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Mascenic boys fall short of upset

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013
    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Mascenic boys basketball team fell to undefeated Newport 68-54 on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

No matter what the Mascenic boys basketball team did on Friday night, Newport had an answer.

Every time the Vikings looked to be on the cusp of taking the lead, the undefeated Tigers did just enough to keep it in their control.

Mascenic knew it was going to be a tall task to hand Newport its first loss of the season, but having already played them in the Zero Gravity Holiday Tournament in Keene, the Vikings had a better idea of what they were up against.

“I felt we were a lot more prepared for what they had,” said senior Jalen Rines.

It was a better performance than the first meeting, but once again Mascenic came up on the wrong end of the final score, falling 68-54.

“This was a big game for us,” said coach Jay Starr. “Our guys were real excited for this one.”

While the final score may look as though the Vikings were easily defeated by one of just two remaining unbeaten teams in Division III, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

With a little more than five minutes left in the fourth, Mascenic trailed by just four. Then like all the previous times the home team pulled within striking distance of the lead, the Tigers found a way to create more breathing room. After junior Matt Cyr hit a pair of free throws to make it a 55-51 game, Newport went on an 11-0 run to quickly turn it into a 15-point Mascenic deficit with about a minute left.

“It definitely felt like we were going to take the lead at one point, but it just didn’t happen,” said sophomore Jared Stauffeneker. “But it shows we can play with any team.”

For the Vikings, it was yet another close game that got away. It was the third game of the year in which they were within single digits in the fourth quarter only to end up with a loss.

After an offensively exciting first half in which Newport took a 42-36 lead after 16 minutes, the defenses stepped up in the third. The Vikings allowed just nine points to the Tigers, who scored at least 20 in each of the first two quarters, and just two over the final four minutes.

“We tried to slow them down a bit with a zone,” said Starr.

Down by eight, Stauffeneker scored Mascenic’s final five points, including a three in the final 30 seconds to make it a 51-46 deficit with one quarter to play.

“We realize now we’re good under pressure,” said Rines. “We kept fighting and that was good.”

On two occasions in the fourth, Mascenic pulled to within four, but never got any closer.

“We were always hanging around,” said Starr. “I think we proved that if we play team ball, we can be successful.”

Newport jumped out to a 7-0 lead to begin the game and got up by as many as 10 in the first. But the clutch shooting of Rines and Stauffeneker kept Mascenic at a comfortable deficit.

“It was probably our best effort that we’ve had all season long from beginning to end,” said Starr.

The Tigers’ lead was eight after the first and grew to 13 midway through the second. Then the Vikings got right back into it with an 11-0 run to make it a two-point game with two and half minutes left. But three straight makes from three-point range put Newport back up by double digits.

“It seemed like every time we got within three or four, they’d run a couple threes on us,” said Starr.

Stauffeneker finished with a team-leading 25 points, including 10 in the second quarter and six in the fourth. Rines scored 15, but only three after the half, while the rest of the team combined for just 14 points led by Cyr’s six.

Newport was led by sophomore Andrew Houde’s 29. Houde made six three-pointers and scored nine of the Tigers’ final 15 points.

Mascenic will host Hillsboro-Deering tonight looking to even the season series following a 60-56 loss on Dec. 14.

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