FAIRFIELD — Facing an opponent channeling the emotion of senior night led by a sharp-shooter who seemingly couldn’t miss, it seemed a nigh-impossible task for the Cony boys basketball team to put away the Lawrence Bulldogs. 

An all-around effort with key plays down the stretch, though, got the Rams there, securing another key victory for a team that looks to have turned the corner at the right time as February takes shape.

Cony fought its way to a 70-67 road victory over Lawrence in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North showdown Friday. The win came as the Rams withstood a red-hot shooting performance by Dane Zawistowski to claim their sixth win in the past nine games.

“Our kids made plays tonight,” said T.J. Maines, filling in for still-sidelined Cony head coach Isaiah Brathwaite. “There were a lot of little things we did at the end. Every kid that went in did something for us, whether they played a minute or the full game, and we got it done.”

Cony’s Matt Boston looks to change direction while being defended by Lawrence’s Zeb Hannah during a boys basketball game Friday in Fairfield. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

Alex Fournier had 23 points and five rebounds for Cony, which also got 16 points and five rebounds from Parker Sergent and 13 points and eight boards from Jordan Benedict. Zawistowski scored a game-high 31 points for Lawrence with seven 3-pointers, four of which came in the fourth quarter.

Cony (7-9) started strong, pulling ahead 10-4 less than three minutes after tipoff on an early spurt capped off by a Parker Morin dunk. Lawrence, though, answered with a 10-0 run that culminated with a Zawistowski 3-pointer before Cony stopped the bleeding with a Fournier jump shot to end the period.


That basket marked the start of Cony’s own run as the Rams scored the first 11 points of the second quarter to take a 23-14 lead. Yet Lawrence (6-10) would score 13 of the next 15 points to go back in front before a Benedict layup and Morin jumper gave Cony a 29-27 edge entering the break.

“The crowd was loud, and they were playing with the crowd and staying with us,” Fournier said. “It was really hard to stay with it because they just kept pushing us, but we pushed back. … The first half was rough for me, personally, but the second half, I found some space and got it going.”

Fournier certainly did. The senior made a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter that were crucial to the Rams holding a 46-41 lead entering the fourth. Zawistowski then hit two triples early in the fourth to cut two-possession Cony leads to one, but on both occasions, Fournier fired back with big shots.

Cony’s Alex Fournier (4) gets by Lawrence’s Cole Quirion during a boys basketball game Friday in Fairfield. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

Cony then pushed its advantage to 61-54 as an off-balance shot from Benedict and two technical free throws from Fournier stretched the lead. But Zawistowski hit back with another 3-pointer to cut it to 61-57, and with the Rams up 64-59, he hit a deep one to cut the deficit to two with 45 seconds left.

“We tried to make sure we knew where he was all the time, but he did a good job of losing us at times,” Maines said of Zawistowski. “He hit some deep, tough shots, so hats off to him. On the other hand, I thought we did a good job on (Gavin) Lunt. Last time, he went for 24 against us, but tonight, we took away his left hand.”

Lawrence, though, was in a position where it had to foul, and Cony helped itself from the line as it went 6 of 8 over the final 37 seconds. One of those free throws came after Benedict made a leaping play to tip the ball to Sergent, after which Fournier made 1 of 2 from the line to stretch the lead from three to four with 17.4 remaining.


Lawrence held its own on the boards with Brandon Watson bringing down eight rebounds and Zeb Hannah recording seven. The Bulldogs, head coach Jason Pellerin said, simply couldn’t get the stops they needed, something that’s been a disturbing trend for Lawrence all season long.

“We got some rebounds, but they really hurt us on the offensive glass,” Pellerin said. “Cony played hard, and we played hard, but we didn’t get many stops, and they made two more plays than us. We’ve fought hard all year, but we just seem to be playing from behind in every game we’re in.”

The win likely means the No. 6 seed in the Class A North tournament for Cony. The Rams could finish the regular season .500 with wins in their final two games, something that would have been hard to foresee when the team was 1-6 back in early January.

“We’ve really come a long way since the beginning of the year,” Fournier said. “We’re in every game, and I feel really confident in our guys. This was a huge night for us.”

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