Bedford basketball sweeps Bishop Guertin

Jeremy Faulkner felt his Bishop Guertin High School girls basketball team made way too many mistakes Friday night against Bedford.

While the Cardinals coach was disappointed with the 42-29 defeat, he still left the gym feeling optimistic.

“If we weren’t keeping score, and we asked them what we got beat by at the end, we’d think 25 or 30 points,” Faulkner said. “We only lost by 13 with a massive amount of mistakes and we gave no effort on the defensive end on rebounds.

“Lot of stuff to fix, but it’s very fixable. I still think this team can win a championship.”

Bishop Guertin (14-4) will have to fix those mistakes in a hurry. Despite the loss, the Cardinals will still end up with the No. 4 seed when the Division I tournament begins on Tuesday, possibly against Nashua South.

“Our goal was top four so we had home playoff games and we reached that goal,” Faulkner said. “We came into the last game with a chance for the second seed loaded with sophomores and freshmen. It’s disappointing, but we’re going to bounce back.”

Meghan Cramb led the Cardinals with nine points and Marie Laplante had eight, but turnovers plagued Bishop Guertin in the second half, as it scored just 12 points in the game’s final 16 minutes.

Bishop Guertin took a 7-6 lead midway through the first quarter, but Bedford ended the frame with an 11-3 run to take a 17-10 lead.

Nicole Tucci had eight of her game-high 12 points in that first quarter for the Bulldogs (16-2), while Madeline Blake chipped in with 10 points.

Bedford also got great pressure from its full-court defense, with Bri Purcell (six points) helping to force the Cardinals into several turnovers.

“I would say Bri, between her deflections and steals, was amazing,” Bedford coach Sue Thomas said. “We did our run-and-jump press, and it really worked for us, and I think that kept them from getting into a rhythm.

“The rest of the team has started to step up and figure out what she’s doing and help her out. (Purcell) knows now if she takes a risk, somebody else will be there to back her up. She’s free to take more risks. Early in the season, we were young and she would go for a deflection and nobody would rotate. Now we have that down a lot better.”

The press forced the Cardinals to make some poor decisions with the ball which led to too many of their turnovers.

“The energy and the emotion from our girls was there, but the decision making was off,” Faulkner said. “We’d get the ball and head down the court as fast we could, heads down, into a double team, instead of having patients and walking the ball down the floor.

It was a simple man-to-man press and all we had to do was get the ball clear and run our offense and we made mistake after mistake.”

BOYS: Bedford 61, BG 44

The Bulldogs outscored the Cardinals 19-8 in the third quarter to turn a two-point game at halftime into a blowout in the second half.

Colby Gendron led Bedford (9-7) with 18 points, while Ryan Hughes added 17 points, including five 3-pointers, and Ryan Brown had 13 points. Gardner Gendron came off the bench to score all 12 of his points in the second half.

“Colby Gendron got the ball inside, did a nice job of that,” Bedford coach Mike Fitzpatrick said. “Ryan Brown played a nice all-around game. We got more stops and we stopped giving up as many offensive boards. When we stopped giving that up, we were able to get a little bit of a lead. It’s big for us because we’ve played well. We haven’t put together that long a stint this year. We put together longer stints of playing well.”

Bishop Guertin (7-10) found ways to hang with the Bulldogs for the entire first half, battling back every time Bedford pulled ahead.

But in the second half, there just wasn’t enough offense for the Cardinals.

“We didn’t score,” Bishop Guertin coach Jim Migneault said. “I think we scored nine points (in the second half), until we went to the final five guys. We didn’t run our offense and they played very well. They hit their shots and they handled the pressure well. They just outplayed us in the second half.”

Jack Zimmerman led the Cardinals with 15 points, but was the only player in double figures. Kyle Gavin chipped in nine and Casey Fisher added five.