Basketball: Conant blows out Mascenic, ConVal gets statement win

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Conant’s Anthony Gauthier splits the Mascenic defense for a layup on Tuesday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant

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

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/9/2019 11:46:14 AM

Tuesday night’s rivalry game had all the trappings of a classic Conant/Mascenic showdown. The Pratt was packed, the parking lot was overflowing, and the orange-and-black and red, white and blue were out in full force. But when the Vikings and Orioles hit the hardwood in the Bird Box, the result was the biggest blowout win for Conant in years.

“We just wanted to come out tonight, play defense, play hard, play Conant basketball and I thought the guys did a great job,” said Conant head coach Eric Saucier after the 61-45 Orioles win. “They were unselfish tonight, they passed the basketball, they played with confidence, and we’ve got to continue to do this, because this is one regular season game. They can be proud, but we’ve still got to be better.”

Mascenic’s game plan coming in was to shut down Conant’s junior star Peyton Springfield, who’s averaging nearly 22 points per game. Viking coach Jim Langlois threw a box-and-one at Springfield, using Logan Thibault and Robert McClain – and their limitless cross-country stamina – to slow the Orioles’ big-name player. The approach worked – Springfield was held scoreless in the first half and finished with just six points. But, the rest of the Orioles were happy to step up in his place.

“Peyton’s such a good player that when a team is going box-and-one on him, that allows his teammates to step up,” said junior Anthony Gauthier. “I think Peyton did a great job tonight knowing that his job wasn’t the points tonight, his job was taking the attention away so his teammates get a chance.”

Aaron Rich (11 points) and Jake Drew (16 points) both hit a pair of threes in the first half as Conant’s spacing and movement created open shots from the wings and corners. With both teams tied at 15 in the second quarter, the Orioles went on a 7-0 run and took a lead they’d never surrender. 

“We came into this game thinking they’re a driving team, attacking the hoop, so we don’t want them to do that, but they came out hitting all these threes,” said Mascenic junior Sam Stauffeneker, who carried the bulk of the Viking scoring load himself Tuesday night. Stauffeneker, impervious to the Conant defense, rained threes, finishing with a game-high 26 points and five long balls.

“He’s a hell of a player,” Gauthier said. “He’s a good player. Him and Trey [Shaw], you can’t leave them open for a second. We had to figure it out so they didn’t make a comeback at the end.”

Stauffeneker was the only Viking in double figures, as Shaw (five points) struggled, Zach Barthel (nine points) came out of the game with a hip injury, and Gabe Turner (three points) was the only other Mascenic player to score. At one point, the Vikings took six shots on a single possession without scoring.  Meanwhile, Conant kept finding the open man; Gavin Motuzas hit a trio of three-balls in the second half and Gauthier (13 points) kept grinding and getting to the hoop, dropping Turner to the floor with a vicious crossover. 

“They just hit shots,” said Mascenic head coach Jim Langlois. “They were hitting the threes, we were missing two- and four-footers down at this end.”

The Orioles pride themselves on defense, and Gauthier said that was the key to the game on Tuesday.

“Our defense was what separated us,” Gauthier said. “If we were getting lazy there, you know Sammy and Trey are going to take over, and Zach, they all would have taken over, and it would have been hard to stop their offense if we weren’t playing such hard defense.”

With the loss, Mascenic falls to 3-2 on the season, and will look to bounce back Friday night at 2-3 Franklin. After that, the Vikings have their rematch with Conant on Tuesday. Stauffeneker said he thinks his team will be ready for action and can play an improved game on their home floor in New Ipswich.

“It’s a way different atmosphere,” Stauffeneker said.

Conant (5-1) is now tied for fourth in Division III, with a showdown against No. 1 undefeated Hopkinton (6-0) looming on Thursday.

“I told them in the locker room, good win, but here’s the scouting report for Hopkinton, because it doesn’t get any easier and we’re on the road Thursday for a big one,” Saucier said.

“We’ll enjoy tonight,” Gauthier said, “but tomorrow it’s right back to business.”


ConVal 64, Hollis-Brookline 44

The Cougars got their statement win on Tuesday, blowing out the undefeated defe nding champion  Cavaliers by 30.

“We came out strong at both ends of the court from tip-off,” said ConVal head coach Leo Gershgorin. “We got after it on the defensive end and were confident in how we were going to attack them on offense.”

ConVal held the Cavs to five points in the quarter and didn’t allow any single Hollis-Brookline player to score more than six points. Mather Kipka, who’s averaging 20 points a game this season, scored a game-high 19 for ConVal, with Connor Buffum adding 16 and Max Richard 14.

The Cougars are now 4-1 and are at Bishop Brady (2-4) Tuesday at 7 p.m.



ConVal 57, Hollis-Brookline 44

Lindsey Carey had a 29-point triple-double with 17 rebounds and 11 blocks to lead all scorers as the Cougars took care of the Cavaliers on the road Tuesday night.

”Best game I’ve ever seen her play,” said ConVal coach Kevin Proctor.

 Katie Carey added 12 points and Emma Hixson had 10.Proctor said his team got “huge minutes” out of Emily Donovan late in the game. 

ConVal (5-1) sits tied at fifth in a top-heavy Division II, and hosts Spaulding (2-2) Friday night at 6:30 p.m.


Derryfield 67, Wilton-Lyndeborough 34

Brooke Lane had 18 points for the Warriors on Tuesday in WLC’s loss to Derryfield. Abby Leblanc added seven points and Sam Boette had six. 

WLC (2-7) is at Mount Royal (6-2) Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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