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Conant, ConVal play in holiday basketball tournament finals

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough's boys' basketball teams played in the Keene holiday tournament last week. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys basketball team fell to Murdock, Mass. 75-65 on Saturday in the white division championship game at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament at Keene State College Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal boys basketball team fell to Murdock, Mass. 75-65 on Saturday in the white division championship game at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament at Keene State College Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal boys basketball team fell to Murdock, Mass. 75-65 on Saturday in the white division championship game at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament at Keene State College Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal boys basketball team fell to Murdock, Mass. 75-65 on Saturday in the white division championship game at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament at Keene State College Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal boys basketball team fell to Murdock, Mass. 75-65 on Saturday in the white division championship game at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament at Keene State College Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal boys basketball team fell to Murdock, Mass. 75-65 on Saturday in the white division championship game at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament at Keene State College Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal boys basketball team fell to Murdock, Mass. 75-65 on Saturday in the white division championship game at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament at Keene State College Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal boys basketball team fell to Murdock, Mass. 75-65 on Saturday in the white division championship game at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament at Keene State College Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The ConVal boys basketball team fell to Murdock, Mass. 75-65 on Saturday in the white division championship game at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament at Keene State College Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The Conant boys basketball team fell to Mamaroneck, N.Y. in the finals of the red division, 63-45 on Saturday at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament hosted by Keene State College. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The Conant boys basketball team fell to Mamaroneck, N.Y. in the finals of the red division, 63-45 on Saturday at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament hosted by Keene State College. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The Conant boys basketball team fell to Mamaroneck, N.Y. in the finals of the red division, 63-45 on Saturday at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament hosted by Keene State College. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The Conant boys basketball team fell to Mamaroneck, N.Y. in the finals of the red division, 63-45 on Saturday at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament hosted by Keene State College. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The Conant boys basketball team fell to Mamaroneck, N.Y. in the finals of the red division, 63-45 on Saturday at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament hosted by Keene State College. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The Conant boys basketball team fell to Mamaroneck, N.Y. in the finals of the red division, 63-45 on Saturday at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament hosted by Keene State College. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The Conant boys basketball team fell to Mamaroneck, N.Y. in the finals of the red division, 63-45 on Saturday at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament hosted by Keene State College. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • The Conant boys basketball team fell to Mamaroneck, N.Y. in the finals of the red division, 63-45 on Saturday at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament hosted by Keene State College. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, December 31, 2018 12:48PM

Sure, Conant and ConVal both wanted to win their respective championship games on Saturday at the 2018 Scores Holiday Basketball Tournament.

Neither of them did, but when it comes to playing in the annual after Christmas, three games in three days tourney at Keene State College, it’s not always about the results on the scoreboard.

Conant faced a big, physical opponent in Mamaroneck, N.Y., and despite a 14-12 advantage after the opening eight minutes, a 21-0 Tigers run that spanned the final five-plus minutes of the second quarter and the first two of the third sealed the Orioles fate in a 63-45 loss. Peyton Springfield had 12 of the team’s first quarter points and finished with 27, earning all-tournament honors along with teammate Jake Drew.

“We want to take the Christmas time to get better and work on us, and playing against top level competition, that’s the only way we’re going to get better. It also shows us what our weaknesses are and what we need to improve on, and that’s a big key,” said Conant coach Eric Saucier. “I told them I didn’t care about the score, I just care about our compete level.”

ConVal was facing the same Murdock, Mass. team it defeated by one point a year ago in the white division title game, but just couldn’t fully close the gap after pulling with a possession with 1:03 remaining, falling 75-65.

“They understand the importance of learning,” said ConVal coach Leo Gershgorin. “This tournament is huge for us and I didn’t know how big it was until it was over last year.”

Both teams picked up a pair of wins to make it to the championship round, which are invaluable considering ConVal has played just two games (1-1) and Conant was coming off its first loss of the season.

Mamaroneck is maybe unlike any team Conant will face in Division III. They actually have a lot of similarities to the Orioles – patient offensively, force you to be precise on offense and press, and that’s not a bad thing to go up against.

“It’s great for us. We played a Division II team and two Division I teams, one from New York, and that’s why we come here. We want to play teams that are bigger and better,” Saucier said.

ConVal fought and scratched their way back in it, thanks to Mather Kipka’s 18 and Max Richard’s 10, both of who were all-tournament selections, but missed opportunities were just too much to overcome.

Even in defeat, Gershgorin learned a lot about his team.

“What we saw from Murdock, we’re not going to see that in practice,” Gershgorin said. “Every loss is huge for us as we learn.”

Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough both also played in the tournament.

After opening day losses, each salvaged a win before the three days were up, as WLC beat Mount Royal 46-31 behind 21 from Jack Schwab on Friday, before dropping a close one to Division IV rival Sunapee, 61-48, on Sunday.

Mascenic’s win came on Sunday, defeating Monadnock, 51-41, with Trey Shaw leading the way with 20 points.