SOUTH BURLINGTON — The Burlington High School Seahorses rallied from a pair of double digit deficits, topping their arch-rivals the Rice Green Knights 58-57 in the regular season finale on Friday night on Bernie Cieplicki Court.
Rice, keyed by the play of senior Alex Bond, roared out to a 10-4 lead after a quarter and extended that lead to ten at 18-8 midway in the second. But Burlington’s Kevin Garrison was fouled taking a tough off balance three pointer and sank all three free throws to begin an 8-0 Seahorse run that got them right back into the game. At the break Rice led by two, 23-21.
Both teams came out red hot in the third, Burlington’s Garrison and Hujtim Hashani matching the smoking hot Kam Farris for Rice. BHS took the lead on a couple of occasions but Farris’s tough off balance three at the buzzer pushed the
Green Knights back into a one point lead at 39-38 after three. Rice and Farris carried their momentum into the final stanza, running the first ten points of the quarter for their biggest lead of the game at 49-38.
But Burlington responded. Hashani nailed back to back threes, Garrison hit a couple of big shots, and freshman Jensen Daly’s three tied the game at 57 with just under a minute remaining. Rice was them whistled for a foul on the subsequent inbounds past and Burlington worked the clock down looking for the final shot. Garrison was fouled with 5.6 seconds remaining and made one of two for a one point lead.
After a timeout Rice tried to setup Farris, but his desperation three pointer went wide left at the buzzer.
Garrison led four Seahorses in double figures with 16 points. Hashani scored 13, all of them in the second half, and Almir Konjohovac and Haji Haji each chipped in 11.
Farris led all scorers with 26 points for Rice, 20 of them after the break. Bond added 13.
Burlington ends the regular season at 16-4 and will be the third seed in the VPA Division One tournament when the seeds come out next week. Rice ends the season at 13-7 and is looking at the five seed.