action:article | category:SPORTS21 | adString:SPORTS21 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » High School Sports

March 09. 2013 6:37PM

NHIAA Div. III boys' basketball: Another crown for Conant's boys


Conant's Devin Springfield, left, and Robert O'Brien, center, surround Campbell High School's Max Gouveia during the first half of their Div. III championship game at Southern New Hampshire University Saturday. (MARK BOLTON/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER - Three years ago, Conant of Jaffrey boys' basketball coach Eric Saucier watched Jake Carlson, Devin Springfield and Josh LeBlanc shooting around shortly after the Orioles had just won their fifth straight state title.

The three freshmen were really along for the ride at that point, soaking up the championship experience. Saucier let them know that was going to change.

"I said 'You just saw what I want you to have,'" Saucier.

Saturday afternoon, in front of a full house at the Southern New Hampshire University fieldhouse, Carlson, Springfield and LeBlanc got theirs.

The three seniors helped the second-seeded Orioles pull away from No. 5 Campbell of Litchfield, 66-46, in the championship game of the Division III tournament. Springfield (10), Carlson (12) and LeBlanc (4) all scored.

It was the 10th title in the program's history and the sixth in eight years. Springfield's father Dave was part of the 1985 team that won the first title.

"This one feels like it's mine," Springfield said after patiently letting his teammates penalize the Cougars for paying too much attention to him.

Springfield had 27 points against the Cougars when the Orioles beat them in Litchfield in the final week of the regular season. Campbell coach John Langlois wanted to make sure that didn't happen this time around, so he had his team play a diamond-and-one defense to slow down Springfield.

The strategy worked ... kind of.

Springfield was held to five points at halftime, but the Orioles (21-1) had a 34-20 lead. That's because junior Rob O'Brien had 10 of his game-high 21 points and five other players also had points.

The Orioles found the open spots on the perimeter of the zone to knock down five 3-pointers, while working over the Cougars (17-5) on the glass, turning 11 offensive rebounds into 10 points.

The Orioles scored on their first four possessions of the game to jump out to a 9-2 lead and finished the quarter on an 8-2 run to go up 17-6. They were up by as many as 19 in the second quarter.

"My teammates were getting wide open," Springfield said. "I'll stand in the corner all day."

Langlois switched to a triangle-and-two in the second half to stop Springfield and O'Brien and that worked for a while. Conant managed just two field goals in the first six minutes of the third quarter and Campbell point guard Max Gouveia scored 12 of his 19 points as the Cougars got to within 41-34 going into the final quarter.

A 3-pointer by Gouveia with 2:22 left in the quarter made it 39-33, the closest the Cougars were to the Orioles since late in the first quarter.

It did not last.

O'Brien scored on a driving layup to open the fourth quarter and knocked down a pair of free throws after one of Campbell's 17 turnovers to bump the lead back to double-digits. The Cougars never got closer than nine after that.

Unlike the first meeting between the teams in January - when Campbell rallied from 15 down in the third quarter to beat the Orioles in Jaffrey - the Orioles never buckled as they held the Cougars to 12 points in the final quarter.

"After that first game, I said to my assistant coach that that game might win us a state championship," Saucier said. "It was a wakeup call."

Division III Championship

Conant 66, Campbell 46

At MANCHESTER

Campbell: Max Gouveia 7-4-19; Jackson Musco 1-0-3; Jason Rodonis 1-1-3; Zachary Bergeon 2-2-6; Nick Freson 2-2-6; Connor Shalin 1-1-3; Trevor Duquette 3-0-6. Totals: 17-10-46

Three-pointers: Gouveia, Musco

Conant: Jake Carlson 6-0-12; Kyle Carland 4-0-10; Devin Springfield 3-4-10; Rob O'Brien 7-5-21; Elisha Hodgson 1-2-4; Nick Panagiotes 2-0-5; Josh LeBlanc 2-0-4. Totals: 25-11-66

Three-pointers: Carland 2, O'Brien 2, Panagiotes

Campbell (17-5) 6-14-14-12-46
Conant (21-1) 17-17-7-25-66


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

NHMS, Miller Lite extend deal for another 3 years

NASCAR: Who the Vegas wise guys like heading into Loudon

Goalie Danny Tirone to enroll at UNH for second semester after star's suspension for domestic violence

'Smoke' blows into New Hampshire with the law in his rear-view mirror

Man found unconscious at Winchester Speedpark Saturday

Too young to drive, but old enough for NHMS

Police examine speed, possible horseplay in golf cart fatality

Mass. man, 27, dies in golf cart accident at The Links at Outlook

Hanover's Sarah Groff competes in the women's triathlon final during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Hanover Olympian in spotlight at Las Vegas Super Sprint

FHL makes it official, team planned for Berlin will play in North Adams, Mass. instead

Can NH soccer star Charlie Davies make a comeback?

Inside NIKEs secret sports lab; born in Exeter, now located in Oregon.

Concord Monitor decries gender pay gap in professional tennis

FHL franchise slated for Berlin may go to North Adams, Mass. instead

Eagles' Kelly says he learned his offense by studying defense while at UNH

Former Concord area youth baseball coach sentenced to 30 more years in prison

Maine boxer Brandon Berry making Fight to Educate history

Hudson family, classmates working to keep Alvirne soccer standout Raul Stedile in U.S.

Israel unrest moves meet for NH swim star

Race date for Oxford 250 moved from July to Aug. 30 next year

NH's Groff a highlight for U.S. at ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final

Maine fighters Lamour, Berry on New Hampshire boxing card

Q&A with Matt Bonner as he weighs free agency

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!