6-point lead, MAU got the ball back on a turnover in the back court.

An outlet pass up the court was too high and went back to South Burlington in their front court. On the possession, MacDonough got open at the top of the key and buried her sixth triple of the game to make it 48-45 with 20 seconds left.

Burlington got the ball back with a chance to tie and Hoehl did the honors, knocking down a three to tie the game at 48-48 and send it to overtime.

"We were in control, but we had two unforced turnovers in the last minute," said MAU coach AJ Mahar. "They hit big shots and that made the difference down the stretch."

Neither team could get an offensive rhythm going in the overtime. Iannotti hit one-of-two from the line, but then MacDonough hit a bucket for a 50-49 lead.

MacDonough scored 25 of her team's 51 points, while Hoehl added nine, including the big three late in regulation.

"We were nervous [going into overtime], but once we got in there, we fought well until the end," Iannotti said.

"The momentum was clearly in [South Burlington's] favor after those big threes," Mahar said. "We tried to finish the game and get one that I thought we were in control of."

Grace Mahar led the Patriots with another double-double, she racked up 18 points and 15 rebounds, while Iannotti had her second-best offensive performance of the year with 15 points and a season-high eight rebounds.

In the first quarter, MAU got down 12-3, but over the next eight minutes, the Patriots outscored South Burlington, 19-5, to take the lead at halftime.

"Every game we're trying to get better, every practice and we showed that we are truly improving," Mahar said.

MAU plays tonight in a inter-state matchup against Hoosick Falls at 7:30 p.m.


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