AUGUSTA — Unselfishness often breeds success and such has been the case for the Cony boys basketball team this season.

On Tuesday night, that willingness to make the extra pass was likely a little too excessive for the Rams (4-3), though, as they never led in a 57-43 loss to Hampden Academy (5-1).

The 43 points put up by the Rams is a season low and well below their average coming into the contest (65.5 points per game).

“They’re a good team, they don’t make a lot of mistakes and that’s what we’ve been feasting on is turning people over,” Cony coach T.J. Maines said. “If we don’t get the turnovers, we don’t get the easy baskets.

“It was a little combination of everything and I think that’s mostly credited to their defense.”

Defensively, Cony still managed to force 18 turnovers, yet the boys in white and red did have trouble at times with Broncos standout Nick Gilpin. The junior point guard filled up the stat sheet with 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Nick Chasse and Conary Moore joined Gilpin in double figures with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

“He’s a stat-sheet stuffer for us, even at point guard, and the thing is he’s composed with the ball against the pressure,” Hampden coach Russ Bartlett said. “He’s hard to trap and he’s always looking down the floor.

“(We understood) that their pressure was going to be something that we needed to do a good job with, and we worked at it and he’s the ultimate press breaker because of his quickness and his ball handling.”

Liam Stokes paced Cony with a game-high 20 points, but he was the only Ram in double figures. Matt Murray finished with eight points.

It became apparent from the opening few minutes that Cony could be in for a long night, as it spent the entire evening trying to catch the Broncos.

Off the opening tip, Jake Black got an open lane to the basket, was fouled and knocked down both free throws to give Hampden the lead just six seconds into the game.

The Broncos pushed their advantage to 6-0 within the first two minutes and, while Cony never took the lead, it threatened to do so on a number of occasions.

The Rams cut the deficit down to two in the first, but ultimately went into the second quarter trailing 15-9. A Stokes basket with 9.2 seconds left in the half brought Cony within three, but the Rams allowed an offensive rebound and layup to Chasse with no time remaining to head to the break trailing 30-25.

Cony was still within striking distance with 6:10 to play in the fourth quarter following a bucket from Murray to make it 44-38 Broncos, but once again Hampden had the answer. The Broncos reeled off 10 straight points over the next 3 minutes and 15 seconds to put the Rams away for good.

“It’s a little mentally taxing,” Maines said of constantly playing from behind. “I just felt like every time we had a chance, we shot ourselves in the foot.

“The way that we play I’ve got to live with (the fact that) we’re going to make some mental and physical errors at times, and we can live with that, I just thought they executed what they wanted to do certainly better than what we did.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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