Friday, December 28, 2012
Here’s what Division I coaches need to know about the Bedford boys basketball team in their first year in the league. They can score points in a hurry and they come from a lot of different sources.
In an 89-74 opening game loss to Bishop Guertin, the Bulldogs exploded for 30 points in the third quarter, part of a 50-point second half.
last Thursday night in Merrimack, the visitors, who lost in last year’s Division II final to Portsmouth, outscored Merrimack 27-7 in the second quarter to take a 36-22 halftime lead.
They used a 17-3 run in the third quarter to put it away, on their way to a 62-42 victory over the defending Division I champs.
“There were a lot of jitters in the first game,” Bedford coach Mike Fitzpatrick said, “getting used to a different division and a different speed.
“We didn’t turn the ball over tonight and after the first quarter we were much better defensively.”
A few minutes after a ceremony celebrating last season’s title, the Tomahawks came out and played like defending champs, jumping to a quick 14-7 lead.
Junior guard Eric Gendron was on fire, scoring 10 first quarter points. But Bedford would silence the Merrimack student section for the rest of the half.
The Bulldogs caught fire in the second quarter and Gendron proved to be Merrimack’s only answer. He had 15 of his team’s 22 points in the first half. But in the second half Bedford’s Jacob Capistran helped limit him to just three points.
“He (Gendron) was lighting us up early,” Fitzpatrick said. “We had to make him pass the ball.”
Offensively, Bedford got a huge game from 5-foot-6 junior point guard Taylor Grande, who finished with a game-high 25 points, including four 3-pointers.
“Our biggest problem was defense,” Merrimack coach Tim Goodridge said. “If we can’t defend, we can’t play with anybody.
“We let that kid (Grande) chew us up. Our inside guys didn’t show up, just a very disappointing game for us.”
Along with his defensive effort, Capistran scored nine points for Bedford and 6-8 center Samuel Thomas added eight. Merrimack got nine points and six rebounds from Brad Jarry, the only other Merrimack player to score more than four points.
The teams were scheduled to play again Wednesday in the first round of the Queen City Invitational Tournament at Manchester Memorial.