AUGUSTA — Teams playing the Cony High School boys basketball team are learning their lesson. When Simon McCormick grabs a steal and goes the other way for a score, watch the passes around Jordan Roddy the next time down the court. If Roddy steps back and knocks down a jumper, it’s a good idea not to leave McCormick alone on the next possession.

“Good players feed off each other, and I think that’s what they do. You know, Jordan says ‘I’m not going to let him show me up. I’m going to get the next one,’ ” coach T.J. Maines said. “What I love is they both have a passion and an intensity for basketball that’s not matched by many people. I think that’s what’s a real separating thing and also brings them really close together.”

It’s become easy to see how close. There’s a sibling-sibling relationship between the Rams’ talented guards, with Roddy the established senior star who’s taken it upon himself to mentor and groom McCormick, the team’s quicksilver sophomore and standout in the making. The two play together on the court, hang out together off it, and even live down the road from each other in Whitefield.

“Since fifth grade, I’ve always looked up to him,” said McCormick, who picked Cony over Gardiner for high school. “He’s always been, in the Sheepscot Valley, that kid, the man, the legend, and I always looked up to him. And then he went to Cony and that just brought me here.”

Their relationship dates back well before this season.

“Last year it was like that too, he was a freshman and he played a lot of minutes with us, so in practice I was on him still, I was hanging out with him, getting him ready to play and stuff,” Roddy said. “He’s a small kid, so playing with all those big kids I was worried he wasn’t going to do all that well. As soon as he came in, he was killing it.”

The two have taken similar paths to this point. Roddy and McCormick went to middle school away from Augusta in China and Whitefield, respectively, both played AAU for Maines, and both arrived at Cony with a degree of athletic hype preceding them.

“I think Jordan was always kind of seen as the best player in this area, so was Simon for their age group, so I think Jordan could say ‘Hey, I understand where you’re coming from. I had a similar experience,’ ” Maines said. “When Jordan came in here as a freshman, he was treated really, really well by the senior group. … He understood what that value was, and I think he’s tried to do that with Simon and some of the younger kids, take them under his wing and make sure they feel like they’re a part of it.”

He’s been able to do it more this season than before. Originally, Maines had Roddy and McCormick playing in different groups during the games, so they were in separate groups during practice. After Cony scuffled to start this season, however, Maines changed his scheme and put the two players in the same rotation. Nine straight wins later, Cony is in the A North semifinals and McCormick’s and Roddy’s bond has only grown.

“We didn’t interact with each other during practice, but now we’re in every time together, we’re ready to come out with each other,” McCormick said. “We just fit together.”

Their differences are just as apparent as their similarities. While Roddy is reserved, quiet and introspective, McCormick is more outspoken and bold, to the point that he’s not afraid to get in the face of his older teammates — his mentor included.

“He tells me stuff to do too,” Roddy said. “If I do something stupid, he’s not afraid to tell me.”

Those differences continue on the court. Roddy is physical with exceptional body control in the lane, anticipation on defense and a consistent step-back jumper. McCormick is fast and plays faster, with flashy passes, a dangerous 3-point shot and rugged on-ball defense part of his repertoire.

And when one goes off, expect the other to do the same.

“We just feed off each other,” McCormick said. “When he gets hot, I get hot, and I just feel like when he makes it, I can make it.”

“He’s a better shooter than I am,” Roddy said. “I’m more of a dribble-drive guy, so we can create more offense for each other.”

So far, it’s been working.

“They don’t rest on who they’re supposed to be,” Maines said. “They work as hard as any kids I’ve ever coached. They get after it in practice.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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