Girls’ basketball: ConVal shuts down Souhegan in Hope for Gus game

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal’s Molly Tyle battles for the ball late in the game against Souhegan. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Kendall Larson of ConVal drives to the hoop against Souhegan. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal girls' basketball team hosted Souhegan for the annual Hope for Gus game on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Maddie Labrie, Julianna Tucci and Maddie Pare at Mascenic's senior night Tuesday. Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/6/2019 12:26:12 PM

A lone jersey, No. 42, lay draped over a chair at the end of the ConVal bench long before Tuesday’s basketball games against Souhegan started. It was the “blood jersey,” the jersey teams have in reserve in case a player’s uniform gets blood on it and has to switch it out. Not every blood jersey has a story behind it, but this one does. 

The No. 42 was Tony Barksdale’s number at Souhegan. Back in 2009, ConVal girls’ head coach Kevin Proctor had his first coaching job as the Sabers’ freshman coach, and he never forgot Barksdale. 

“He was on my first team, he was such an awesome kid,” Proctor said. “He worked so hard. He embraced that idea of living in the moment and just squeezing everything out of life.”

Barksdale was an exemplary student who’d go on to study engineering at Boston University, where he’d tragically die from alcohol poisoning during his freshman year in 2013.

Tuesday was the perfect night for Proctor to tell his girls the origin of their blood jersey – Souhegan was in the house for the annual Hope for Gus games, played each year in honor of Gus Dreher, the Peterborough middle-schooler living with a rare case of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The message connecting Barksdale and Dreher? Make the most of your time, because you only have so  much of it.

“The seniors, they’re getting to a point now where they’re starting to count their practices,” Proctor said, “because we’re only a few weeks away [from the end of the season]. I’m trying to explain to the freshmen that no matter the game, whatever the situation is, you have to value every opportunity you have to be on the floor, getting an opportunity to play basketball with your teammates in front of your home town – it doesn’t get any better than this, things you’ll never forget for the rest of your life.”

The Cougars, who haven’t needed much firing up this season, took the message to heart, and came out afire as Gus looked on from the bleachers. ConVal held Souhegan to just two points in the first half as freshman point guard Katie Carey dominated the Sabers’ ballhandlers defensively and senior forward Lindsey Carey scored 11 of her game-high 19 points. ConVal took a 22-2 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

“No matter who you play, it’s hard to keep a team in single digits for the entire game,” Proctor said, but even after emptying the Cougar bench, that was still the plan. “I said, listen, the team goal has not changed. We’re not going to run up the scoreboard or anything, but we’re not going to let them score.”

With senior forward Rachyl Parslow still out with a knee injury, it was sophomore Isis Battaglia and freshman Maddy Faber who made most of their minutes in her stead. Battaglia scored eight points, six in the second half, and Kendall Larson added a pair of hoops late as ConVal routed Souhegan 45-9.

At 8-5, the Cougars have already equaled their win total from last season with five games remaining before the tournament. ConVal looks like a lock for the postseason, as the Cougars are currently ninth in Division II and play their next three games against Stevens, Kearsarge and Manchester West (a combined 11-30 record). ConVal closes out their season against two of the division’s best, Hanover (13-1) and Lebanon (12-1). Kennett (14-0) remains in first place. 
ConVal is at Stevens Friday at 7 p.m.

 

Conant 40, Hopkinton 38

Late hoops from Mariah Chamberlain and Silas Bernier clinched a comeback win for the Orioles at Hopkinton Tuesday night. Elizabeth Gonyea had a team-high 14 points; Chamberlain finished with 13, Teagan Kirby six and Bernier five.

Conant (13-2) is now tied with Monadnock for first place in Division III after the Huskies beat Fall Mountain (13-3) on Tuesday. The Orioles look to keep their 11-game winning streak alive against Hillsboro-Deering (2-14) on Friday at 7 p.m.

 

Mascenic 53, Portsmouth Christian 47

The Vikings got 15 points from Shelby Babin and 13 from Alannah Johnson as they knocked off PCA Dover on Tuesday. Maddie Labrie added eight on senior night, where she, Julianna Tucci and Maddie Pare were honored at their final regular season home game. 

Mascenic (8-5) plays at WLC (2-14) Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and is at Derryfield (11-5) Thursday at 6 p.m.




Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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