BBA falls to Vergennes in state title game

MANCHESTER - Trailing by as many as 24 points in the state championship game, the Burr and Burton Academy boys basketball team refused to go down without a fight.

BBA cut the lead to nine points with 2:41 left to play, but that's as close as it would get as the undefeated Vergennes Commodores (24-0) went on to win the game 62-49 and claim their first state title since 2001.

"It feels great," said Vergennes coach Peter Quinn after the game. "This is a year long goal. This is what we wanted to do. We talked about being here. We came here and we did it."

BBA (21-3) came out firing, looking bound and determined to claim their first title since 2006. The Bulldogs led by as many as five points in the first quarter, but took a 13-11 lead into the second quarter.

BBA senior center Jake Stalcup made it a two possession game with a layup off an assist from Taylor Fuller to make it 15-11, but that's when senior Charlie Stapleford went to work.

Following a foul shot added by senior Stanley Sally, Stapleford scored eight unanswered points, capping the 9-0 run by taking the ball coast to coast for a layup to put the Commodores on top 20-15 and causing BBA coach Dave Shehadi to call a timeout.

""We started off pretty good and then Stapleford, number 24, he hit two big threes and that really got them going," said Dave Shehadi. "They were very good out on the perimeter defensively. They kind of took us out of our stuff, but you know our kids didn't quit."

The Bulldogs pulled to within one when Stalcup got a put back off the glass to make it 20-19 with 3:52 remaining in the second. Vergennes then went on a 13-5 run to take a 33-24 into halftime.

Powered by senior Shep Carter - who scored nine of his game leading 18 points in the third quarter - and Sally, the Commodores went on a 15-0 run before Joey Shehadi hit a 3-pointer late in the third quarter. Carter - who was coming off an injury - was a game time decision, according to Quinn.

"We scrimmaged yesterday and I had to take him out because the guy he was trying to guard he couldn't stand in front of," Quinn said. "So, we didn't know until this morning if he was even going to try it. He woke up this morning and said he felt a lot better."

BBA tried to make a run in the fourth quarter, but in the end the deficit just proved too much.

"We had a heck of a season and my hat's off to Vergennes," said Dave Shehadi. "They have a good basketball team."

Stalcup and Joey Shehadi led BBA in scoring with 12 points each and senior point guard David Shehadi had eight points on the day.

Stapleford and Sally finished with 10 points each on the day and senior Cody Quattrocci had nine points.

Follow on Twitter @BrandonCanevari.


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