MANCHESTER -- What started off as a competitive game between the Burr and Burton Academy boys basketball team and Brattleboro Union High School turned into a rout as the Bulldogs beat the Colonels, 55-42, on Tuesday night.
With 1:42 remaining in the first period, Brattleboro senior guard Jackson Batchelder converted a 3-point play to give the Colonels a 13-11 edge going into the second period. But that’s when BBA (11-2) came out firing on all cylinders.
"That’s when we got all of our energy. That was the first time this year that I think all of us played with that much energy at one time, which is key," said sophomore Joey Shehadi who had 14 points in the game. "We just played very well and I’m very happy."
With 5:28 remaining in the second period and BBA leading 18-17, the hosts went on a 13-0 run. Then with 13.1 seconds left to go before the half, senior captain Weston Muench -- who had 15 points on the night -- hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 17.
Brattleboro coach Joe Rivers said after the game that it was runs such as the one in the second period that hurt the team down the stretch.
"We went through a (period) where we didn’t score much and that led to us seeing a separation in overall scoring," Rivers said. "We went through a shooting drought and that caused us to not stay competitive.
Brattleboro (5-9) opened the second half by scoring six unanswered points, which was capped by a 3-point play by senior forward Tyler Higley who was fouled after a breakaway layup.
The short run by Brattleboro was something Shehadi indicated after the game he wanted to avoid to start the second half.
"We wanted to come out and start strong. They cut it to 10 or 12 and that’s a game there," said BBA coach Dave Shehadi. "No coach is happy there, but we got back on firm ground and we finished them off."
By the end of the third period, the Bulldogs had pushed the lead back to 16. Then with about five minutes left in the game, Joe Shehadi grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast down the left sideline, finishing with a left-handed layup to put BBA up by 20.
Although Shehadi said he would have liked the team to finish the game stronger, he was happy with the end result.
"We’re happy with the win and that’s a division one win for us so it’s good," he said.
Junior center Chris McAuliffe led Brattleboro in scoring with 13 and had two rebounds. Batchelder finished with eight points.
Senior forward Taylor Fuller had nine points for BBA. Joe Shehadi had three blocks, three assists and a steal to go with his 14 points.
The win puts BBA third in Division II in the VPA rankings behind Vergennes Union High School and Lake Region Union High School, both of whom are 12-0. Brattleboro is currently 13th in Div. I, according to the VPA rankings.