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Boys basketball

Conant cruises to another victory

Orioles stay hungry despite early success

  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.
  • The Conant boys basketball team beat Fall Mountain 64-34 on Friday, Jan. 17.

It’s a familiar position for this Conant Orioles team: cruising through an undefeated season, winning games by 20, 30, 50(!) points and generally looking like the class of DIII. The Orioles reeled off their sixth straight victory Friday night, leading wire-to-wire as they beat Fall Mountain 64-34. Just like last season, Conant is riding a wave of success heading into last night’s midseason road matchup with Campbell. After last year’s shocking loss at Campbell, the lone blemish on Conant’s record on their path to the title, the Orioles know they can’t let the same thing happen again this year.

“Last year, we got a little complacent, and we showed what happens when you do get complacent,” head coach Eric Saucier said. “I tell them every day of practice ‘You’ve got to be ready to go every single night because you don’t show up one night, you’re going to get beat.’ We’re going to get everybody’s best every single night. We don’t have a night off where a team’s not going to play their best against us. They know what they’re getting when they play Conant, so we have got to make sure that we’re ready to go.”

Conant forward Nate Wheeler echoed his coach’s sentiments. “There’s always a lot of hype around the Campbell game,” Wheeler said. “They beat us last year,, so that always sticks in our mind, and then we played them in the championship. It’s a pretty good rivalry.”

Wheeler, who has cracked the Orioles’ starting lineup in recent weeks, said that his team is focused and ready heading into Monday’s big game. “‘We have one goal.’ That’s what coach says every single day in practice. Even though he smiles at the end of the games, he says he’s not going to smile until we’ve won the championship. That motivates us. We like to see him happy, so we just want to go out there and win.”

Wheeler scored 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting and pulled down five rebounds in Conant’s win over Fall Mountain Friday. Rob O’Brien led the Orioles with 21 points, four steals and three assists and Eli Hodgson scored 15 and grabbed nine rebounds. Conant started out the game on a 12-0 run, and has now started their three home games this season on a combined 42-0 run. The Orioles are averaging 70.3 points per game this year and are only allowing 42.1 defensively. Even as Conant continues to cruise, Saucier said he has no trouble keeping his players hungry.

“It’s pretty simple,” Sauicer said. “I tell these guys ‘Never be satisfied.’ ”

Conant played at Campbell last night.

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