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Girls’ basketball: Conant beats Fall Mountain, takes top spot in Division III

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Fall Mountain on Thursday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, February 15, 2019 12:35PM

The Orioles’ revenge tour continued on Thursday night when they beat Fall Mountain and claimed sole possession of first place in Division III. Conant (15-2) has now won both rematches with the teams which beat them earlier in the season, Fall Mountain and Monadnock.

“I think it shows how much improvement we’ve made and how much we’ve come together,” said senior captain Mariah Chamberlain, “and I think it shows no matter how our season starts, you can’t count us out, still, ever.”

Fall Mountain came into the game with a couple of disadvantages. Star senior center Kendall McAllister had a scheduled college visit in Switzerland, and after the game was postponed by snow from Tuesday to Wednesday and eventually to Thursday, her plane took off and the Wildcats had to take the court without her. And, first-year head coach Matthew Baird-Tormey was unavailable Thursday with a family emergency. But even with those caveats, a rivalry game is a rivalry game.

“These games, the Fall Mountains and Monadnocks, you know they’re going to be a tough battle and a defensive battle too,” said Oriole head coach Brian Troy. “They know a lot about us, we know a lot about them.”

The first half was indeed a defensive battle. Conant’s shots weren’t falling, but their defensive presence was strong, and it was 19-18 Orioles at the half on seven points each from Chamberlain and Elizabeth Gonyea. 

The second half was another story altogether. Conant focused and started feeding the ball to Chamberlain in the post, where Fall Mountain’s Hillary Berry was pressed into service in McAllister’s absence. 

“[Chamberlain] has good moves,” Berry said. “She’s probably the hardest person for me to defend as a center/forward in Division III.”

Chamberlain was indomitable down low, finishing with a game-high 19 points, five blocks and eight rebounds. When she wasn’t scoring through a double-team, she was kicking the ball back out, finding Elizabeth Gonyea (17 points, six assists, ten steals) or Silas Bernier (14 points).

“I thought they did a good job second half of adjusting, settling down and playing inside-out basketball,” Troy said.

Conant turned a one-point halftime lead into a 55-34 cruise to victory.

With the win, Conant is the first to 15 wins and is in sole possession of first place in DIII, ahead of Newfound (14-3), Monadnock (14-3) and Fall Mountain (13-4). Those two early-season losses feel like a long time ago now to Chamberlain and the Orioles.

“I think we’re just more comfortable with each other,” Chamberlain said. “I think we are able to read each other better and I think we have been in some close games where we understand what we need to do. Early on we had some tough games and we weren't as composed as we are now.”

It was the final regular-season home game for the Oriole seniors – Chamberlain, Camri Aho, Delaney Beaven and Jasmine Marshall. 

“This group of seniors, they’ve been awesome throughout the three years I’ve been here,” Troy said. “They’ve been a big part of our success. We know it’s a good group and it’s kind of tough knowing that the season’s winding down and they’re going to be gone one day. They’ve been instrumental in our success here at Conant.”

Conant is at Campbell (8-9) tonight in the regular-season finale and will host a home playoff game next week.