BARRE — It did not come as easily as the opening minutes had foreshadowed, but Enosburg captured its first-ever boys basketball state championship Saturday at The Aud with a dramatic 56-54 win over Mt. St. Joseph Academy in the Division II final.

Enosburg opened the game with a 9-2 advantage and appeared headed to an easy evening to finish off its historic 24-0 season. The Mounties, though, quickly regrouped and kept it close before putting together a late rally, cutting a 6-point deficit in half with a fourth-quarter 3-pointer before taking a 54-53 lead.

Calvin Carter, Enosburg’s all-time leading scorer, tied it on a foul shot with a little over 2 minutes remaining. After a missed shot by each team MSJ tried to run the clock down for a final shot that would win the game or send it into overtime. But for all the attention the Hornets got this winter for turning Enosburg into Dunk City. it was defense more than anything that got them to 23-0, and that defense came through one last time when pressure forced an out-of-bounds pass with just 11 seconds remaining to get the ball back.

Enosburg took most of that time off before Carter drove to the left of the lane and was fouled on a short jump shot. The senior swished the first of two at the line for the lead and made it a 2-point advantage when he hit the second, bringing 2,000 or so Hornet fans to their feet one more time.

The Mounties’ frantic rush to get off a buzzer-beater ended when Matt Perley batted a pass away.

See the full story and photos in Monday’s St. Albans Messenger.