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Basketball roundup: Conant boys fall at Campbell; ConVal girls lock it down, and results from Mascenic and WLC

  • The Conant boys' basketball team played at Campbell on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant senior Jake Drew goes for a layup as Campbell’s Carter Vedrani bears down for a block attempt. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Conant boys' basketball team played at Campbell on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' basketball team played at Campbell on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' basketball team played at Campbell on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' basketball team played at Campbell on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' basketball team played at Campbell on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' basketball team played at Campbell on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Conant boys' basketball team played at Campbell on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 11:6AM

If there was any anger in the Conant locker room after Campbell’s comeback win Tuesday night, Orioles head coach Eric Saucier squashed it, quickly.

 “I told the guys: You can’t be mad, because you didn’t play hard enough to win the game,” Saucier said. “You can’t get mad, you can’t take off your shirt, you can’t throw your mouthguard, because you didn’t deserve to win. I don’t lie to my players. You didn’t deserve to win tonight. Now we just have to learn from that so it doesn’t happen again.”

Conant was up 11 at the half, but an aggressive, explosive half from Campbell’s Joaquin Heller propelled the Cougars to a 54-51 comeback win. Heller scored 17 of his game-high 23 points in the second half.

“He had the mentality that we need to have,” Saucier said. “He was like, “I’m not going to lose tonight,” and that’s the mentality we didn’t have. He was strong with the basketball and he didn’t want to lose. We didn’t play like that.”

The Orioles took the court for the first time this season as a complete unit, with recently injured Anthony Gauthier back and shaking off the rust early on. Conant was not whole for long, though, as Peyton Springfield picked up two fouls in the first quarter and then a third with 4:52 left in the half. 

Springfield made the most of of his limited first-half minutes, though, scoring six of his team-high 15 points despite incurring two charges. A Gauthier layup with contact gave Conant a 6-5 lead early on. Jake Drew (13 points) and Connor Hart (nine points) filled it up, and with some trademark Conant defense, the Orioles wouldn’t trail again in the first half, extending their lead on last year’s DIII runners-up to 31-20 at the break.

“They are good,” said Campbell head coach Frank Girginis. “We had Springfield with three fouls in the first half and they were winning by 11...They’re a great team, they’re coached excellent. We’re going to see them again up there. All the respect for them – they’re a championship caliber team and I just hope we can compete with them when we go up to their house [Feb. 15].”

Campbell came out of the locker room with an immediate steal and bucket that set the tone for the second half. Heller started knocking down shots, and getting to the foul line, where he was a perfect 5-5; his and-one layup evened the score at 43-43, and the Cougar comeback was official.

“We didn’t come out like we did in the first half, with a sense of urgency,” Saucier said. “We came out like they were just going to give up or something. That’s a championship team – they’re not going to give up.”

The teams traded buckets in the fourth, until Carter Vedrani got an inside bucket to put Campbell up 53-51 with just over a minute left.

Conant, desperately looking for the tying basket, rushed down the court, where Aaron Rich went baseline but couldn’t convert. Campbell rebounded and advanced, and the Orioles fouled Crema. Crema missed the first half of his one-and-one, but got his own rebound and started dribbling out some clock around the three-point line. That’s when Gavin Motuzas snuck around behind the Campbell guard, stripped him from behind and streaked down the sideline toward the hoop. Campbell’s Justin Furlong was there to meet him, straight up, as Motuzas barreled his way to the basket; both went down in a heap with no call and Crema tracked down the ball. Conant had to foul again.

Crema missed yet another free throw; Springfield got the board and was fouled, sent to the line for a possible game-tying one-and-one situation. But, he too missed the front end, and Vedrani got the board and got fouled. Not ready to close the door just yet, he’d miss his free throw as well, but after a Conant rebound, Furlong stole the ball back again and made a free throw to put Campbell up three. Springfield heaved a bomb as time expired, but it fell short, and Conant had their first loss of the season.

“We weren’t tough enough to win the basketball game,” Saucier said. “But it’s a learning experience. I’m not mad at all. It’s early. It’s four games in. We just showed that we’re one of the top teams. We’ve just got to get better to get over that hump. Don’t get me wrong, it’s disappointing, but we get a learning tool from it. It’s so early in the season, there’s so much more basketball to be played, guys know what they need to do.”

Conant (3-1) will play Coe-Brown next Thursday in the Keene holiday tournament and return to NHIAA play on Friday, Jan. 4, when they host Mascoma Valley (2-2)

 

Mascenic 76,
Monadnock 59

The Vikings knocked the Huskies down to 0-4 on the year with a blowout win led by Sam Stauffeneker (23 points) Tuesday night. Zach Barthel added 15 and Trey Shaw 14. Quinn Grover led the Huskies with 19. Monadnock was picked as the preseason No. 4 by New Hampshire Sports Page but has yet to win a game this season.

Mascenic (2-1) starts off against Wells, Maine in the Keene holiday tournament next Thursday at 4 p.m. and then hosts defending champion Somersworth on Friday, Jan. 4.

 

Newmarket 74,
Wilton-Lyndeborough 54

The Warriors cut the Mules’ lead to just four in the third quarter before Newmarket extended it out to 20 and held on  for the win Tuesday night. 

“I was glad we stuck with them for most of the game,” said head coach Flip Tremblay. “Still more work to do, but encouraging.”

Cody Swett scored 16 points to lead WLC, and Jack Schwab had 13.

WLC (0-4) plays at Concord Christian (1-1) Friday night at 7 p.m. and then plays Fall Mountain next Thursday at 1 p.m. in the Keene holiday tournament.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

ConVal 39, Milford 6

ConVal’s 33-point rout of Milford on Monday was not as close as it seemed, as the Spartans scored their third hoop of the game with just 20 seconds left. The Cougars are holding opponents to 23.7 points per game this year after averaging 44.7 last year. A lot of that stems from senior star Lindsey Carey. Head coach Kevin Proctor said that he often kept her off the opposing team’s best players last season to save her legs for the offensive end, but that’s no longer the case. 

“This year, she is getting the toughest assignment and coming out on top every time,” Proctor said.

Carey had a game-high 17 points; younger sister Katie had eight, as did Emma Hixson, who sparked the team defensively with an excellent all-around performance.

ConVal (3-1) will play Manchester Memorial next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the first round of Manchester Central’s holiday tournament and then return to NHIAA action Thursday, Jan. 3 at Kingswood.

Conant 64, Campbell 37

Elizabeth Gonyea scored 22 of her game-high 25 in the first half as the Orioles head for the holidays with a home win over Campbell.

“The last couple games, we’ve really done a nice job playing unselfishly and feeding the hot hand,” said head coach Brian Troy.

Conant put up 44 points with five threes in the first half. Mariah Chamberlain had 16 points, Teagan Kirby 10 and Camri Aho five.

Conant (4-2) plays Lebanon next Wednesday to open the Manchester Central tournament.

Mascenic 41,
Concord Christian 7

The Vikings got to empty their bench and get playing time for the whole team on Monday as they handled Concord Christian’s six-girl team with ease. Shelby Babin led the Viking scorers with ten, as nine different players scored for Mascenic. Alannah Johnson and Julianna Tucci had six apiece.

Mascenic (3-1) hosts Newmarket (3-2) on Thursday, Jan. 3.

Newmarket 44,
Wilton-Lyndeborough 28

The Warriors keep bumping up their scoring output, but it wasn’t quite enough to topple Newmarket on Tuesday. Brooke Lane and Abby Leblanc scored 10 points each in the loss. 

WLC (0-5) has defending champion Hinsdale (4-0) on Wednesday, Jan. 2.