TOWNSHEND -- On 12-12-12, it only seemed right that someone wearing the No. 12 jersey would be the hero.
But it was a senior center with an 11 on his back that would play that role.
Jake Stalcup’s putback with three seconds left in regulation forced overtime and his Burr and Burton boys basketball team went on to defeat Leland & Gray, 47-46.
"That’s a really, really good Division 2 team right there," said first-year Rebels coach Andrew Nystrom of the Bulldogs. "I’m really proud of our effort."
In a back-and-forth battle in which the hosts dominated inside and the visitors relied on perimeter accuracy, Burr and Burton’s Tieshawn Gadson buried a trifecta from the right wing to make it 42-42 with 1:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The home fans started in with their, "Let’s go, Rebels," chant and senior guard Billy Nupp would deliver with a strong take along the left side to put Leland & Gray ahead. Gadson went for the knockout blow in the final seconds -- a 3 from the right wing that was off the mark -- and Stalcup put back the miss to deadlock the game at 44-all.
In the four-minute overtime, Stalcup scored inside and Weston Muench sank a free throw to put the Bulldogs up by three. The visitors would play a lot of keepaway, before Corey Nystrom’s short jumper off of a missed shot at the very end made the final score 47-46.
Muench, who was coming off of a 30-point game against Brattleboro, paced the winners with 11. Michael Bergeron scored a game-high 16 for the Rebels.
"I thought we defended really well," noted coach Nystrom. "He (Muench) is an all-around good player. I wanted to put our best defender on him."
Despite Muench missing his first four shots and scoring just seven points in the first 16 minutes, the Bulldogs were able to take a 27-22 advantage to the break. And the damage was done beyond the arc, as Tanner Carleton, David Shehadi and Muench combined for four treys in the second quarter.
The Rebels, who were controlling the boards at both ends of the floor and contesting shots in the paint, opened the second half with an 8-0 run that put them ahead 30-27. Bergeron had a couple of buckets during that surge, including a pretty spin move on the low block, and Drew Barnum chipped in with a strong move along the right baseline.
The Bulldogs drew even at 32-32 behind back-to-back buckets by Connor Harrington, but Bergeron continued his assault inside and scored three more baskets to put the hosts up 40-34 with five minutes remaining in the contest.
But the visitors followed with an 8-2 rally that got them even at 42-42 -- Gadson’s 3 from the right wing was the equalizer.
The 0-1 Rebels will host Poultney on Friday evening.
West Rutland 58,
Leland & Gray 33
On Monday, the Golden Horde shot 74 percent from the floor and made five trifectas.
Ashley Goddard had 17 points and seven rebounds to lead the Rebels. Alex Morrow chipped in with five points, six assists and seven boards.
Leland & Gray will host Mill River tonight.
Shane Covey can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.