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Conant boys cruise past ConVal

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated ConVal 62-45 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

It was a typical start for the Conant boys basketball team on Tuesday.

Get out and go on offense and play tough full-court defense. That approach led to a couple quick lay-ups and a 3-pointer that put the Orioles ahead of ConVal 7-0 before the Cougars could even get their bearings. It is a hard style of basketball to simulate and ConVal found that out first hand — again.

“They didn’t do anything to us that we didn’t expect and they didn’t do anything to us that we didn’t really think that we hadn’t prepared for,” ConVal coach Peter Pierce. “But it’s hard to duplicate what they do in practice.”

The Cougars got on the scoreboard on their next possession, but then the Orioles showed just how dominant they can be. Conant scored the next 23 points to take a 28-point lead three minutes into the second quarter and went on to win 62-45. It was the fourth straight victory over ConVal and all have come by double digits.

“The first quarter issues still face us,” said Pierce. “We haven’t resolved them at all. The game ended in the first quarter for all practical purposes.”

The final score may seem like the game that was a little closer than the way it started. The lead was 24-2 after the first and grew to as many as 29 after a Kyle Carland lay-up late in the second quarter.

“I’m happy with the way we started, but not happy with the way we finished,” said Conant coach Eric Saucier.

ConVal senior Barrett Proctor’s lay-up with 4:12 left in the second snapped Conant’s 23-0 run and Taylor Doyle followed with a lay-up of his own. Following a three from Conant junior Nick Panagiotes, the Cougars rattled off six straight points, four from senior Jeremy Doubleday, to finally reach double digits. But even with the sudden offensive outburst, the Cougars still trailed by 25.

And it would get worse for ConVal before it got better.

With a 39-12 lead at the half, Conant came out ready to open it up even more. A 12-5 run, highlighted by a pair of threes from Carland, pushed the advantage to 34. Then Saucier emptied his bench. He expects a lot out of his reserves, but left Tuesday’s game disappointed. Of Conant’s 26 turnovers, 18 came from the bench, which had a difficult time maintaining the lead.

“They put a little bit of pressure on us and all of a sudden we panic,” said Saucier. “We go against pressure every day so there’s no excuse for it.”

ConVal ended the third on an 11-2 run to make it a 53-28 Conant edge. While the outcome was not in doubt, Saucier was forced to go back to his starters on two occasions in the fourth.

“I expect the same out of the second group as I expect out of the first group and the second group didn’t bring it tonight. When we get to the playoffs, I have to at least be able to go seven or eight deep, but right now I don’t know who that is going to be,” said Saucier.

But give the Cougars credit. They could have gone through the motions over the final three quarters, but the players continued to battle. They outscored the Orioles 32-23 over the final 16 minutes, including an 11-0 spurt to end the game.

“That’s what high school athletics is all about,” said Pierce. “It’s about finding a little bit of pride and building on it.”

Carland led Conant with 15 points, followed by Robert O’Brien’s 11. Senior Devin Springfield was the third player in double figures with 10, eight coming in the first quarter. Doyle and Doubleday each scored 10 for ConVal and senior Bobby Crowley added eight.

The Orioles travel to Stevens on Friday and ConVal will play at Windham.

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