CLINTONVILLE - The Northeastern Clinton Cougars knew they would need to have a big night in order to hand AuSable Valley their first Champlain Valley Athletic Conference division loss Dec. 22.
They got that big night from their biggest player.
Steven Carder combined 25 points with 25 rebounds and five blocked shots as the Cougars scored a 56-43 victory over the Patriots.
Carder controlled the glass on both sides of the court throughout the night, with 18 of his rebounds coming on the defensive end of the floor and six of his seven offensive rebounds resulting in a put-back hoop or a trip to the foul line for 13 of his 23 points.
The Cougars started the game leading 14-12 after the first quarter, but then clamped down defensively and limited the Patriots offense to four points to take a 23-16 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, the Cougars increased the lead to 30-22 before the Patriots used full-court pressure to tie the game at 30-30. The Cougars ended the third on a 7-0 run, however, thanks two a pair of assists and the three-pointer by Jamie Davison, who scored six of his 11 points in the third, giving the Cougars a 40-34 lead.
NCCS then outscored AuSable 16-9 in the final quarter.
Davison also added three assists and five steals in the win, while Logan Miller scored 10 points.
Richie Collins added six points and five rebounds, while Tom Bedard scored four points and Rob Armstrong added three assists and two steals.