Boys’ basketball wins final game heading into playoffs

Isaac Goffin | Conant Crier

Rajat Mittal, ‘19, attempts to get around a Hoffman Estates player in a game where he scored 18 points.

Behind a 20-point performance from center Ryan Davis, ‘18, and an 18-point performance from forward Rajat Mittal, ‘19, Conant finished their conference season with a 6-4 record by defeating Hoffman Estates on the road 60-40 on Friday night.

Coach Jim Maley said, “I think we’ve gotten a lot better, even from a couple of weeks ago. I told the guys we’re not going to stay the course with what we’re doing. We change our offense up a little bit; we change our defense up a little bit, and I think it’s going to make us a more dangerous team come playoff time.”

Playoff time is coming soon for the Cougars. After they finish off their regular season slate against Wheeling at home today, they will have a week-long rest before starting the IHSA playoffs at Deerfield against either Lake Forest or Round Lake.

Maley said he believes his team is getting hot at the right time and also added that the team got what he thought they deserved with a five seed in their Sectional.

“We’re one of the better teams in our Sectional. I like how the bracket sets up for us,” Maley said

If the Cougars win their first game, they will likely face the four-seed Libertyville team that the Cougars lost to in overtime in their second game of the season. Maley said he believes the Cougars will play better against them, as Mittal was injured for their first matchup against the Wildcats.

For the Cougars to qualify for State, they’ll need to win a Regional, Sectional, and Super-Sectional Championship in a span of five games.

But, for now, the Cougars know they haven’t made it deep in the playoffs just yet. Mittal said, “Coming out ready to play with a sense of urgency is what our coach tells us before every game now. [In the] playoffs, [if] you don’t come out to play one game, you’re out. This year, [we have] a shot with this team to go far. So, we’ve got to make sure we’re ready to play, so we don’t lose that chance. That opportunity doesn’t come with every team.”

Isaac Goffin

Isaac is the Sports Editor and a senior at Conant. This is his third year on the Crier staff. At Conant, Isaac is also a member of PRIDE and the Principal Advisory Board. Outside of school, Isaac likes to watch sports or read about them. An interesting fact about Isaac is that he has been to 35 states.

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