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Proctor Phantoms fall in state finals

Last Saturday, in Barre, the Proctor Phantoms were trying to become the second basketball team in the history of Vermont to win five consecutive state championships. Instead, after 48 consecutive wins, and four straight Division IV state championships THE Phantoms fell to the Williamstown Royals 61-56.

It was a hard fought contest from the start. Williamstown jumped out to an early 10-3 lead. But Proctor, full of Aud experience didn't shrink away. Instead they turned up the heat on defense, and went on a 21-6 run of their own, and midway through the second quarter held a 24-16 lead. It looked like then they would pull away with it. But the Royals, after taking a timeout, battled right back and it was a game again at the break.

The two teams stayed relatively close through the third and first half of the fourth. It was at that point behind a well executed, aggressive, trapping 2-1-2 half-court defense that Willamstown started to pull away. At one point in the final minute, with the game still on the line, the Royals aggressive defense forced Proctor into 3 consecutive turnovers. That defense, along with some timely lay-ups and crucial free throws allowed the Royals to hang onto their slim lead and claim the 2010 Division IV State Championship.

Ray Burgos paced the Royals offense with 17 points. Troy Laughlin added 10 points and Steven Manwaring contributed nine more for Williamstown. It was the first state title for the 23-1 Royals and their first ever state championship in Division IV.

Proctor's Nate Salgo matched Burgos's 17 points, tying him for the game's high scorer. Senior Zach Currier added another dozen for the Phantoms, who finished their season at 21-1.

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