Basketball roundup: Conant sweeps Mascenic, ConVal wins on road

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

  • Conant’s Jake Drew gets a tough two over Mascenic’s Gabe Turner and Zach Barthel. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Conant’s Peyton Springfield gets a layup over Mascenic’s Gabe Turner on Tuesday. Springfield scored 34, 20 in the first half, and led the Orioles to a season sweep of the Vikings. Staff photOS by Ben Conant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/16/2019 1:46:10 PM

With the depth of talent on Conant and Mascenic over the past three years, the bitter rivalry games have been a lot more than just the Peyton and Sammy show. But on Tuesday night, the two junior stars dueled it out, with Peyton Springfield and the Orioles coming out on top over Sam Stauffeneker and the Vikings.

It was the second matchup in eight days between the two Route 124 rivals, with the Orioles looking for their first win at Mascenic in three seasons. Last Tuesday at the Pratt, Mascenic put a box-and-one on Springfield, holding him to six points, but to no avail, as the Orioles won by 15, their biggest margin of victory over Mascenic since 2012. On Tuesday, the Vikings came out in a 3-2 zone hoping to limit Conant’s outside shooting after giving up nine threes in their previous matchup.

“We had a feeling after last game that they would change things up a bit,” said Conant head coach Eric Saucier. “We went over our zone stuff last night and the guys did exactly what we went over. They listened, they played together tonight, we played good defense, and we did what we needed to do.”

Once again, Mascenic’s plan worked – the Orioles only hit four threes, and shooters Gavin Motuzas and Aaron Rich were held scoreless – but once again, Conant showed their adaptability. With the Vikings on the perimeter, Springfield was able to bull his way into the paint, getting buckets and fouls to the tune of 20 first-half points. 

“We changed up the zone to try to take away the outside shots,” said Mascenic senior big man TJ Hiott. “Peyton got his way in the middle of the zone. We just had to communicate more.”

Springfield stayed within the flow of the offense but seemed to get the ball nearly every time down the floor, scoring nine straight points to end the first half with the Orioles up 27-22.

“He did a good job of moving without the basketball, flashing, and guys did a good job of getting it to him,” Saucier said.

Meanwhile, Mascenic was shooting a bit better than their struggles last week in Jaffrey. Stauffeneker scored 12 in the first half, and Logan Thibault, Zach Barthel and Hiott were able to contribute as well, though sharpshooter Trey Shaw was scoreless in the first.

“We knew they were going to make shots in their own gym,” Saucier said. “You just hope to contain them.”

Mascenic tried to slow down Springfield’s scoring in the second half, throwing the box-and-one at him again. But he kept on scoring, putting in 14 in the second half on a combination of strong drives and free throw shooting (he’d go 11-12 from the line overall). Senior Jake Drew turned it on in the second half, scoring 12 of his 14, and Conant kept the lead to at least five for the remainder of the game. 

“They’re a good team, they’re complete, they move the ball well, and they make good shots,” Hiott said. “We’ve just got to get better on the defensive side of the ball, that’s all we can do.”

Shaw found a groove late in the game, hitting a pair of threes, and Stauffeneker had another seven points to finish with 19, but Conant hung on for a 58-49 win (Mascenic’s final three points came after Shea Zina stole the ball while Conant was dribbling out the final seconds, launched a three, got fouled and made all three free throws).

“We haven’t won here in three years so this is a pretty good win for us,” Saucier said.

Over in Litchfield, Division III’s top teams had battled it out earlier in the evening, with Campbell (7-0) remaining undefeated after beating Hopkinton (7-1) by 10. Conant hung with both of those teams, but couldn’t seal the deal, and that’s what Saucier is eying in the second half of the season.

“We haven’t gotten over the threshold yet,” Saucier said. “The two top teams right now are Hopkinton and Campbell. We had leads at halftime both games and we didn’t win. We’ve got to figure it out. We’ve still got some work to do, we’ve got to get a little smarter at the end of games, be stronger with the basketball. Are we in a good position? Yeah, but we’re still far away from where we need to be.”

Conant (6-2) hosts St. Thomas (5-1) Friday night at 7 p.m.

Mascenic drops to 4-3 and has a big but winnable matchup at Fall Mountain (5-3) Friday at 7 p.m. The Wildcats started out hot against lesser teams but lost to Hopkinton and Campbell by a combined 99 points and then got blown out by Mascoma Valley on Tuesday night, so the Vikings are poised to hand them another L. No matter what happens Friday, Mascenic isn’t buried just yet.

“They all can shoot, they all can play,” Saucier said. “They’re a good basketball team. They’re going to be there in the end.”

WLC 58, Hinsdale 53

The Warriors needed  a win to snap their four-game losing streak and they got one against Hinsdale on Monday, 58-53. Jack Schwab scored 21 to lead WLC; Kyler Tremblay had 13 and Cody Swett scored 11. 

WLC (2-8) looks to keep it rolling at home against Lin-Wood (0-9) Friday at 5 p.m.

ConVal 53, Bishop Brady 45

After a tough first half, the Cougars bounced back to snag a road win over the Green Giants on Tuesday night. 

“Didn’t shoot well but it didn’t matter cause this team is all heart,” said head coach Leo Gershgorin. 

Connor Buffum and Mather Kipka had 16 points apiece. 

Bishop Brady’s Ismael Rivera left the game with a stunning injury after crashing face-first into a brick wall chasing down a loose ball on the baseline. 

ConVal (5-1) is off to their finest start in years and will travel to Plymouth (0-3) on Friday at 6 p.m.




Conant 59, Mascoma Valley 39

The Orioles had no problem dispatching the Royals at the Pratt on Tuesday night, with a 20-point blowout win.

Elizabeth Gonyea had 18 points, Mariah Chamberlain 13, Teagan Kirby 11 and Silas Bernier nine. 

Conant (7-2) is at St. Thomas (6-3) Friday at 6:30 p.m.


John Stark 43, ConVal 34

With Lindsey Carey and Emma Hixson in foul trouble, ConVal’s underclassmen stepped up to keep the Cougars in the game against John Stark on Tuesday night. Julia and Emily Donovan and Maddy Faber played tremendous, ConVal coach Kevin Proctor said, and the Cougars and Generals were tied at 19 apiece at halftime. Stark gained the lead, ConVal had to foul down the stretch, and the Generals shot well from the line to hang on for the win.

Lindsey Carey had a team-high 12 points and Katie Carey added eight.

ConVal (5-3) has Plymouth (1-5) at home Friday at 6:30 p. m. 

Hinsdale 51, WLC 22

The Pacers took the season series from the Warriors with a win Monday night that WLC coach Kyle Pratt said was closer than the score indicated. 

“They are a tough team to go against but we played out of our minds yesterday with energy,” Pratt said.

Brooke Lane and Abby Leblanc had six each to lead the Warriors. 

WLC (2-9)  still has yet to actually win a game, with their two victories forfeits against Nute. The Warriors have a shot against Lin-Wood (1-8) Friday at 6:30 p.m.


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