MILTON, Vt. -- Hard to imagine a 3-pointer in the second quarter of a high school boys' basketball game would turn out to be the winning basket -- unless it's one of only three made in the entire game.
That basket, along with an earlier field goal, was all Bellows Free Academy-Fairfax needed to beat Milton on Wednesday night. The final score: 5-2.
To the teams' credit, the score was the result of an apparently deliberate stalling strategy.
It could not immediately be determined if the score was a state or national record low, but it certainly attracted attention.
"We've been talking about it all morning over here," said Bob Johnson, the director of student activities for the Vermont Principals' Association, which governs high school sports.
"It had to have been one of the most boring games in the world," he said.
The scoring was kept way down on purpose, a strategy made possible by the fact that Vermont high schools don't use a shot clock. No player went to the free-throw line as Milton committed five fouls and BFA had one.
BFA took a 5-0 lead and neither team scored in the second half.
"It was the ultimate deliberate stalemate," Milton coach Jim Smith said. "They didn't come out after us and we didn't go in against them."
Smith said the slowdown was implemented because BFA (7-4) has a strong scoring presence, while Milton (2-8) does not. The Milton players believed their best chance to be competitive was to just hold onto the ball.
The strategy almost worked.
"We had a shot go off the rim that would have tied it," Smith said. "We were one possession away to tie the game. We have not been in that position for quite some time."
Alex Weber's basket gave BFA a 2-0 lead in the first quarter. Shadoe Adams' 3-pointer made it 5-0 at the start of the second quarter. Brian Phelps scored later in the period and Milton trailed 5-2 at halftime.
"I've never had a player hit a game-winner in the second quarter before," BFA-Fairfax coach Glen Button Jr. said.