Basketball: Pair of freshman lead Conant girls over Hopkinton; plus, results from ConVal, Mascenic, WLC

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough boys' basketball team hosted Portsmouth Christian on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant’s Brynn Rautiola gets fouled on her way to the hoop against Hopkinton Friday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Hopkinton on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/17/2020 10:50:53 AM

A pair of freshmen led the Conant girls’ basketball team to their tenth straight win Friday night, as the Orioles remained undefeated atop Division III with a blowout victory over Hopkinton. 

Conant handed Hopkinton their first loss of the season two weeks ago in a seven-point game on the road; Friday’s matchup started out close, but the Orioles ran away with it in the second half and emptied their bench in the 51-28 victory. 

Hopkinton, always a defensive-minded team under head coach Pat Roye, keyed in on Conant’s dynamic forward Elizabeth Gonyea, limiting her to just three field goals and eight points. As a First Team All-State player, Gonyea’s the central focus of every opposing team’s defense.

“We know things are going to be tough for her,” said head coach Brian Troy, “but she’s finding other ways to impact the game, which is great.”

Fortunately for the Orioles, the freshman duo of point guard Brynn Rautiola and forward Emma Tenters were on their game Friday night. 

“It’s nice being one of the younger players and being a leader,” said Rautiola after scoring a team-high 13 points and guarding Hopkinton’s explosive guard Maurgan McGrath and holding her scoreless. 

“She’s pretty tough to defend,” Rautiola said. “She’s one of the best shooters in the state.”

Rautiola came into the season ready to start and run the point; Tenters, on the other hand, was athletic, talented, and raw, but she’s improved mightily in a month’s time. 

“We’ve really worked hard with her in practice,” Troy said. “She’s doing extra reps in practice – she’s really committed herself to being a good post player down there. Her growth from day one has been phenomenal.”

Tenters scored 12 points and dominated in the second half, putting the Hawks in the spin cycle down low with her post footwork and array of hook shots. Conant, up just 19-18 at the half, held the Hawks to one field goal in the third quarter and ran away with the victory. 

“For Emma and Brynn to have that kind of performance in a tough game against Hopkinton at home is pretty impressive,” Troy said. “I was impressed with their effort.”

Katie Meserve led Hopkinton with a game-high 13 points. 

Conant (10-0) is off to their best start to a season since the 2015-16 season, when the Orioles went undefeated before losing to Gilford in the state championship. Troy took over as head coach the next season; since then, the Orioles have been to three straight Final Fours and won a state title, but each year, they’ve stumbled early and dropped games to Fall Mountain and Monadnock before heating up. Not this year, as Troy and his girls continue to overachieve their already-high expectations. 

“I feel like we’re a little deeper this year,” Troy said. “Anyone we bring off the bench for a starter we know can make a big impact. It’s got a good vibe so far this season.”

The championship-minded O’s are in one-game-at-a-time mode and doing their best not to let their undefeated start get to them.  

“We talk about humility all the time,” Troy said. “You can’t get your head too big, you’ve got to stay the course. We’ve got a lot of tough games coming up down the road.”

Conant is at Mascoma Valley (3-5) on Tuesday. The Orioles beat the Royals 66-15 on Jan. 10.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Portsmouth Christian 66, Wilton-Lyndeborough 50

Wilton-Lyndeborough hung with a tough Portsmouth Christian Academy team on Thursday night, but the Eagles held onto their lead and came away with a 66-50 win.

“We did a good job fighting the whole, energy the whole game – they were just a better team,” said WLC’s first-year head coach Malin Segal. 

Portsmouth Christian’s big man, Bryson Lund, scored 12 points in the first quarter and 23 in the first half, as the Warriors didn’t have the height to match him down low. 

“Even when we threw everything we had at him, he still found a way to impact the game,” Segal said. “But we did a good job of making him work for every touch.” 

JJ Leblanc and Hunter Scales were able to slow Lund down in the second half, holding him to eight as he finished with a game-high 31. 

Meanwhile, WLC’s Jack Schwab got his shot going in the second quarter  and finished with 26 points, bringing him to 977 in his four-year career and keeping him on top of the Division IV scoring leaderboard at 23.2 ppg, just ahead of Hinsdale’s Dylan Harden (23.1). 

Kyler Tremblay added 12 points with a pair of three-pointers and Zach Taylor scored six tough ones in the paint. 

“Everyone contributed, we’ve just got to keep building off of that,” Segal said. “Our goal is to win every day, at practice we compete to win everything at practice, so we’ve just to keep competing.”

WLC (2-5) has lost their past five games and can turn things around at Derryfield (4-2) Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Mascenic 64, Franklin 40

Mascenic head coach Brandon Kear said his boys did not play well for the first three quarters against Franklin Friday night, but they ran away with a victory over the Tornadoes nonetheless.

Sam Stauffeneker had a game-high 13 points; Zack Barthel scored 12 and Dylan Vaillancourt 11.

Mascenic (6-1) is third in Division III behind undefeated Gilford (6-0) and Hopkinton (7-1); the Hawks’ only loss came against the Vikings in the season opener.

Mascenic plays at Campbell (2-3) Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Hopkinton 38, Conant 35

Conant held Hopkinton big man Kevin Newton-Delgado to just 12 points — one in the second half — but came up three points short Friday night as a Hunter Guevera three at the buzzer would not fall.

Anthony Gauthier scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Connor Hart scored nine and played a great defensive game, said head coach Eric Saucier.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Spaulding 50, ConVal 28

Spaulding freshman Mackenzie Brochu came off the bench and scored ten points in the second quarter as the Red Raiders knocked off ConVal Friday night to stay undefeated. 

“We really were in a funk,” said head coach Kevin Proctor. “Not a lot of energy.”

Freshman guard Makenna Proctor scored a team-high ten points; senior captain Emma Hixson and Isis Battaglia added seven apiece. Maddy Faber grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

ConVal (3-4) is at John Stark (6-3) Tuesday. The Generals started out the season on a six-game win streak before dropping three straight. 

Mascenic 37, Epping 33

Mascenic’s Shelby Babin scored a game-high 22 points as the Vikings avenged their season-opening loss at Epping with a 37-33 win in New Ipswich Thursday night. 

Kylie Millea and Annika Martel added six each.

Mascenic (6-2) has won two in a row and travels to a 7-1 Hinsdale team for a tough game Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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