Bedford boys hoops tops BG

NASHUA – The Bishop Guertin High School boys basketball team had no choice but to keep fouling and hope Bedford missed most of its free throws.

The Bulldogs came close to cooperating.

The Cardinals were down nine points with a little over two minutes to play when they began sending Bedford to the line, and the Bulldogs missed 8 of 12 free throws to allow Bishop Guertin to get within five points.

But the Cardinals went dry from the field and couldn’t get any closer in a 67-56 loss to Bedford in the first game of a varsity doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 26.

Mike Rinko led Bishop Guertin (6-11) with 17 points and Chad Olivieri was also in double figures with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.

"We were chasing and fouling and we started pretty early," Bishop Guertin coach Jim Migneault said. "We cut it to five and they hit foul shots. When they miss, we have to score, and we didn’t score every time down.

"I thought they played hard. We’re coming from behind all night. We made a couple of runs, the kids played hard and they haven’t quit."

Joshua Koehler led the Bulldogs (11-5) with 15 points, going 5 of 5 from the line, and Josh Bauer added 14 points, going 10 of 12 on foul shots. Ryan Hughes also had 14 points, 12 of which came in the second quarter when Bedford took control of the game.

"Free throws were huge for us," Bedford coach Mark Elmendorf said. "We missed them and that doesn’t normally happen. We had a couple of runs in the first half that I think helped."

Bedford grabbed a 14-6 lead with 3:20 left in the first quarter, but Bishop Guertin closed the quarter on a 6-0 run to pull within two points.

Then Hughes took over for the Bulldogs in the second. The senior scored all 12 of his first-half points in the quarter, including a personal 8-0 that gave Bedford a 29-17 lead with 3:53 left in the half.

After making a 3 that made it 24-17, Hughes went behind his back for a fastbreak layup and followed it with a deep 3 in transition that forced the Cardinals to take a timeout.

"There were times, like when we had it down to two (points), where we missed three 3s in a row, and they came down and buried shots," Migneault said. "We went from down two to down 10. The 3s weren’t bad shots. They were shots that we can make, we just didn’t make them."

Bedford led 37-23 at halftime and took a 52-38 lead into the fourth quarter, but the Cardinals opened the fourth with a 10-5 run that got them within nine points, 57-48, thanks in part to two 3s by Olivieri and Clayton Crowell.

Bishop Guertin started fouling and Bedford starting missing free throws after that, and then started sending the Cardinals to the line. Rinko, Crowell and Patrick Donovan made two each to get Bishop Guertin within five points, but when Bedford stopped fouling, the Cardinals stopped scoring.

The Cardinals finish up the season hosting Trinity on Tuesday.