Bedford boys fall in quarters

The Bedford High School boys basketball team entered the Trinity gym with intensity, but the Bulldogs departure was solemn as their season came to a conclusion.

The No. 2 Pioneers put an end to the No. 7 Bulldogs’ 11-game winning streak, 50-45, in the Division I quarterfinals on Friday night.

The loss was a sign of encouragement for Bedford after it suffered a 66-45 loss to Trinity on Jan. 21.

After trailing by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, Bedford (12-8) mounted a rally to set itself up with a three-point deficit on two occasions for a scramble to the finish.

“We played lock down defense toward the end,” Bedford’s Taylor Grande said. “We had a couple of turnovers and offensive rebounds which got us back in the game, but we just came up a little short.”

Cam Meservey sunk a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left, setting the score at 46-43, but Trinity’s Patrick Keefe answered with a swift drive to the rim to expand his team’s lead to five.

On the ensuing possession, Grande hit a pair of free throws to once again make it a three point game, but Keefe heeded the call once more with two free throws of his own to secure the win.

“Through the whole game we were getting right back and then they would get an and-one play and that just killed the confidence,” Meservey said.

The Bulldogs played catch up through the duration of the game. Wenyin Gabriel, who blocked 12 shots on the night, and Carmen Giampetruzzi (24 points) mired Bedford under the hoop, relegating its attack from outside the paint.

“We haven’t faced many guys like (Gabriel),” Bedford coach Mike Fitzpatrick said. “We were caught in between a lot instead of pulling up and driving in to him or kicking it to the open shooter.”

Trinity (19-1) came out on fire in the early minutes of the second half after holding a 27-20 lead during the break. Gabriel put up half of his 14 points and Giampetruzzi added a 3-pointer in the Pioneers 12-4 run to give themselves a 15-point lead, but the Bulldogs found life and cranked out a 10-0 spree initiated by two straight 3-pointers from
Meservey and Grande.

“We started penetrating and kicking rather than having Gabriel block our shots,” Fitzpatrick said.

Some precise shooting at the foul line (12 of 17) kept the Bulldogs afloat to mount the comeback. They also reverted to the perimeter attack in a bid for the win in the final quarter, but could not get enough of them to fall.

“To sneak out of here with a win against Bedford is very nice,” Trinity coach Dave Keefe said. “We had kids playing positions that they weren’t used to playing every day. I’m proud that they hung in there and we’re looking forward to getting up to Durham one more time.”

Senior guard Ryan Otis was absent from the Trinity lineup after being suspended, but 39 seconds into the game, the Bulldogs took a hit as well, when Ryan Brown sprained his left knee on an awkward landing from a layup.

Meservey topped Bedford’s scoring with 16 points, Grande tacked on 12 and Jake Capistran added nine.

The game was the last appearance for seniors Grande, Meservey, Capistran, Andrew Gilson and George Mokas.

“We’re certainly proud of the seniors,” Fitzpatrick said.