The Bedford High School Buccaneers have finished the boys’ basketball regular season with a four-game winning streak and a 14-6 record, thanks to Monday’s inspiring 60-54 victory at home over Arlington.
Now the Bucs have at least a week off as they await the post-season Division 2 pairings. “We’ll take tomorrow off, practice hard on Wednesday and Thursday and try to get a scrimmage for Saturday,” Head Coach Anthony Halls said after the game.
Bedford trailed by as many as 10 early in the second quarter, closed to 32-28 at halftime, and pretty much dominated the second half, holding the Spy Ponders to 22 points on eight-for-29 shooting, and avenging a three-point loss in January.
On Monday the Bucs led after three quarters, 44-41, fueled by a dominant performance by senior Dylan DiGangi: two putback baskets, six rebounds, and two steals. Max Alper scored three times from the floor as the Bucs outscored Arlington, 16-9.
DiGangi took an inadvertent elbow to the ear late in the quarter and didn’t return to the floor, although he remained on the bench.
His replacement, junior Jamie Buchannan, didn’t miss a beat, establishing himself in the low post like Gibraltar and scoring three times, twice on feeds from Alper.
The Bucs raced to a 53-43 lead, with continuing intense defense and timely scoring. And when Arlington battled back to within three and 39 seconds to go, sophomore Camdyn Shoesmith, who came off the bench for the first time in the fourth quarter after Buchannan was called for his fourth foul, got into position to convert a lay-in. And then he did it again 20 seconds later, calmly swishing two free throws to restore the two-possession lead.
“Whenever these guys come in, they’re ready to go,” said Halls, who continues to use a 10-man rotation.
Sophomore Justice Buchannan entered the game in the second period; his impact was immediate and decisive. He scored six points in the second quarter to help drive the Bedford comeback, and added nine more in the second half, sinking all seven of his free throws. The Bucs made 14 of 17 from the foul line, all by bench players. Arlington missed 10 of 25.
DiGangi led the rebounders with seven; he and Alper each scored eight points Jamie Buchannan added seven points and six boards. The Bucs turned the ball over 13 times in the first half; they cut that to six over the third and fourth quarters.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 781-983-1763