The junior guard buried consecutive shots from beyond the arc and calmly sank four free throws down the stretch to help undefeated Burr and Burton escape with a 49-46 victory over host Brattleboro. "He's our leader. He's our leading scorer," said Burr and Burton coach Dave Shehadi of his son.
The more physical Colonels dominated inside from the start. Power forward Kyle Patno rejected a shot and pulled down two offensive rebounds in the first quarter, while center Chris McAuliffe had three buckets in the paint. That had a section of BUHS students - dressed in white - into it. The group started chanting things such as "de-fense" and "let's go Colonels" in unison.
"Those guys are a good team over there," said Dave Shehadi of the Colonels. "This is a difficult place to play."
Shehadi's son quieted the Colonel Crazies with nine points in the first eight minutes, including a pair of trifectas and a pretty runner. A follow by backcourt mate Tyeshawn Gadson knotted the score at 12-12 at the end of the opening quarter.
With McAuliffe in foul trouble, the Bulldogs were able to get hoops inside from Will Tate and Jack Bunker in the second quarter and build a slight lead. Bobby Righi drilled a 3 from the right corner for the hosts, who went to the break trailing 26-22. Conner Elliott-Knaggs, who was often seen checking Shehadi, went 4 for 4 from the stripe during a 10-6 Brattleboro run that knotted the score at 32-32 with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter. Momentum was clearly on the home team's side. The student section was into it. Burr and Burton's perfect season was in serious jeopardy. That's when Shehadi took over - draining a couple of shots from downtown and also making four freebies in a seven-minute span to give the Bulldogs a 47-42 lead with 5:00 to go.
The Colonels then got layups from Isaac Roach and Sam Siegel, making it 47-46. But they went 0-for-4 from the field and 0-for-1 from the charity stripe down the stretch. Roach, who wowed the crowd by completing a four-point play early in the fourth frame, and Elliott-Knaggs paced the 7-5 Colonels with 11 points apiece. Shehadi scored 24, including five treys, to lead the 12-0 Bulldogs.