Young guns lead Patriots past Bulldogs
MANCHESTER >> The youth movement is alive and well for the Mount Anthony Union High School girls basketball team.
The Patriots' three sophomores — Madison Little, Brianna Legacy and Jordyn Burke — combined for 38 points and kept Burr and Burton Academy at bay during a fierce fourth quarter rally in a 66-59 victory at BBA on Wednesday night.
"They came through in big times," said Mount Anthony (12-5) coach Brian Harrington. "Madison has been shooting it, but we had to get Bri going to shoot the basketball. She's been helping us out in other areas, so we moved her around to a different spot. I think mentally she's ready to shoot more."
Legacy led all scorers with 18, while Legacy had 17 in the win.
MAU took a 50-38 lead into the final frame, and the pair extended the lead in the first two minutes, Little scoring in transition after a steal to make it 56-40 and force BBA (12-4) coach Ed Panzarino to call a timeout.
"We have to step up when he needs us," Legacy said. "In big, important games, it's important to step up, we need to take the lead now."
Moments later, BBA's Maggie Oliver hit on a jumper to pull within 10 at 58-48, but Legacy and Kathryn Frasier hit on back-to-back possessions to make it 62-48 with 3:45 left.
Tessa Roberts (18 points) and Hannah Nicholson (21 points to lead all scorers) hit threes in the last two minutes, but Mount Anthony sealed it at the line, with Legacy and Emily Hutton each making a pair of free throws for the final margin.
Burr and Burton started out slow, allowing the Patriots — coming off a tough loss against undefeated Champlain Valley Union — to bolt out to a 10-2 lead after a Legacy hoop. MAU eventually extended the advantage to 22-6 off a steal and basket from Little, but the Patriots would not score again for more than five minutes.
"We had a couple groups in there in the second quarter and we looked tired so I wanted to rotate quicker in the second half," Harrington said. "[BBA] made some real good shots and hit the boards too."
The Bulldogs fought back, baskets from Roberts and two from Nicholson, the second one coming after Nicholson's block at the defensive end to make it 22-12.
"We tried three different players on Nicholson, all that happened was we get [into] foul trouble and [she made] baskets down there," Harrington said. "It's tough for us, we have to keep working at it. It's the nature of the beast, we have to deal with it."
Hoops by Oliver and Nicholson and a pair of free throws from Roberts got BBA back into the game at 22-18, before MAU scored the final seven points of the half on a triple from Little and a pair of last-minute baskets from Maddy Main.
"It was her best game ever," Panzarino said of his junior, who nearly had a double-double with nine rebounds. "She was aggressive, she shot and passed when she should. She was good [on the boards], active in the huddle too. It's a big step up for her."
In the third quarter, Mount Anthony started to find its long range, as they hit five from distance in a quarter that went the Patriots' way, 21-20. A Brockett triple in the final seconds set up the fourth.
Along with the two sophomores, Mount Anthony's Kathryn Frasier added 13 and Main pitched in with eight.
Despite the loss, Panzarino was happy with his team's effort against the Patriots.
"This is how to play to be successful to the end of the year," Panzarino said. "This was the first time we ran any offense for any semblance of time. The grit coming back was good to let them know we can fight. A strong game against MAU after two losses is big."
"This was a good win, BBA is ahead of us in the [Division I] standings, we need to get as many index points as possible heading into the tournament," Harrington said.
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