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High School Roundup: Conant, Mascenic girls’ basketball start with big wins

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Belmont on Friday in the Division III season opener. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Belmont on Friday in the Division III season opener. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Belmont on Friday in the Division III season opener. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Belmont on Friday in the Division III season opener. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Belmont on Friday in the Division III season opener. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Belmont on Friday in the Division III season opener. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Belmont on Friday in the Division III season opener. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant seniors Delaney Beaven (12) and Camri Aho fight for a rebound in a sea of Belmont defenders. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Belmont on Friday Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Belmont on Friday Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant girls' basketball team hosted Belmont on Friday Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Shelby Babin led Mascenic to an opening night victory at Epping Friday. Courtesy photo—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Sunday, December 02, 2018 1:56PM

The Conant girls’ basketball team didn’t waste any time kicking off their title defense, dismantling Belmont on Friday night for a 73-37 season-opening victory. 

Belmont went up 5-2 before sophomore Elizabeth Gonyea sparked a 6-0 run with a three-pointer, a steal and a layup. Conant wouldn’t trail again, looking every bit like favorites in Division III.

“There are expectations, and I tell the girls, ‘Embrace expectations. Don’t shy away from it, embrace it,’” said Conant head coach Brian Troy, the reigning DIII Coach of the Year. “I think they know what it takes to get to the point where they want to get to, and they know it takes hard work every day and when they do that, the good things will happen.”

Gonyea scored 16 points and threw in six steals, six rebounds, three assists and a block before exiting with the bulk of Conant’s starting lineup in the middle of the third quarter. Despite that impressive stat line, Gonyea wasn’t even the top scorer for Conant; that honor belonged to Mylie Aho, who outscored Belmont on her own in the fourth quarter, where she scored 11 of her game-high 17 points. Aho’s contributions highlighted a strong incoming freshman class for the Orioles that are ready to contribute right away, giving Troy’s team depth they haven’t had in recent years.

“I though they really did a good job,” Troy said. “They looked comfortable.As far as I’ve seen from these first couple weeks of the season, I have trust in their ability and what they’re doing. They really have a good knowledge of the game and it’s a good mix between them and the older girls.”

Freshmen Regan Despres and Teagan Kirby showed tenacity in the full-court press that kept the Raiders stymied as they tried to advance past halfcourt. 

Senior Mariah Chamberlain finished with 13 points; Kirby had 11 and junior Silas Bernier nine.

Senior point guard Julianna Estremera led Belmont with 17.

Conant (1-0) travels to Fall Mountain (1-0) Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Mascenic 45, Epping 35

New Mascenic head coach Sean Young and his team got off to a satisfying start, as the Vikings held on to beat Epping – where Young coached the boys to a championship a few years back.

“It was a great first win for us,” Young said, “especially going there on opening night. We beat a team that went 16-2 or something like that last year, and it’s my former assistant coach [Ed Meade], who knows everything that I want to do.”

Mascenic got a balanced scoring attack, as seven different Vikings scored in the game. Junior Shelby Babin led the way with 18 points and 10 assists; senior Maddie Labrie added nine points.

Mascenic (1-0) travels to Pittsfield Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Warriors opener called off

The Wilton-Lyndeborough girls were supposed to get their season started against Nute – the only team the Warriors beat last year – but continuing struggles at the Milton-based high school led to, at the very least, a postponement.

The Rams were forced to call off their boys’ soccer season on opening day this fall due to low turnout; with only four players available for the girls’ basketball team Friday, Nute’s game with WLC was postponed to February. 

The Warriors will try it again on Wednesday, when they travel to Farmington at 6:30 p.m.