By: Ross Laorenza
The Conant Orioles boys basketball team improved to 4-1 on the NHIAA season with a 51-36 win over the Bow Falcons, Friday night. Long range accuracy and solid defense were key in the Conant victory.
Simeon Hodgson started out with a hot hand for the Orioles, knocking down three first quarter three pointers. Bow looked to run their offense through 6'4" junior Nate Alford, but smart defending by Conant's Craig Bilodeau and Brandon Ford held the big man to 6 points on the night. Josh DeGrenier handled the ball well for Conant, distributing the ball and taking the open shot when he had it. Ball movement was superb for the Orioles with no less than three passes on what seemed like every possession throughout the game. They showed patience waiting for holes to open up in the Bow zone and then attacked the basket or simply shot over the top.
After a back-and-forth first three minutes of play a DeGrenier three put Conant ahead 9-7 and they never looked back. It was part of an 11-0 run to end the first quarter that gave the Orioles a 17-7 lead. Adam Nelson opened the scoring in the second quarter with a three pointer of his own for Bow, but it was quickly countered by Hodgson and his 4th 3-ball of the 1st half. The Falcons kept the game close in the 2nd. Junior guard, Colin Plumb hit two wide open corner threes to give the fans something to cheer for. At the other end of the floor Hodgson took his came inside the three point arch, scoring four more points. At the end the 1st half, Conant: 30, Bow: 23.
The thrid quarter spelled the end of any Bow comeback. Conant's defesne held the Falcons to just three points in the third and the lead grew to 14 points (40-26) as the game entered its final quarter. Josh DeGrenier hit two deep three pointers over the course of the 10-3 run. The 4th quarter was strictly waiting for the game to end. Conant played extremely conservative, with their first two possession lasting well over a minute, as they slowly bled the clock. Brandon Ford showed off some excellent determination scrambling for a loose ball and battling for rebounds with Alford. It was a solid all around victory for the Orioles who may have what it takes to capture the D-III crown this year. Final score, Contant: 51, Bow: 36.
Simeon Hodgson led all scorers on the night with 16 points. His teammate Josh DeGrenier followed just behind with 14 points. The two combined for 7 three pointers. Bow had only five 3's as a team. Adam Nelson led the Falcons in scoring with 8 points. Nate Alford totaled 6 point, but they all came in the first half.
From Bow, New Hampshire; Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook