By Ross Laorenza
(Bedord, N.H.)—What was once a mild-mannered crowd transformed into a raucous two-headed beast once the students groups filed into the Bulldog Gym Friday night. It was good to hear and see some team spirit, but it saddened me that some of the cheers turned to jeers while opposing players were taking free throws. I prided myself on good sportsmanship when I was younger and as the game carried on it seemed the ones that were being poor sports realized what they were doing was wrong. Both students sections were yelling, “Why so Quiet!?!” whenever momentum shifted.
Thankfully, I only noticed one parent being rude, but he was yelling at a referee. I don’t mind if parents are passionate about their kids. But, if it is interfering with the way I cover games and the ways the kids on the field are playing then those 'fans' need to be silenced OR removed from the venue. Fair warning, next time I catch someone yelling at kids, I will be getting their name and an official comment on why they feel they can be a royal poor-sport at the age of forty-five.
Now, to what happened on the court…
Giving up home court so their girls’ team could see some spotlight was a risk for Bishop Guertin. Risk rewarded! The boys in green and gold put on a show Friday night, beating up the Bulldogs 89-74.
C.J. Boykin (#10) a junior guard, put up 17 points for BG. His aggressive play however, did lead to some fouls and he fouled out with close to seven minutes remaining in the game.
From where I was watching, the Bedford player slipped, but as I said to a parent standing next to me. “That’s why I don’t were stripes. He’s the official, and his judgment is the only one that matters out there….”
The Cardinals are more than just a one-man machine. Senior Jeffrey Lunn (#34) put up a team high 24 points and played amazingly well in the paint; blocking shots and rebounding when his boys in green missed the occasional jumper. Two kids whose performance stuck out most to me were Andrew Williams (#24) a junior, and (#13) Charles Olivieri a, wait for it….FRESHMEN.
Olivieri inspired his fans early in the game hitting some huge three pointers to keep the Bulldogs at bay. When I heard the BG student section chanting,“He’s A Freshmen!”
I knew I had to remember his name…Williams stepped up later in the game after C.J. Boytkin fouled out. Up and down the floor this kid was running down loose balls and hitting jump shots. When he wasn’t open he passed the rock with ease down low to Lunn or (#31) Kyle Gavin, or out high to Olivieri and Boykin when they played together.
Bedford did have some players worthy of mention too. Cameron Meservey (#20) tried his best to lead his Bulldogs back into the game, shooting 3-pointer after 3-pointer; taking foul after foul. He ended up with a game high 26 points.
Captains James Caprell (#5) and Samuel Thomas (#50) also contributed with 27 points combined and some impressive defense on BG’s big men.
Bishop Guertin was ranked #15 in the NH Notebook polls heading into Friday’s game. And their head coach, Jim Migneault, seemed very pleased with the effort by his Cardinals. After an impressive road victory, with a hostile crowd those boys and their coaches have earned my respect.
And in sports, nothing to me, is more important. Respect for the players, the coaches, the fans and everyone involved in showing the talent of these rising stars.
From Bedford, New Hampshire; Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook
Star of the Game:
1.) Jeffrey Lunn (#34) Senior Forward/Center, Bishop Guertin
2.) Andrew Williams (#24) Junior Guard/Forward and C.J. Boykin (#10) Junior Guard, Bishop Guertin
3.) Cameron Meservey (#20) Junior Guard, Bedford and
Charles Olivieri (#13) FRESHMAN Guard/Forward, Bishop Guertin