ESSEX JUNCTION — The Essex Hornets fought off a determined Burlington High comeback bid and beat the Seahorses 62-57 on Monday night on Jean Robinson Court inside the Essex Gym.
Essex rode the hot shooting of senior guard Hunter Smith (eight first quarter points) to a six point lead before BHS rallied to cut the margin to one at 16-15 after a quarter. Then it was his backcourt partner Grant Robertson who lit it up in the second stanza, putting up nine as the Hornets went to the locker room with a 32-27 lead.
Essex built the lead to as many as eleven in the third before the ‘Horses regrouped again to move back to withing five after three. After Essex built the lead to ten again, BHS roared back midway in the final stanza, and when senior Kevin Garrison stuck a pair of free throws Burlington had a 55-53 lead.
But the Hornets, still smarting after a blowout loss to U-32 in their last game, then regained their balance and outscored BHS 9-2 down the stretch to come away with the five point win.
Robertson scored 13 of his game high 24 points in the final eight minutes to key the Essex win. Smith added 13, including a pair of clutch free throws late, while Anthony DeCarvalho contributed eight and Adin Peco chipped in seven for the winners.
Garrison led Burlington with 21 points, including 13 of 13 from the foul line. Haji Haji added 13 for the Seahorses and Gunnar Bierbaumn chipped in seven.
With the win Essex improves to 2-3. Burlington is 1-3.