Friday, February 17, 2017

Tempers Flare Between Cougars and Huskies

By: Ross Laorenza
A physical game lead to some extra pushing, shoving and a near punch thrown in Campbell's 61-52 win over Monadnock Regional. Late in the third period Sean French was knocked to the ground by Monadnock's Jake Wood as both players rushed for a loose ball. Wood had set some hard picks in the first half, all legal, but some Campbell players seemed to take offense. Joaquin Heller got in the face of Wood who then brushed him off. All players were separated and Heller was assessed a technical. Late in the fourth French was sent to the bench after aggressively challenging for a rebound and taking Monadnock's Tim Santaw to the ground in the process.

Both teams struggled to get a rhythm going offensively in the first with just a total of 23 points being scored. Joseph Minson and J.T. Cloutier combined for 8 of Monandock's first 13 points. Spencer Stanium tallied 4 points of his own in the first quarter for Campbell.

Jake Wood opened the scoring in the second quarter. He used his size and quickness throughout the game by setting picks, hunting loose balls and cutting to the basket. Harrison Vedrani started to pull Campbell closer, but struggled at the line, making 1 of his first 4 free throws. Jake Scafaldi went 2 for 2 and cut the lead down to 15-13. Vedrani would tie it on a powerful move underneath the basket. He was fouled as well, but missed the and-1 opportunity. Matt Gagne splashed home a three to cap an 8-0 run for the Cougars, giving them their first lead of the 2nd quarter, 18-15.

After a jumper by Minson, two lay-ups for Heller extended Campbell's lead, 22-17. Monadock would close the half on a 6-2 run to go into halftime trailing 25-23.

The second half opened with a three pointer from Minson and started a series of six straight possessions with the lead changing hands. French scored for Campbell to put them ahead, then Cloutier put the Huskies back in front. Spencer Stanium added to his point total with a rebound and basket, Gagne scored for Monadnock and then Stanium scored again for Campbell. 31-30 Cougars.

A pair of threes padded the Campbell lead and they were up 7 when the scuffle broke out between French, Wood and Heller. The differential would not stray from there with the Cougars holding a 47-40 edge after three quarters.

Joe Minson did what he could to keep Monadnock within striking distance, scoring three times in the opening minutes of the 4th. Jake Wood fouled out with 5:54 to go in the game. His aggressive style got him into foul trouble early, often taking on Harrison Vedrani inside. Two free throws from Stanium put Campbell back up by 6. The lead would get as high as 11 points, before free throws overtook the final two minutes. With both team over the limit, and a very tightly officiated game, each of the final possession seemed to end with someone at the charity stripe.

Final score; Campbell: 61, Monadnock Regional: 52.

Spencer Stanium lead the way in points for the Cougars with 19. Matt Gagne followed with 10 and Harrison Vedrani finished with 9 points. It was a rough day at the line for Vedrani making just 3 for 9.

Joseph Minson led all scorers with 20 points in the loss. Jake Wood had 11 points to go with his five fouls. J.T. Cloutier finished with 9 points.

Both team showed they could make some noise come the post-season in D-III. Campbell exhibited some excellent ball movement, and Monadnock's aggressive style of play could wear down any team, as well as rile them up.

From Litchfield, New Hampshire; Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook

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