M/sunny
41°
M/sunny
Hi 46° | Lo 22°

Conant girls cruise past ConVal

  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Katie Chadbourne and the Orioles are ready for a new season.
  • The Conant girls basketball team defeated ConVal 46-24 on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

Last year’s meeting between the Conant and ConVal girls basketball teams needed overtime to be decided.

That was not the case on Tuesday.

The Orioles’ strong defensive effort, coupled with ConVal’s inability to get into any type of rhythm on the offensive end led to a 46-24 victory for Conant, making it four straight wins since the local rivalry was re-established for the 2009-10 season.

Early on, the Orioles controlled the pace of the game on both ends of the floor. They jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a pair of jumpers from freshman Madison Springfield and a three by sophomore Katie Chadbourne before the Cougars finally broke through on a pair of free throws by junior Jess Nerz.

But that would be it for the ConVal offense in the first quarter. Conant ended the frame on a 10-0 run, including two lay-ups from freshman Sarah Gonsalves and four more points by Springfield, to jump out to a 17-2 advantage after eight minutes.

“I thought we came out real well, especially on defense,” said Conant coach Nick Hill. “This was probably one of the best games we’ve played all year defensively.”

Just 43 seconds into the second quarter, sophomore Megan Buydos gave ConVal its first field goal and began a run of eight straight points that cut the Orioles’ lead to just seven. Then it was Conant’s turn, as Gonsalves added two more baskets and Chadbourne connected for another three to close the quarter on a 7-0 run and a 24-10 lead at the half.

“We never got going offensively,” said ConVal coach Brian Pickering. “I felt like we moved the ball well, we pushed it in transition and we reversed it. All the kinds of things you ask for as a coach we were doing, but we didn’t make shots.”

In the third, Conant mustered just seven points, but ConVal only scored five and the Orioles took a commanding 31-15 edge into the fourth.

And they left nothing to chance. Eight straight points to begin the final quarter made it a 24-point Orioles’ lead and put the game out of reach.

“We never got into a rhythm offensively and they deserve credit for that,” said Pickering. “We’ve got to have better nights offensively to give ourselves a chance.”

For ConVal, it was their second lowest output of the season. It was just two points more than the Cougars, who were averaging 38 points per game, scored in their season-opening loss at Windham. As for the Orioles, it was their second-best defensive effort of the season in terms of points allowed and the fifth game in which they held an opponent to 30 points or less.

“I keep telling them that’s where games are going to be won,” said Hill. “It all starts on defense. Everybody says defense wins championships and it’s a proven fact. So I’ve been focusing a little more on it in practice.”

Gonsalves finished with a game-high 15 points, followed by 12 for Springfield, but only four came after the first.

“I thought we did a good job on her,” said Pickering of Springfield. “Their other players just stepped up and made some shots.”

Conant’s main objective was to limit Nerz and senior Marena Brock. Nerz finished with 11 to lead ConVal, but Brock had just one point on a third quarter free throw.

The win improved Conant to 10-1 overall going into Friday’s match-up with Stevens. The loss drops ConVal to 3-6 entering Friday’s home contest versus Windham.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.