Oriole boys win at Brady

Seniors O’Brien, Hodgson lead way

  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Bishop Brady 71-63 on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Bishop Brady 71-63 on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013.

Conant Orioles head coach Eric Saucier never shies away from throwing his team into some pretty stiff competition. After playing Division I power Manchester Central to wrap up the offseason, the Orioles started their regular season with a trip to Concord to take on DII team Bishop Brady.

Conant was ahead for the majority of the game, thanks to strong play from senior forward Eli Hodgson, who scored 13 points and ripped down 19 rebounds. Senior guard Rob O’Brien scored 29 and Josh Degrenier had eight.

One of the keys to the game was senior guard Kyle Carland’s tenacious defense. He found himself matched up with either one of the two Bell brothers, Jourdain and Joe, throughout most of the game. The Bells, considered by many to be two of the top players in DII, were held to a combined 24 points.

“(Carland) really stepped it up and was the defensive stopper tonight,” Saucier said.

Conant was also aided by their strong free throw shooting; the team went 18-for-23 from the free throw line. The game got closer just after halftime, when Conant came out slow and let Brady back in the game, but the Orioles ultimately pulled away.

“We have to learn to play 32 minutes all out, not 24,” Saucier said.

The game was meant to be a part of the Frank Monahan Foundation Basketball Showcase, but Saturday night’s storm caused the postponement of the rest of the day’s action until Feb. 7, with only the Conant/Bishop Brady taking place on Sunday. Saucier was proud to bring his team to the gym where he played; a ‘96 Brady grad, Saucier played under Monahan, Brady’s beloved longtime coach who died from a heart attack in 2000.

“It is a privilege for me to bring my team back into the gym where my career began, and have them play for such a great cause,” Saucier said.

The event was to raise money for the Foundation, which promotes athletics throughout the greater Concord area.

Conant hosts Mascenic tonight at 7 p.m.

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