Boston High School: Mount Mansfield Union

New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 31, 2012
The first two meetings between the Mount Mansfield Union and Rice Memorial boys basketball teams probably left fans hoping there's a third.

VermontAfter suffering a 13-point setback to Mount Mansfield on opening night, Rice strung together nine consecutive victories and won each of those nine games by at least 10 points. Rice then stretched that winning streak to 10 games by handing Mount Mansfield its first loss, 53-51, last Thursday.

“The game could have gone either way,” Rice coach Paul Pecor told Vermont Scoreboard. “They hit big shots and we hit some big shots. I would love to play that one again – very exciting.”

Rice trailed 51-50 with five seconds to play, but junior guard Casey Tipson made two free throws to give Rice the lead for good. Jake Maynard stole the ensuing inbounds pass and was fouled. He made one of two free throws to cap the scoring.

Tipson finished the game with 16 points, 12 of which came in the second half. He made each of his 3-point attempts. Jake Maynard also scored 16 points,and Tim Rensch added 14 points and 14 rebounds.

The loss dropped Mount Mansfield's record to 11-1. The Cougars beat the Green Knights 45-32 in the previous game between the teams this season.

Rice, last year's Division I champion, improved its record to 10-1.

Rice led 24-17 at halftime, but a 10-0 run handed Mount Mansfield a 33-30 lead – its first lead of the game – in the third quarter.

Rice led by five with 1:58 left, but Mount Mansfield used a 6-0 run to regain the lead. Tom Lacey's 3-pointer capped the 6-0 spurt and made it a 51-50 game.

Tipson's free throws followed, and then Maynard sealed the victory.

Lacey led all scorers with 19 points. He also grabbed six rebounds. Mount Mansfield received a 14-point performance from Eric Suder.

If the teams meet again it will be in the Division I tournament at the University of Vermont's Patrick Gymnasium.

“Even after we beat them earlier I still felt Rice would be the team to beat,” Mount Mansfield coach Jeff Davis said. “Rice is a much better team [now] than the first time we played them. We held serve in our gym and they held serve in theirs. Maybe we'll play Round 3.”

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