Monument boys hoops falls to Mount Anthony in OT
BENNINGTON -- With everything on the line, the Mount Anthony Union High School boys basketball team let the game come to them.
Down eight with four minutes to play, the Patriots used a plethora of perimeter shots to tie the game up and send it into overtime, eventually winning 89-84.
"We mostly play out of concepts in transition," said MAU coach Dan Sleeman. "It wasn't any designed or set plays at the end. It is just what we do."
Peter Oggiani led Monument with 22 points.
The highlight of the night came in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter. With MAU trailing 74-71, the Patriots looked for Sean Brundage (game-high 29 points) to tie the game up. But with Brundage covered, the ball rotated to Alec Little on the wing. Little dribbled a step in, hopped back behind the three-point line and fired, drilling the trey to tie the game and send it into overtime.
"Sean obviously had the hot hand coming down the stretch," Little said. "We expected him to pull it but he got covered. I pump faked, drove it in left and stepped back. I just pulled it."
As a whole, the Patriots shot from beyond the arc early and often in the second half.
Down by one at half, the Patriots took the lead in the third on a Brundage trey to make it 40-39, but the score would be tied or the lead would change nine times in the third before Evan Sparta hit his only shot of the game on a spin-around jumper to make it 50-49. Going into the fourth, MAU led 53-51.
In the fourth, Monument would go up 56-55 on a layup by Cam Powell (12 points), and the Spartans would push the lead to 68-60 on another basket by Powell with four minutes to play.
The Patriots weren't done yet, as a Justin Burgess bucket and another trey from Brundage -- one of seven on the night -- made it 68-65.
Bobby Kinne hit a bucket to make it 70-65, but Brundage hit another three on a pass from Tyler Champagne (11 points) to cut the deficit to three, and again to make it 72-71 Monument with under a minute left.
Monument push the lead out to 74-71 on free throws from Powell and Taylor White (team-high 22 points) with under 20 seconds left.
The Patriots, though, had one more answer.
"We like to play out of chaos a little bit," Sleeman said. "That was a chaotic possession. We pushed it down and took the first good shot. It was a good look."
In the overtime, Monument would score first on a Kinne bucket to make it 76-74, but Brundage came back the other way, took a screen from Burgess and pulled up at the top of the arc to make it 77-76.
"I was a little hard on [Brundage] early about missing a drive and kick early," Sleeman said. "But it is a fine line when you have the hot hand and let it go or involve teammates. In the second he got in his rhythm. It is all about our style of play."
Monument would score on the next possession on a bucket by Powell, but the Patriots came back down and again hit a three, this time by Champagne on a screen of his own, to make it 80-78 and give the Patriots the lead for good.
Late in overtime, Kinne was hurt on a collision on a rebound. He was motionless on the court for more than a half hour. He was taken to Southern Vermont Medical Center for treatment. No update on his condition was available at press time.