Patriots come back from 22 down to edge Panthers

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BENNINGTON — With 2 minutes and 30 seconds left in the first half of the intrastate battle between Mount Anthony and Hoosick Falls, things looked grim for the Patriots. The Panthers seemingly made every shot they took in the first half, while MAU was cold at the other end.

At that point, Hoosick was ahead by 22.

By the end, however, the Patriots had furiously erased the three-touchdown deficit and came back for a 58-55 victory at Kates Gym on Monday night, putting yet another MAU-Hoosick Falls game into the lore of history.

"They had a look in their eyes at halftime that they knew they had to get it done," said MAU coach Marcus Hass. "[We] came out firing in the second half, and it's good when you see the ball go through the hoop a few times."

In the second half, Mount Anthony outscored Hoosick Falls 39-20, and it was obvious coming out of the locker room that the Patriots were on a mission. They trailed the Panthers by 16 at the break and within three minutes, Mount Anthony cut the lead to 10 at 39-29. With two minutes left in the third, Matthew Steadman grabbed an offensive rebound off a miss and hit on the putback to make it 42-37. After the teams traded foul shots — Matthew Anderson after getting fouled and Jon Kempf after Anderson was hit with a technical — MAU finished the third strong with a pair of baskets to get to the fourth quarter just down six at 47-41.

In the fourth, Guy Milliman started the quarter with a three to jump the lead to seven, but coming right back, Ben Winslow drained a shot from the outside for his only points of the night to make it 50-46.

"That's confidence, Ben stepped up tonight for us to win, they all did. Ben, Steadman, [Matt] Anderson all came up big for us," Hass said. "They all put their heart into it for a team win."

With 3:43 left, Ryan O'Neill, who led the night with a game-high 22 points, drilled a three to pull within one at 52-51, then on the next possession, Abe Amidon hit his only triple of the game to tie the game at 54-54. A minute later, after a pair of missed free throws on the Hoosick side, Amidon got into the lane for a layup to give MAU its first lead with 1:46 left.

Alex Haynes cut the lead to one splitting a pair of free throws, but with 23 seconds left, Anderson got a rebound and was fouled, making both from the charity stripe.

On the ensuing Hoosick possession, O'Neill nearly had a steal, but the officials determined that O'Neill's foot was out of bounds, giving Hoosick the ball back. On the final play, after a timeout by first Hoosick, then Mount Anthony, the Panthers went to Milliman, their leading scorer on the night with 20 points, but Milliman's shot was off the mark.

"On the late timeout, I wanted to see what they would run," Hass said. "We expected the three there, that their M.O., they do it well. We just needed to stick with them, a three wouldn't beat us, and make them take a bad shot, if we play good tight D we can do it."

In the first half, the Panthers shot the lights out and MAU was icy from the field, going 1-for-13 to start the night.

"We started the first half living and dying by the three, they were hiting everything," Hass said. "We weren't stretching the shooters very well. But we came down at halftime and let them know [that] we have to fight to get back in this game, if we hang our heads, we aren't getting anything done."


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