Conant's come about as close as a team can come to qualifying for the state finals the past two seasons.
The Cougars are using it as motivation to get there this May, and they showed plenty of reasons during Saturday's Fred Dennis Invite at Addison Trail why they deserve to trek to Frankfort.
Conant posted a 153.025 to win in convincing fashion. Runner-up Lake Park was impressive in its own right with a 139.9, while Hersey was a distant third with a 130.45.
"The guys have had a good week, which is a good thing," Conant coach Mike Opsal said. "It wasn't our best meet, Brian (Reedy) had a couple slip-ups, but Blake (Rossdeutcher) actually scored higher than Brian for the first time."
Joey Mauk competed as an all-arounder for just the second time this spring and came away with a top score of 53.25. He also won floor and pommel horse with a 9.2 on each event, as well as parallel bars with a 9.3.
"We've added (still rings) for him again even though it's watered down so his shoulder can handle it," Opsal said. "He went 9.3 earlier this week and than went 8.9 today."
While Mauk has been crucial to Conant's success, so has Rossdeutcher, who took third on still rings with an 8.4 and second in the all-around with a 48.9.
"We changed some of his routines up and we couldn't have hit the 150 mark without doing that," Opsal said. "He knows he's an important part as a junior and he's really come around nicely."
Reedy placed third in the all-around for the winners with a 48.875 and won high bar with a 9.1.
Lake Park's Mac Allen won still rings with a 9.1 while Sam Flory took third on pommel horse and parallel bars with an 8.4 on each event.
"It really was our best meet of the year," Lancers coach Keith Matune said. "It was a great measuring stick for us with Conant hosting a sectional. We have our work cut out for us, but it was a big step forward."
While the Lancers count on their big three of Allen, Flory and Chris Avvisati, it's the others around them that are making helping the team close in on a 140 and beyond.
"Our younger guys really did a great job tonight," Matune said. "Nick Slavin on vault and high bar, Shea Smiley did an excellent routine on floor and Mike Szmanek had a great ring set. Our depth guys did a great job."
Hersey's David Jackowski won vault with a 9.3 and was second on floor with an 8.9.
The hosts Blazers placed fourth with a 116.55 and were led by Aaron de la Cruz's second-place score of 8.65 on parallel bars.
Glenbard North's John Cummins took second on high bar with an 8.4.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.