BURLINGTON — Down 14 points in the first quarter, the Rice Memorial Green Knights gradually worked their way back into the basketball game, then outscored arch-rival Burlington 15-6 in the final quarter to top the Seahorses 56-52 on Thursday night inside Buck Hard Gym.
BHS came out on fire in the first six minutes, roaring out to a quick 15-1 advantage. Ballhawking Burlington defense forced a series of Green Knight turnovers and Burlington’s Khalon Taylor (9 points) and Tenzin Kelly (5 points) made Rice pay at the other end as the ‘Horses held on to a 20-9 lead after one.
Taylor, only a freshman, added five more in the second stanza, but Rice, led by six points each from Michel Ndayishimiye and Leo Chaikin, began to chip away, cutting the deficit to seven, 36-29 at halftime.
BHS built the lead back to nine early in the third quarter, but Rice made a late run to get it to five at 46-41 after three, and then put together the 15-6 fourth to come away with the win.
The game was decided at the free throw line. The Green Knights went to the line 36 times, making 21 of the 36. BHS made 6 of 10. In the second half Rice took 20 free throws, while Burlington never made it to the line.
Chaikin led Rice with 19 points including 11 of 18 from the charity stripe. Ndayishimiye added 16 and John Rousseau chipped in 15 for the 3-0 winners. Taylor led Burlington with 17 before fouling out, and Jenson Daly added 10.