Bulldogs outlast Cosmos, stay perfect

MANCHESTER - It may not have been easy, but the Burr and Burton Academy boys basketball team was able to outlast Springfield 49-39 and maintain their perfect record on Tuesday night.

The two teams remained close for much of the first half. BBA (Division I) had a 2 point advantage after the first quarter, but in the second the Cosmos senior guard Tanner Aberle hit a floater in the lane to give Springfield (DII) a 13-12 lead.

Forward Josh Rivers - who recorded a double-double on the night with 11 points and 10 rebounds - put the Cosmos (3-5) up 15-12 with a lay-up off an assist from Devin Brady. The lead was the largest Springfield would have during the game though as BBA cut the lead to 19-17 at the half.

The Cosmos' defense stifled BBA for much of the game, holding point guard Joey Shehadi and shooting guard Tyeshawn Gadson to just one field goal apiece throughout the night. Shehadi - who was 10 for 13 from the line - ended the night with 12 points and Gadson with two.

"A lot of that had to do with them (the Cosmos)," said BBA coach Dave Shehadi of the Bulldogs' offense. "[You've] got to play defense because there's nights like that where the ball doesn't go in the hole, You get lucky to find a way to win."

Early in the second half, forward Conor Harrington - who led all scorers with 19 points and also grabbed eight boards and had two blocks - tied the game 19-19 with a lay-up.

Taylor Muench put the Bulldogs back on top shortly after with a 3-pointer to take the 22-19 lead.

From there the Bulldogs never relinquished the lead - stretching it to 12 points by the end of the third quarter.

But the game was far from over and the Cosmos began to make a run in the fourth quarter. With 4:38 left to play and the Cosmos trailing 36-30, Rivers stepped to the line and hit two free throws to draw Springfield within four points.

That was as close as they would come though as the Cosmos ran into foul trouble - sending BBA to the charity stripe eight times over the last four minutes where they went 11 for 13.

The foul trouble not only led to easy points near the end of the game, but Spingfield coach Pete Peck said it impeded the team's ability to play their style of basketball.

"I think it hampers us a little bit offensively [when] we don't have the right lineup on the floor," he said. "We just have to learn the difference between a good hard foul and some foolish fouls. [but] this is a young team and we'll get there."

Aberle - along with Rivers - led the Cosmos in scoring with 11 points.

Taylor Muench contributed 10 for the Bulldogs in the win.

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