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ConVal boys pick up first win of 2012-13

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys basketball team defeated Monadnock 57-41 on Dec. 18, 2012.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

Last year, the game would have likely ended in a loss.

After watching a 19-point third quarter lead dwindle down to just eight, the ConVal boys basketball team had a decision to make. Fold like it has in the past or create a new identity for the program.

Sure it wasn’t against a powerhouse team or one that even plays in the Cougars’ division, but given the recent history of the program, any win is a step in the right direction.

And after dropping the first game of the season at Milford, a team ConVal defeated twice last year, the Cougars were in need of a confidence boost, especially since it was their first home game at Great Brook School in Antrim — the team’s home gym for the season.

So the Cougars responded. They never allowed Monadnock to get any closer and finished off the game with a 23-point fourth quarter to pull off a 57-41 victory.

“It was definitely a step forward. We played a lot better and didn’t get down on ourselves,” said senior Taylor Doyle. “It shows a lot cause last year we probably would have got down on ourselves and kept going down hill from there, but we didn’t give up.”

If ConVal had loss, there certainly would have been reasons why. Senior guard Bobby Crowley is still nursing an injury to his right leg, Senior Harrison LeFlem, the team’s starting shooting guard, decided to leave the program and second-year coach Peter Pierce is still trying to figure out his bench rotation.

But there was no need for excuses on this night. The Cougars simply took care of business.

The Huskies clearly had the momentum heading into the final eight minutes of play. They had closed the third quarter on a 14-3 run and scored more points over the final five minutes than they had in the previous 19.

“We let them get back in the game. We had a chance to put the game away and we didn’t do it, so we had to dig in and fight a bit,” Pierce said.

Conversely, ConVal’s offense had sputtered in the third, scoring just seven points.

“After that bad third quarter we knew we had to come out in the fourth and score quick,” said Doyle.

But it was clear the players were not about to let this one slip away. Doyle began the fourth with an offensive rebound and put back. Senior Barrett Proctor added a lay-up and senior Jeremy Doubleday, who is playing for the first time since his freshman year, capped off a 6-0 run with a mid-court steal that he took in for an uncontested lay-up.

“That’s a good lesson for them. It’s not always going to work that way, but to know they can do that is good,” said Pierce. “It’s good to have one of those under your belt where you kind of stem the tide. It’s big that they’re learning how to fight. They dug down and started to play decent basketball again, which for us is a huge thing. That’s a big stepping stone.”

The advantage grew to 12 and even though the Huskies made a little bit of a run, they never got any closer than eight. With a little over three minutes left and Monadnock still within striking distance, the Cougars made one final spurt that gave their opponent no chance at a comeback. Doyle had a lay-up and then Andy Bennett converted a three-point play. Doubleday and Doyle would each add four more points to give the Cougars a comfortable 16-point win.

“(Coach) said it was pretty much do or die. We’ve had these opportunities so many times where we’ve been winning and lose it in the fourth quarter,” said Proctor. “He just told us we’ve got to step up and be a true varsity team. And I think it’s huge for us. That’s a big confidence booster to actually pull it off in the fourth quarter.”

The only time ConVal trailed was early in the first when it was 4-2 in favor of Monadnock. A 6-0 run gave them a four-point lead and after Isaiah Prince hit a three to pull the Huskies to within one, the Cougars scored the final seven points of the quarter.

The defensive pressure really picked up toward the end of the first and it carried into the second quarter. ConVal allowed just five points to Monadnock and scored 12 of its own, including the first eight of the frame, with a patient and balanced offensive attack and it led to a 27-12 advantage going into the half.

“We’ve been working on keeping our composure,” said Proctor.

The Cougars had three players in double figures, led by Doyle’s 15. Proctor, who was mostly a role player last year, got the start and scored 14, while Doubleday, despite foul trouble for the entire game, added 10. Junior Jordan Moore gave ConVal a nice boost off the bench in the first, scoring all seven of his points in the quarter.

ConVal travels to Hanover tonight for the final game before the holiday break. The Cougars will play in the annual Keene State Holiday Tournament next week, beginning with Thursday’s rematch against Monadnock.

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