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Vikes top O’s

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Conant on Wednesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Conant on Wednesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Conant on Wednesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Conant on Wednesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Mascenic’s Jake Zina goes up over Conant’s Anthony Gauthier. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Conant on Wednesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Conant on Wednesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, December 14, 2017

You better get running if you want to keep up with DJ Turner. They call the Mascenic senior guard “The Burner” for a reason, and he showed it Wednesday night as he harried Conant’s Peyton Springfield up and down the court.

“I think DJ is in the best shape of most guys that we are going to see,” said Mascenic head coach Jay Starr of his track star-turned-shooting guard. “You can’t really match his stamina. He could go all night long.”

Turner scored 16 points with four three-pointers, including a late – if ill-advised – dagger that put Mascenic up six with under a minute left as Turner opted for an open three instead of killing clock.

“It’s one of those, after it went in, we were pretty excited,” Starr said. “He knocked it down, he was confident.”

Mascenic topped Conant, 74-69, after a late 12-5 run to put the Orioles away.

“We’re doing a good job scoring the basketball,” said Conant head coach Eric Saucier, “but we’re not going to win games outscoring teams, and we learned that tonight.”

Conant looked fearsome out of the gate, forcing four straight turnovers on the press in the first quarter to seize an early lead.

“I think we were trying to force too much, trying to split defenders and things like that,” Starr said. “I think we need to have a little bit more poise and I think we’ll get that as the season goes on.”

Mascenic point guard Sammy Stauffeneker picked up two quick, cheap fouls, and was limited in the first half. After a brief respite, he’d check back into the game and nearly pick up a third, but he earned a charge call that fired up the Vikings, who would tie things up, sending both teams into the locker room with 35 points.

Stauffeneker unleashed a three-point barrage in the third, scoring 14 of his game-high 25 points, and Mascenic was up two going into the final frame.

Conant would push back, despite some poor free throw shooting (the O’s went 15-28 from the line). An Anthony Gauthier three put Conant up 61-60 with five minutes left and raised the intensity level in the gym immeasurably. 

Conant maintained the lead until Stauffeneker hit a tapout three to make it 65-65; Turner then made a steal at halfcourt and scored to put Mascenic back on top for good. 

“It was an early season game, it was a good, fast-paced game, it was fun to watch for both teams, and tomorrow we go back to work,” Saucier said.

Springfield led Conant with 19; Gauther had 15; Ryan Smith had 14 and Jake Drew 10.

Mascenic got 13 from Zack Barthel and 12 from Jake Zina.

The Vikings kept rolling Friday night with a 73-38 over Hillsboro-Deering, with 18 points from Stauffeneker, 11 from Zina and nine from Drew Rines.

Conant was dealt another defeat on Friday, as they traveled to Campbell and lost 73-68. Springfield led the team with 27 and Jake Drew scored 23. 

“We need to be more disciplined on the defensive end if we are going to compete night in and night out,” Saucier said after Friday’s game.

Conant (1-2) has Mascoma Valley (1-2) Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Pratt. Mascenic (3-0) played Fall Mountain (1-2) Monday night after press time. The Vikings return to NHIAA action after the holiday break.