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Conant boys win Division III title

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Conant senior Devin Springfield is congratulated by coach Eric Saucier after he was taken out in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Division III championship game. The Orioles won the 10th state title in program history, and first since 2010, with a 66-46 victory over Campbell.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    Conant senior Devin Springfield is congratulated by coach Eric Saucier after he was taken out in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Division III championship game. The Orioles won the 10th state title in program history, and first since 2010, with a 66-46 victory over Campbell.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • Conant senior Devin Springfield is congratulated by coach Eric Saucier after he was taken out in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Division III championship game. The Orioles won the 10th state title in program history, and first since 2010, with a 66-46 victory over Campbell.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    Conant senior Devin Springfield is congratulated by coach Eric Saucier after he was taken out in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Division III championship game. The Orioles won the 10th state title in program history, and first since 2010, with a 66-46 victory over Campbell.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.

    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Conant senior Devin Springfield is congratulated by coach Eric Saucier after he was taken out in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Division III championship game. The Orioles won the 10th state title in program history, and first since 2010, with a 66-46 victory over Campbell.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • Conant senior Devin Springfield is congratulated by coach Eric Saucier after he was taken out in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Division III championship game. The Orioles won the 10th state title in program history, and first since 2010, with a 66-46 victory over Campbell.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The Conant boys basketball team defeated Campbell 66-46 in the Division III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University on Saturday March 9, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

It all came down to 32 minutes.

Almost five months of practices and games, sprints and lay-up drills boiled down to four quarters of basketball. A win in Saturday’s Division III championship game would mean that this team had reached its goal.

That’s just how it goes in the basketball crazed area of Jaffrey and Rindge. It had been three years since a Conant team had celebrated a state title, which can be chalked up to an eternity for the tradition-rich program.

“The pressure these kids go through is unbelievable,” said coach Eric Saucier.

The No. 2 Orioles had been among a small group of preseason favorites and on Saturday Conant won its 10th state championship with a 66-46 victory over No. 5 Campbell, the first since 2010. It was the Orioles’ fourth tournament win by at least 20 points and 14th straight overall to finish 21-1.

“It’s the prefect way to end,” said senior co-captain Jake Carlson. “It’s good to know that all that hard work finally paid off. All those nights in the gym, this is what I worked for.”

Outside of one slip up in mid-January against Campbell, Conant dominated its way to the D-III title. And what it came down to was defense and balance. The Orioles were the best team in the division in scoring defense, holding opponents to 39.7 per game, while scoring 72 with an array of offensive weapons.

“We went into it like any other game,” said junior Robert O’Brien. “We wanted to push the ball, stop their main scorers and play defense the entire time.”

So when Campbell decided to play a box in one on senior Devin Springfield, it didn’t matter. While Springfield was Conant’s top scorer in the regular season and in each of the first three playoff games, taking him away was not going to solve the problem.

“They took me away and the great thing is that we have four other scorers out there,” said Springfield.

Campbell should have known that they still had to deal with the likes of Carlson, O’Brien and juniors Kyle Carland and Eli Hodgson.

“All of us can score, all of us can play defense and we like to play tough,” said Carland. “We push each other to be better.”

Springfield was held to just 10 points, half of his season average, with nine rebounds and five steals, but his teammates more than stepped up. O’Brien scored a game-high 21 and Carlson chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds, as they combined for 17 of Conant’s 25 fourth quarter points, and Carland added 10 with five assists.

“It feels amazing and it feels even better because I grew up playing with those guys and to do it with them makes it even more special,” said Springfield.

What was once a comfortable 20-point first half lead had been knocked down to 41-34 with eight minutes to play. But to start the fourth, O’Brien converted a lay-up and a pair of free throws to push the lead back to double digits.

“The start of the fourth quarter is where we really picked it up,” said Saucier. “We didn’t have a good third quarter and so I challenged them to go out and defend. We’ve always talked about if you’re going to win a championship you’re going to win with defense.”

Then it was Carlson’s turn. The senior captain would score six of the next eight Conant points with three lay-ups and a jumper to make it a 55-40 lead.

“We had a little talk at the end of halftime and I said ‘those 16 minutes are done, lets have a great second half. It’s your last 16 minutes’. And he played like a senior captain should,” said Saucier.

The starters were pulled in the final minutes to a standing ovation from the Conant faithful. The journey to their only goal was complete.

“We proved that this team was worthy. We knew that we were good enough, we knew that we were tough enough, but we just had to play 100 percent all of the time,” said Carlson.

For a team that does not typically begin games all that well, Saturday’s championship game was the perfect time to break the mold. Following a 2-2 tie, the only one of the game, the Orioles scored 15 of the next 19 points for a 17-6 lead after the first. A 12-4 spurt to begin the second, capped off by a Carlson floater, pushed the lead to 19. O’Brien’s three with 2:20 left in the half made it 34-14 and it looked like the second half would be a mere formality.

But Campbell stuck around. The Cougars scored the final six points of the half and the first five to start the third to make it a nine-point game. Campbell senior Max Gouveia scored 12 of his team-leading 19 in the third, making it just a six-point game with 2:17 left.

In the end, the aggressive defense, like it did all season, finally tired out the Cougars. And that was when the Orioles took control. They forced 17 turnovers in the game and came away with 10 steals.

“They put in the time in the gym and put up with me,” said Saucier. “They just bought in. They never questioned me and they never questioned the system. They just played hard.”

And the quest for banner No. 11 begins now.

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