Boys’ basketball: Stauffeneker’s 1,000th point propels Mascenic to seventh straight win

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/9/2019 5:58:43 PM

There was a lot riding on Sam Stauffeneker Friday night. Mascenic’s junior guard was 22 points away from joining the Vikings’ 1,000-point club, and preparations were well underway. Streamers and confetti were at the ready, the cake was baked, the plaque was engraved and the red-white-and-blue banner was taped up, concealing the latest name, letters already stitched.

If the impending milestone wasn’t enough, 7-6 Winnisquam was in town, hoping to leave New Ipswich having spoiled the Vikings’ six-game win streak, and it would take a good night from Stauffeneker and his teammates to keep their good thing rolling. That was the task at hand for the wiry guard.

“I was thinking, I don’t really need to score this tonight, I’d rather be more focused on winning,” Stauffeneker said after the game. “If I score it, yeah, but if I don’t, it’s not that big of a deal.”

The Bears came out with a ferocious defense that may have had the Mascenic boosters checking their receipts. Garrett Mango and Kyle Mann presented a strong front at the perimeter; split them, and the Vikings had to contend with Gunner Horman and Derek Desousa in the paint.

Winnisquam had six blocks in the first half and held Stauffeneker to five points.

“They came out and tried to shut me down,” Stauffeneker said. “It’s tough going up against a good defender like [Mango] was tonight.”

Mascenic had a strong interior presence of their own, as Gabe Turner, Zack Barthel and TJ Hiott held down the offensive boards and got second chances for the Vikings, who rode a balanced attack to a 22-18 halftime lead. 

At the half, head coach John Langlois exhorted his boys to turn up the heat on defense, and when they came of the break it was a different Viking team.

“We just played harder,” Langlois said. “I’m really proud, we played great defense tonight.”

Mascenic turned the screws in the third quarter, outscoring Winnisquam 21-3 on just a single three from Mango.

“We forced a lot of turnovers, had a lot of steals, a lot of fast breaks – our defense won the game tonight,” Stauffeneker said. 

Stauffeneker was the beneficiary of a lot of those fast break points, scoring 12 in the quarter, and the Viking lead ballooned to 21. 

He’d keep taking it to the rack in the fourth, and after a free throw and a layup, history was a hoop away. Stauffeneker split Mango and Brady Ellsworth, went up and nailed a righty layup – 1,000 on the dot. 

“He’s a great basketball player,” Langlois said. “Even more important, he’s a great young man, that’s the most important thing. I’m proud of what he’s accomplished. I’m just a small part of it. He deserves everything he’s gotten.”

After a 30-plus year career of coaching, Langlois has seen his share of 1,000-point scorers, and he said the one thing they all have in common is competitiveness. Stauffeneker, he said, was no exception, someone who’d do whatever it takes to win the game, whether it’s distributing the ball and running the offense or going off for 41 like he’d done at Gilford a week before.

“He hates to lose, you know?” Langlois said.

History achieved, Langlois emptied the bench; Stauffeneker sat with a game-high 22; Trey Shaw finished with 11, Hiott 8, and seniors Nate Long, Jake Zina and Cole Lambert got in on the scoring as well. Mascenic won it, 61-37.

After the game, the 1,000-point banner was unfurled, with ‘Sam Stauffeneker’ now in the rafters for eternity.

“I’m pretty stoked about it,” Stauffeneker said, “to join my brother in the 1,000-point club.”

Older brother Jared Stauffeneker reached 1,000 points in 2014, also as a junior. 

Mascenic (11-3) has now won seven games in a row and has advanced to near the top of the stack in Division III. Defending champion Somersworth (12-2) remains No. 1; Conant (12-3) sits at No. 2; Campbell (11-3) lost to Monadnock on Friday, and Saint Thomas (11-3) completes the logjam. 

The Vikings are trending upward as the tournament approaches.

“I’m feeling great about it,” Stauffeneker said. “We still need to get better on defense, hold teams to thirties, forties.”

Mascenic hosts Hillsboro-Deering (4-11) Tuesday at 7 p.m.


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