Wednesday December 12, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- On the second day of Hanukkah, the olive oil in the lamps of the menorahs wasn’t the only thing on fire.

Weston Muench made four shots from downtown and finished with a game-high 30 points as the Burr and Burton boys basketball team topped Brattleboro, 64-43, in Monday night’s season opener.

The Colonels, who graduated all five starters from last season’s state semifinal team, fell behind 18-8 in the first eight minutes. Brattleboro’s pumped-up student section was only able to go wild once in the opening quarter: on a pretty give and go between Tyler Higley and Chris McAuliffe.

The rest of the time, they were silenced by Jake Stalcup’s rejections and a couple of steals from Tieshawn Gadson, along with trifectas from David Shehadi and Muench.

Trailing 3-2 early on, the visitors used a 12-2 surge to take control. They went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe during that run, while all three of their baskets were the result of open looks from the perimeter.

Muench went off for 11 points in the first quarter and scored seven more in the second to help the Bulldogs keep a comfortable lead. The team from Manchester sank six trifectas in the first 16 minutes.

Jackson Batchelder excited the BUHS student section early in the second quarter, as he put on a dribbling clinic on the left wing, exploded to the hole and had a chance at completing a three-point play.


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A 6-0 rally that included a couple of buckets by Sam Siegel also brought the noise.

But Stalcup would burn Brattleboro’s 1-3-1 zone with a make from the left baseline and Shehadi delivered from long range before the Bulldogs took a 40-24 advantage to the break.

Muench would drain a couple of shots from beyond the arc early in the third quarter, which had to make the BUHS fans consider heading home to watch a little Monday Night Football instead.

But they would have missed McAuliffe swatting a shot by Gadson and Isaac Roach’s 3 from the right corner. The Colonels managed three hoops in the final quarter, highlighted by a Connor Elliott-Knaggs layup that was set up by McAuliffe’s pretty pass.

And the Bulldogs kept attacking. Shehadi turned some heads with a magical reverse layup, and the visitors finished the third quarter with a 6-0 run -- Drew Herbert, Tanner Carleton and Muench all had a layup in that time -- to go ahead 57-34.

Burr and Burton made nine 3-pointers on the night. Muench was their top gun with 30 points and Shehadi followed with 15.

Roach and McAuliffe each scored eight points to pace the 0-1 Colonels, who will play at Mount Mansfield on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Shane Covey can be reached at scovey@reformer.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.