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Campbell comeback takes down Conant 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Saturday, February 03, 2018 12:56PM

Campbell’s Spencer Stanium picked the right time to get hot. The Cougars have a wealth of perimeter shooters this year, and head coach Sudi Lett has limited the senior’s deep shots. But with Conant up 10 on Campbell at the Pratt Friday night, Stanium started firing – and he didn’t stop until the Cougars had pulled off a 78-71 overtime comeback win.

“When he's going, I'm not going to tell him not to shoot them,” Lett said. Stanium was going all right; he hit his first four three-pointers of the season all in a row as the Cougars clawed back in the fourth quarter and another in overtime to finish with a game-high 27 points. 

“They were more aggressive,” said Conant head coach Eric Saucier. “We got passive, a couple of our guys played scared, and I expect a little bit more leadership. The guys that are upperclassmen need to take over in those situations. That's what they have to do. You can't leave it to young guys. If you want to win, you've got to go get the basketball and their senior, Stanium took over and made all those threes.”

Conant was dominant early on, holding Campbell to six first-quarter points and jumping out to a 13-point lead. Junior Jake Drew (19 points) and sophomore Peyton Springfield (24 points, 18-20 FT) took it hard to the rack and the Orioles seemed to be in command.

Campbell was down 31-21 at half, familiar territory for the Cougars, who made a 15-point second-half comeback at the Pratt last season to steal a win.

“I told the boys: 'We're only down 10, we were down by more last year, so let's just keep fighting and keep pushing,’” Lett said.

Up 12 late in the fourth quarter, the Orioles had what should have been a comfortable lead. But, Saucier said, there’s no such thing.

“No. We're too young for anything to be comfortable,” Saucier said. 

As Stanium kept up his three-point barrage, the Orioles didn’t falter. Campbell cut it to three and got the ball back, but Drew took his third charge of the game with 34 seconds left to take back possession. Anthony Gauthier knocked down two free throws and Conant was up five. Brendan Rice tried his hand at a three for Campbell, and Conant fouled him; he’d make two of three and it was 62-59 Conant with 14 seconds on the clock. The Orioles inbounded to Springfield, and Campbell jumped all over him to force a jump ball on the baseline. The Cougars swung the ball around and found Stanium for his fourth three of the quarter to tie the game with 4.4 seconds left. 

Conant nearly handed it over in regulation as they would commit an offensive foul on the inbounds and give Campbell one more chance, but Rice’s layup at the buzzer rimmed out.

Stanium dropped one more three in the overtime period and Campbell won the foul-and-free-throw battle to win 78-71, sweeping the season series with Conant.

 

“The guys played really hard, we played hard,” Saucier said. “They've got some strong guys. It was two teams that played hard. They just wanted it a little more at the end.”

The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Orioles (9-3) and moved Campbell up to 8-3. It doesn’t get any easier for either team; Campbell plays at 11-1 Hopkinton Monday night, and the Orioles travel to 9-3 Monadnock Monday to take on the Huskies, who were sitting next to the Campbell bench en masse Friday night and cheering on the Cougars.