Conant’s Springfield scores 1000th point

Last modified: Tuesday, March 05, 2013
It was a shot Devin Springfield had taken so many times.

But none of the previous ones meant merely as much. The play called for the Conant senior captain to come off a pair of screens along the three-point line and if everything went according to plan, he should be wide open for a free throw line extended jumper on the left side.

Coach Eric Saucier had called the play specifically for Springfield. And when the ball passed through the net with 46 seconds left in the first quarter of Wednesday’s home contest against Monadnock after a pass from fellow senior captain Jake Carlson, Springfield joined some of the greats who have worn the Conant uniform.

“We ran a couple plays to get me the ball,” said Springfield. “But that’s my bread and butter.”

Springfield had already scored six points, all on lay-ups, leaving him just one shy for 1,000 for his career. That jumper made him the 17th player in school history to reach 1,000 points and 10th to do so on the boys side.

“The night before my Dad said, ‘Devin, make sure it’s a jump shot,’” said Springfield.

And if wasn’t for playing junior varsity as a freshman and sitting out so much time in the second half of games where the Orioles had a big lead, Springfield would have achieved the milestone a lot sooner.

“I had a feeling early on that he could do it,” said Saucier. “Devin has a scorer’s mentality. He was a shooter and had a knack for scoring.”

But it isn’t the number of points that Springfield is concerned about. All he cares about is the team.

“They make me look good,” said Springfield of his teammates. “It’s an individual accomplishment, but it’s really not. It’s a team accomplishment.”

Although it does mean a lot to become a part of Conant history and join his father, David, older sister, Brooke, and aunt Karen Belletete as members of the 1,000-point club. Soon his name will sit under Brooke’s on the banner than hangs in Pratt Auditorium, something that means quite a lot.

“To be up there with my family members and some of the great players in Conant history is an honor,” said Springfield. “My Dad, he really taught me how to play the game. It definitely means a lot.”

It had been a little over three years since an Oriole had reached 1,000 points, becoming the first player since 2010 graduate Jimmy Peard did so toward the tail end of his senior year. But it was Springfield’s passion for the game that got him there.

“His work ethic, you can’t question. He’s the hardest worker,” said Saucier. “It’s always great when the kids who put in the work get the results.”

Until recently, Springfield had no idea how close he was. Some of his teammates did not even know of the impending milestone prior to Wednesday’s game until they saw a large countdown poster hanging beneath one of the scoreboards.

The show of support from the fans was nice, but with the No. 2 Orioles gearing up for a title run, Springfield really just wanted to get back to the game.

“I wasn’t nervous, I was just anxious,” said Springfield. “I really wanted to get it over with.”

After scoring 278 points as a sophomore and another 388 last year, Springfield was 344 shy of the milestone prior to his senior season. Entering tonight’s game at Campbell, Springfield has 1,035 career points, putting him 15th on the all-time list.

“It’s something you dream about,” said Springfield. “It goes to show that hard work pays off.”

With two regular season games remaining and with any luck, four more in the Division III tournament, he could climb even higher. He would have to average about 25 per game, if Conant was to make the finals, to catch his father. Catching Brooke, who holds the school’s all-time mark of 1,793, is out of the question.

“I knew not playing varsity my freshman year it would be tough to get there,” said Springfield of his accomplishment.

While Springfield is proud to join his father and sister as 1,000-point scorers, he would rather be part of the championship club. David owns one and Brooke has two, while Springfield was a JV call-up for the 2009-10 title team, but only played in the first round blowout.

What he wants is a championship to call his own. All the individual awards and accolades are nice, but it is all about the team right now.

“I’d take zero points and a win any day over 30 points and a loss,” said Springfield.

Soon it will come down to a four-game season and a shot at a title, the only thing Springfield has left to accomplish.