BARRE — The No. 1 Mount St. Joseph boys basketball team was in the pressure cooker Monday night, pushed to the hilt before ousting No. 4 Mill River 54-52 in double overtime before a raucous crowd at Barre Auditorium.
Keegan Chadburn got a big inside hoop. Joey Giancola came up with a big steal and Logan Montilla and Maddox Traynor made pressure-packed free throws for the Mounties — all in the second overtime.
It was a game where the momentum swung early.
Montilla calmly bounced the ball behind the arc for most of the final 15 seconds of the first quarter before unleashing a buzzer beater, the 3-pointer giving the Mounties a 19-9 lead at the end of that opening quarter.
Montilla had 13 points in that opening quarter.
The Minutemen responded with a terrific second quarter and went to halftime locked in a 23-23 tie. Cole Aines was the triggerman for the Minutemen during those eight minutes with nine points off the bench.
Chadburn’s hoop in the second OT put the Mounties up 51-49 and they never trailed after that.
MSJ will meet either Milton or Lake Region in the championship game Saturday at 3:45 p.m. at Barre Auditorium.
The Mounties last won the crown in 2012.
Montilla built on his 13-point first quarter to finish with 30 points. Chadburn added nine and Traynor seven.
Aidan Botti led the Minutemen. Tyler Shelvey added 11.