BRATTLEBORO >> The fans that flooded the Brattleboro Union High School gymnasium on Friday evening may have witnessed the greatest comeback of all time.
With the visitors leading by 11 points and less than one minute remaining, the Mount Anthony Union fans started in with the "It's all over" chant.
And the BUHS student section quickly countered with "We have the Elwell," in regards to the trophy given to the winner of the annual varsity football game between the rival schools.
The purple and white clearly won that battle, having silenced the Bennington residents, however the MAU varsity boys basketball team would win the war, 59-48, over Brattleboro.
After taking a 30-25 lead to the intermission, the Patriots used a 2-3 zone defense to limit the Colonels to just eight points over the next eight minutes. And MAU put together a 12-0 run that increased the margin to 51-33 early in the fourth.
The sea of black in one corner of the gym got behind the hosts, with cheers of "Let's go Colonels" and "Defense...defense!" It may have flustered MAU's Matthew Anderson, who threw the ball away twice down the stretch and helped Brattleboro score nine consecutive points. It started with a Dylan DeJordy 3 in the right corner, Tony Martinez added a layup off of a Chayse Cunniff steal, and Eli Lombardi contributed with a pair of bunnies.
But the Colonels would run out of time and eventually have to listen to the "It's all over" chant by the visiting fans. And then came the great "We have the Elwell!" comeback from the BUHS student section.
The Patriots jumped out to an 8-2 advantage and somehow held the lead for the entire first half. It was pretty much a two-man show, with slashing guard Damon Burgess draining three trifectas and talented center Jonas Parker delivering from the post and the perimeter.
DeJordy, Cunniff and Martinez all buried one 3 for the hosts in the first 16 minutes. And then there were some pretty setups, like when Martinez made a steal and dished to DeJordy for a break finish or when Cunniff cut to the hole and took care of a feed from Lombardi. The home crowd was also loving it when Cunniff sent a post pass inside to big Josh Hanson, who handed off to DeJordy for a driving layup.
But MAU (17-3) would take its five-point lead into the third quarter and let Parker go to work. The 6-6 star hit an off-balance fadeaway, kissed home a 3, tipped in his own miss, and later made a difficult runner. The Colonels kept close via trifectas from Martinez and Taylor King, before a 12-0 run by the visitors made it 51-33.
Parker and Burgess scored 24 and 19 points respectively to pace the winners. DeJordy and Lombardi each finished with 10 points for the 11-9 Colonels, while Martinez (8), King (7), Hanson (6), Cunniff (5) and Calvin Lafland (2) also scored.
On Senior Night, Brattleboro 12th graders Dillon Green, Chayse Cunniff, Taylor King, Dylan DeJordy, and Josh Hanson were all honored prior to the opening tip.