ConVal boys finish season 1-17
The ConVal boys basketball team lost its final 16 games to finish the season 1-17 overall.
The final setback came on Thursday in a 68-50 loss to Windham. Of the 17 losses, just two were by 10 points or less.
“It’s just something you put behind you,” said coach Peter Pierce.
After dropping the season opener to Milford, the Cougars got what would turn out to be their lone regular season win on Dec. 18 at home against Division III Monadnock, 57-41.
ConVal was 1-2 entering the holiday break and went on to win a pair of games at the Keene State College Holiday Tournament, while making it to the White Division championship game for a second straight year.
But for a program trying to be competitive in Division II, the Cougars did not have anything come easy. Of their 18 games, 16 came against playoff teams — including both out of division games — and the other two were against Milford who lost out on the tiebreaker for the 16th and final seed. ConVal played nine of the 16 teams that qualified for the D-II tournament.
“I don’t know who had a harder schedule than us,” said Pierce. “There were no breaks.”
Last year, the Cougars were 5-13 in Pierce’s first season and narrowly missed out on the final playoff position.
“We were actually more competitive in more quarters than we were last year,” said Pierce.
Yet the future looks bright. The junior varsity team finished 7-10 overall and the freshman program went .500.
“In some ways, I’m feeling this coming year is going to be the first one I really get to make an impact on,” said Pierce.
ConVal loses six seniors, including the team’s most productive player in Taylor Doyle.
“He was basically a double-double every time he walked on the floor,” said Pierce.
Not having the ConVal gymnasium was also tough for the team.
“It was just a difficult year,” said Pierce. “It was almost like every game was a road game.”
The important thing for Pierce is for the returning players to work hard in the off-season to be better next November.
“The goal is to be competitive,” said Pierce. “And this program has not been in the mix in over a decade.”