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Basketball: Conant’s defensive focus knocks off Campbell; plus, results from ConVal, Mascenic and WLC

  • The Conant boys' basketball team hosted Campbell Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' basketball team hosted Campbell Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant’s Hunter Guevera gets an acrobatic layup during Friday’s game with Campbell. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Conant boys' basketball team hosted Campbell Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' basketball team hosted Campbell Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant’s Anthony Gauthier gets two against Campbell Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Conant boys' basketball team hosted Campbell Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' basketball team hosted Campbell Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/4/2020 12:17:54 PM

Conant passed an early-season litmus test Friday night in Jaffrey with a 54-47 win over the perennially tough Campbell Cougars.

“They’re a really good team,” said Oriole senior guard Anthony Gauthier, “and if we’re going to beat them a second time, we’re going to have to play even harder, because next time they’re going to have something to prove even more than they did the first time.”

The Orioles focused their defensive efforts on shutting down Campbell senior Joaquin Heller, and it worked – Heller was held to just one first-half field goal and finished with seven points, with Hayden Ketola putting in work defending the shifty guard.

“That was our main goal on defense, to slow him down,” Gauthier said. “I feel like we did a good job guarding Joaquin, but if we don’t, he could go for 35 on us and carry them to a win.”

Brendan Rice carried the scoring load for Campbell, finishing with 16, but Conant exploded in the second quarter, outscoring Campbell 23-8 and jumping ahead to a lead they’d never surrender. Gauthier, who might be Division III’s best player in terms of attacking the rim and finishing, had 10 in the second quarter alone and finished with a game-high 28 after fighting through the physical Campbell defense.

“Everyone that I had on me gave me an elbow or was always aggressive when I got it down low, so that made it harder to score,” Gauthier said.

Gauthier’s leading DIII with 30.7 points per game and it seems to be coming in the flow of the offense, and the senior guard is happy to create opportunities for his teammates when Oriole opponents key in on stopping him Put the clamps on Gauthier? He kicks out to Connor Hart (five points) or Hunter Guevera (five points) for a three, finds Hayden Ketola (seven points) or Colson Seppala cutting through for a layup or feeds Garrett Somero (seven points) for a bruising finish down low. 

“I understand my role,” Gauthier said. “It’s to score when I can but not force anything. So when I pass it away, I cut through the middle, it doesn’t have to come back to me, it’s their turn to see what they can do. When teams double me, that just creates opportunities for them, and they’ve been growing their confidence.”

The two teams meet again on Feb. 21 at Campbell.

Conant (2-1) was scheduled to host Newport (0-3) Monday after press time and then travel to Mascoma Valley (3-1) on Friday.


ConVal 62, Milford 51

Senior forward Del Bonsu-Anane led ConVal with 18 points and 12 rebounds as the Cougars dispatched Milford Friday night behind another strong defensive effort. 

ConVal held Milford to just five points in the first quarter. The Cougars lost to the Spartans in the regular season last year and then got their vengeance by eliminating them in the Division II tournament.

Mather Kipka added 17 points and 11 boards and Connor Buffum scored 16.

ConVal (2-0) is at Kearsarge (1-1) Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Monadnock 72,
Mascenic 64

The Vikings and Huskies battled to overtime before Mascenic suffered several foul-outs and sputtered to a loss at Monadnock Friday night. 

Senior guard Sam Stauffeneker scored 21 before fouling out in overtime; Trey Shaw scored 12 and Dylan Vaillancourt 11. 

Jake Kidney dumped in a game-high 25 for Monadnock.

Mascenic (2-1) is at Raymond (2-1) Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.


Mount Royal 60, WLC 29

Jack Schwab led Wilton-Lyndeborough with 13 points but the Warriors fell behind quickly Friday night and dropped their first regular-season game in a blowout at home against Mount Royal. 

Kyler Tremblay and JJ Leblanc scored seven apiece for WLC. 

The Warriors (2-1) are at Newmarket (3-0) Tuesday at 7 p.m.


ConVal 31, Milford 30

Senior captain Emma Hixson scored a game-high 12 points in ConVal’s win at Milford Friday night, going 6 of 7 from the free throw line and leading the team with her defensive hustle as the Cougars improved to 2-1 on the year. 

Morgan Bemont came off the bench and ran the point well, said head coach Kevin Proctor, and Jada Stevens played with tremendous hustle and helped change the energy on the floor. 

Julia Donovan added seven points for the Cougars and Isis Battaglia had six. 

Proctor said his Cougars still need to improve their finishes around the rim and cut down on turnovers, something they will look to rectify Monday at 6:30 p.m. when they travel to take on the winless Souhegan Sabers. 


Conant 56, Campbell 36

Emma Tenters and Elizabeth Gonyea both scored 15 points in Conant’s 20-point win at Campbell Friday night as the Orioles remained undefeated. 

Teagan Kirby added ten points and Mylie Aho had eight. 

The 5-0 Orioles are outscoring opponents by 22.8 points per game this season going into Monday night’s game at undefeated No. 1 Hopkinton (6-0) after press time. Conant hosts Raymond Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.


Mascenic 57, Mount Royal 36

Senior Shelby Babin led all scorers with 23 points as the Vikings dispatched Mount Royal Friday night to improve to 4-1. Alannah Johnson added 14 points and Annika Martel, Kylie Millea and Lexi Vautour scored four apiece in the win.

Sophie Rose shouldered the scoring load for Mount Royal with 22.

Mascenic was scheduled to host Derryfield (3-1) Monday after press time and then travels to Lin-Wood (2-2) Friday night. 


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