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

Home » Sports » High School Sports

March 16. 2014 6:04PM

Champs

Conant boys give repeat performance, win Div. III basketball title


Conant players Robert O'Brien, left, and Kyle Carland celebrate the team's Div. III championship win after defeating Campbell High School Sunday at Southern New Hampshire University. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)


The Conant High School Boys basketball team poses with the Div. III championship trophy after defeating Campbell High School Sunday at Southern New Hampshire University. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — Those who support the Conant High School of Jaffrey boys' basketball team were hoping for a repeat performance at Southern New Hampshire University on Sunday, and they left Manchester satisfied.

Conant won its seventh title in the last nine years by knocking off Campbell of Litchfield 40-36 in the Division II championship game. Conant also beat Campbell to win last year's title.

"Repeating is harder than most people think it is because everyone is out to get you," Conant guard Robert O'Brien said. "We got the job done and it feels great."

Top-seeded Conant had the best defense in Division III during the regular season (40.9 points allowed per game), and that stingy defense was on display Sunday. Fifth-seeded Campbell was held to two points in both the first and third quarters, and shot 22.2 percent (8 for 36) from the field for the game.

"That's what I believe in because there's always nights when you're going to be off shooting, and we weren't a great shooting team this year," Conant coach Eric Saucier said. "I told these guys, 'To get to where we want to go you have to defend.' Our goal every game is to hold teams under 40. We'll at least score 40. No team in the playoffs got to 40 against us."

O'Brien had a team-high 14 points and a team-high six rebounds for the Orioles, who finished their season with a 20-2 record. Conant also received 13 points from senior Nick Panagiotes, who made four of his five 3-point attempts.

Junior Zach Bergeon turned in an 18-point, six-rebound effort for Campbell, which completed its season with an 18-4 record. Freshman Harrison Vedrani added eight points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the Cougars.

"We didn't turn the ball over that much (six turnovers). We just weren't able to make shots," Campbell coach John Langlois said. "They hit some big threes and we didn't hit shots. Those two quarters definitely hurt."

Conant scored the game's first seven points and led 10-2 after eight minutes. Campbell's first points came with 1:46 left in the quarter. Campbell stayed close by making each of its eight free throw attempts in the second quarter. Conant had a 23-19 lead at the half.

Conant led 30-21 after three quarters, and led by as many as nine in the fourth before Campbell cut its deficit to three on two Vedrani free throws with 4.8 seconds left. C.J. Bilodeau made a free throw with 1.7 seconds left that set off a Conant celebration.

The teams split two regular-season meetings. Campbell won 50-49 in Litchfield, and Conant prevailed 61-48 in Jaffrey.

It was the 11th state championship for the Conant program.

"Winning it two times in a row isn't easy," Conant forward Eli Hodgson said. "To do it the second time is definitely way harder. We're all real excited that we were able to do it."

rbrown@unionleader.com


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

Sudanese runner with NH ties hoping to crowdfund way to 2016 Olympics

Former Wildcat van Riemsdyk undergoes successful surgery

Monadnock Speedway driver captures first Granite State NASCAR title

CASEY DeSMITH

Star goaltender DeSmith no longer on NH roster after assault charge

UNH squad practices without helmets, shoulder pads to reduce risk of head trauma

24 Hours Of LeMons: This Time We Went Fast, Briefly

NHRA president Tom Compton candid on series and its challenges

World's tallest pro basketball player is from Strafford, NH

NH-based hockey helmet maker Bauer to drop concussion protection claims

NH native's statistics help Padres win

UNH receives NFL funding for brain injury research

Olympic skier Krass helps Hanover High clinch soccer championship

'100: Head/Heart/Feet' film follows NH man in grueling world of ultra-running

Athletic director says no one injured in disturbance after Keene High football game

Fishers Cats extend agreement with Toronto Blue Jays through 2018

24 Hours of LeMons New England: The winners!

Kings use emergency-roster exemption before facing Penguins

NH man beat out 75,000 competitors to win $1M in fantasy football contest

Video: Exact moment NH man wins a million dollars on DraftKings

That 70s Line continues to work magic as L.A. Kings win sixth straight

N.H. Motor Speedway to become home of North East Motor Sports Museum

Keene pumpkin riot probe turns to technology inspired by Boston Marathon bombing

Riverside Speedway in Groveton on auction block Nov. 1

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!