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Rutland Wins Hoops Crown to End Fifty-Year Drought - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rutland Wins Hoops Crown to End Fifty-Year Drought

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Matt Lorman scored 18 points and Kyle Cassarino drilled four free throws in overtime as the Rutland Boys Basketball team claimed its first state title since 1967 with a 43-37 win over CVU Monday night at Patrick Gym.

It was rough going offensively for the Raiders early on. The team missed its first nine field goal attempts before Lorman finally got them on the board with two layups in the last minute of the first.

Despite shooting just 34.9% from the field, Rutland never trailed by more than four points. Noah Tyson had five steals for the Raiders and Nathaniel Kingsley added two blocks to limit the Redhawk offense.

It looked like Rutland would pull away as they built a seven-point lead in the fourth after an old fashioned three-point play by Tyrell Johnson with under six minutes to go, but CVU battled back. Josh Bliss hit a three with contact and added a layup to tie the game at 35 and force overtime.

In the extra frame, Cassarino was called upon to win the game for the Raiders at the line and he delivered by converting four of four free throws. In the end, Rutland held on to win it 43-37 and claim their first basketball state championship in fifty years.

"It feels incredible," said Cassarino. "Obviously we knew about the fifty-year drought,but we wanted to make our own legacy and I think we did that tonight."

"It's absolutely unbelievable," added Lorman. "We worked so hard all season and it's just great to win it in the end. We've got a bunch of great players here. When we all work together, it's something really special."

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