Black Bears claim BBL Biddy crown

The Bedford Basketball League’s high school "biddy" program entered its 22nd season with the largest enrollment in its history. Sixteen teams consisting of 160 high school boys in grades 9 through 12 took to the courts in December all aspiring to be the 2015-2016 Basbas Trophy winner.

Each team, captained by two juniors or seniors, played a 10-game season to seed in to a modified double-
elimination tournament. The first round of the playoffs was a play-in round, cutting the field from its initial 16 teams to the Elite 8. There was only one first-round upset with the No. 9 Austin Peay Governors beat the No. 8 Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns. Other teams moving forward to the double elimination round were Oxford, Maine Black Bears, UConn Huskies, Dartmouth Big Green, Blue Mountain State Mountain Goats, UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs and Wichita State Shockers.

The Maine Black Bears, captained by Jarrett Pellerin and Scott Drukker, took the winners bracket beating the Governors 45-35, then Oxford, 63-59, and finally the Banana Slugs, 44-40, to advance to the finals. The loser bracket saw close contests throughout but it was the Dartmouth Big Green, captained by Mitch Roy and Zach Wheeler, that outlasted all others.

After dropping to the bottom bracket with a 44-40 loss to the Slugs, Big Green proceeded to run the table. They knocked out the Governors, 47-38, then Oxford, 45-33, and in a revenge game knocked out the Slugs, 46-39. That set up their matchup with the waiting Bears. Incredibly, Big Green kept the streak alive by beating the Bears 36-33 to force a winner-take-all championship game.

In the Championship contest both teams played tough with the lead changing hands many times during the course of the first three quarters. Down the stretch, however, Big Green could not make their free throws going only 2-15 in the game. Those missed points from the stripe allowed the Bears to take a fourth quarter lead that Dartmouth could never close. The final was Maine Black Bears 40 and Dartmouth Big Green 32.

The Bears Liam O’Connell led all scorers with 17 points, followed by Chris Francis with 10 and Jarrett Pellerin also with 10, going 3 for 4 from the charity stripe with the game on the line. Matt Gilligan and Nick Mokas led Big Green with 8 each. Cole Wheeler had 7 including a pair of late game threes to keep Dartmouth close.

The Main Black Bears team name and captains will be engraved on the perpetual Basbas Trophy along with the name of this season’s commissioner Josh Hughes. The Basbas Trophy was named to recognize long-term biddy coordinator Charlie Basbas and is housed in the town library in the off-season. This year’s assistant commissioner, Mitch Roy, will be the 2016-2017 commissioner. Mitch recently selected his successor, and next years assistant commissioner, Tim Saltzman.

(l to r) Conner Murray, Liam O’Connell, Scott Drukker, Tyler Bourgeois, PJ Garron, Peyton Murray, Jarrett Pellerin, Max Boyarsky, Chris Francis and Connor McCullough (not pictured)