January 10, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS BASKETBALL: Cony ready for 2nd-half push

By Gary Hawkins ghawkins@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

Despite going 3-6 in the first half of the season, the Cony boys basketball team remains in the Eastern Maine Class A tournament picture in eighth place.

KENNEBEC JOURNAL/MORNING SENTINEL TOP 10

1. Portland
2. Hampden
3. Deering
4. Edward Little
5. Falmouth
6. Bonny Eagle
7. Lawrence
8. South Portland
9. Westbrook
10. Oceanside

WEEKLY HONOR ROLL

• Winthrop sophomore Dakota Carter had 15 points, 14 rebounds and five steals in a win against St. Dom’s.
• Hall-Dale senior Sam Shepherd scored 19 points in a loss to Boothbay and had 11 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks in a win over Winthrop.
• Oak Hill junior Parker Asselin scored 24 points in a win against Monmouth.
• Maranacook junior Taylor Wilbur scored 26 points in a loss to MCI.
• Winthrop senior Hunter Kilgore scored 21 points in a loss to Hall-Dale and 20 in a win over Carrabec.
• Erskine senior Devin Duncan scored 20 points in a loss to Brunswick and 22, including his team’s final 14, in a win against Skowhegan.
 

The Rams could have jumped a few more spots had they not lost at Bangor on Friday night in double overtime. With five seconds left in regulation, they led by three points but turned the ball over and Bangor tied it with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

"That was a lot of progress," Cony coach Tim Bonsant said of the game.

Bonsant has changed his lineup this season several times, lately going with a smaller, quicker lineup, not to mention younger.

"I want to press more," he said. "It's mostly sophomores and juniors.

Junior Kevin Kingsbury is seeing a lot more playing time than he did earlier in the season, partially a product of his solid play in the Capital City Hoop Classic over the Christmas break. The 5-foot-9 guard hit a 3 late in the first overtime against Bangor and is a solid defensive player.

"Kevin Kingsbury has really made the most of his opportunities," Bonsant said.

Junior Mitchell Bonenfant and sophomore Ben Leet are also seeing more playing time while Liam Stokes, another sophomore, is waiting in the wings.

"I'm waiting for Liam to get confidence in games," Bonsant said. "He's one of my best practice players."

Bonsant is also looking for more confidence from his shooters.

"We can't seem to score right now," he said. "I think it's mental."

The Rams, who have been off all week, resume their schedule tonight at Skowhegan.

"With a good effort, I see a lot of things happening in the second half of the season, positive things," Bonsant said.

• • •

Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur is starting four sophomores but that doesn't mean the Ramblers are playing for the future. They're 5-4 heading into tonight's home game against unbeaten Dirigo and have played tough against all of their Mountain Valley Conference opponents. The sophomore starters include point guard Taylor Morang, guard Matt Sekerak and forwards Dakota Carter and Ben Allen.

"All of them want to get better and they want to win," MacArthur said. "They worked their butts off over the summer."

Morang started as a freshman and continues to improve in every phase of the game.

"He understands he's surrounded by shooters and his job is to get them the ball," MacArthur said. "He's worked a lot on his jump shot."

Carter has emerged as a scorer and rebounder after coming off the bench last season while Allen has grown several inches since last year and developed into a scorer as well.

"All of sudden his jump shot started to click," MacArthur said.

Sekerak spent last season on the junior varsity team and has shown as much improvement as anyone on the team.

"His work ethic is impressive," MacArthur said. "He might be our best defender."

The height-challenged Ramblers also have 6-foot-3 freshman Anthony Owens coming off the bench while senior Hunter Kilgore is the other starter and the team's best shooter.

"He's really starting to step up and play like a senior," MacArthur said. "We need his leadership, we need his scoring ability and the way he's playing right now is big for us."

• • •

Hall-Dale will go as far as seniors Sam Shepherd, Michael Woods and Zac Plummer take the team, but the Bulldogs have a good group of young players, including sophomore starters Brian Allen and Bryson Camp. Nat Crocker and Wesley Lapointe, both sophomores, come off the bench.

Allen, Crocker and Camp played key roles in Hall-Dale's 58-54 win against Winthrop. Allen finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

(Continued on page 2)

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