AUGUSTA — There was no panic, members of the Cony boys basketball team said, despite two losses in as many games to start the season. And there wasn’t yet a sense of urgency, they insisted, despite both losses coming by 15 points.

“We played two tough games on the road,” Cony senior forward Walker Cooper said. “We knew we had a lot of growing to do. But we were playing our first home game and we were ready.”

Cooper scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and Cony parlayed a 14-2 run at the start of the fourth quarter into a 49-47 victory over Oxford Hills in an Eastern A game Friday night.

Josiah Hayward added eight points and five assists for the Rams (1-2), which trailed 39-34 after three quarters.

Josh MacDonald scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Oxford Hills (1-2), which had the ball with five seconds to play but failed to get off a potential game-tying shot.

“This is real big,” Cony coach Tim Bonsant said. “We were down (five) and we clawed back. We played one-possession basketball, ran some offenses, got some good looks, and battled. It was a playoff atmosphere in here (Friday). I’m just glad we clawed back.”

The victory didn’t come easy for Cony, which led for much of the game before Oxford Hills rallied late in the third quarter.

The comeback came quickly in the fourth.

Zac Lachance made a basket and Chandler Shostak hit a pair of free throws to help Cony pull within 39-38.

Cony then forced an Oxford Hills turnover — one of six in the fourth quarter — and Bonsant promptly called a timeout.

“We called a timeout and wanted to run a play to give Walker an open 3-pointer,” he said.

The Rams executed it, with Walker swishing a 3-pointer on a catch-and-shoot play on the wing that put Cony up for good 41-39 just three minutes into the fourth quarter.

“It was big,” Cooper said. “It came at a big spot. It was a good feeling.”

The basket flustered the Vikings, who fell behind 48-41 before John Frechette hit two baskets, including a 3-pointer, to pull them within 48-47 with 54 seconds left.

But the Rams wouldn’t surrender the lead. Cooper made one of two free throws to make it a 49-47 game, and Cony’s pressure defense forced another turnover to seal the victory.

“We played well,” Hayward said. “We hustled and rebounded well. We pulled it out. Being down five in the fourth, we kept our cool and just battled back.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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