By Caroline Fedele
As we all watched the NCAA Tournament play out on TV, a small group of local players and families are fondly remembering that same excitement right here in Bedford. For the 5th grade boys’ travel team from our little town of Bedford, this past basketball season was certainly one to remember.
Team members Owen Brazee, JJ Buchannan, Ryan Cohen, Richie Fedele, Jackson Kane, Evan Kenahan, Ryan MacLellan, Tomas Ou and Chris Puglielli played in Division 2 North this past winter in the Metro West Basketball League.
It was a challenging season, overcoming injuries and working together with old and new players meeting, some for the first time. During the regular season, there were some great wins and a few tough losses but all in all, the team developed and grew together. In the end of the regular season, Bedford finished #2 in Division 2 North above tough teams from Weston, Lexington and Southboro.
On to the Metrowest Basketball tourney they went, and any excitement from the regular season was soon overshadowed by some unbelievable tournament play. In the first week of March, this group of talented boys defeated Southboro 54-37, Lexington 36-23 and Brookline in an OT win 42-40. These teams were tough, some beating Bedford in the regular season but this hard-working team kept fighting and in the end, took the W in the first 3 tournament rounds! This earned them a spot in the Final Four of D2 in the MetroWest league and off to Foxboro the team went on a no-school Friday in March. The Team faced a very tough team from East Providence, RI and came up short with a heartbreaking 59-48 loss. It was a winnable game but their shots went in and ours didn’t, simple as that. We belonged there and it could have gone either way, the team was crushed.
Just when you think that is all she wrote and that the team should be incredibly proud of making it that far…the invitation came in for the Travel Team State Tournament!! The State Tournament invites the top 4 teams in D1 and D2 from each of the 7 leagues in Massachusetts including Merrimack Valley, Cape Ann, Metrowest, Central MA, South Shore, River Valley and Cape Cod League. “Who is really the best in the State?” was the theme of the tournament and after 4 long months of basketball, the 5th Grade Boys team laced up their sneakers for one last effort. On the weekend of March 19-20, the players played 4 games and took home the title of Division 2 Silver Champions! What a way to end an unbelievable season for a hard-working talented group of young men.
Coach Bill MacLellan and I are so proud of these boys – wow, what an awesome season!! We are so excited to watch this team stay together and play together for years and eventually be the team to watch at BHS in just a few short years. Well, ok, they are only 11 but still….
A special thank you to a very supportive group of families who committed to this team as well – every practice and every game for almost 5 very full fun months. From the coaches, we say thank you and see you next year!