The Bishop Guertin girls basketball team once again made a statement on Thursday night, crushing Nashua North 63-36. Going in BG was 14-1 and Nashua North was 13-2. So this should have been a much closer game, right? Wrong. BG is simply on a roll right now. Londonderry and Pinkerton should have given the Cardinals a tougher game too, but BG beat Londonderry by over 40, and against Pinkerton they went up 11-0 right off the bat and the Astros never had a chance from there.
On Thursday night vs. North, BG scored 18 points in the first 4 minutes of the 3rd quarter - that's unheard of! They outscored the Titans 27-4 in the 3rd quarter to make it 52-17. Player of the Year candidate Meghan Green scored just 5 points, but Guertin still dropped 63 for the game. Nicole Hayner led a balanced scoring attack with a game-high 15 points (including three 3-pointers), Jamie Sherburne had 14 points (to go with 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals), Paige Parkinson chipped in with 9 points and 6 rebounds. Coach Hazelton played everyone on the team and 9 of them scored.
With the way they are playing right now, I don't see anyone touching this BG girls team, except for maybe Bedford. However one of BG's best players suffered an injury on Thursday night which could cause her to miss the rest of the season. Sophomore guard Megan Kerutis suffered a concussion in the midst of BG's 3rd quarter rally. She was battling for possession of the ball with North freshman guard Marie LaPlante, when Kerutis got flipped over and landed hard on the court. She was examined on the sideline by a trainer before being carried out of the gym and taken to the hospital.
"She's done" lamented Bishop Guertin head coach Scott Hazelton. "It happened to her at the same time of the season last year, too. It was the third to last game when she got a concussion vs. Winnacunnet last year. We hope she comes back."
Kerutis is one of the top young players in the state, and she plays the game as hard as anybody. She's one of those kids who would run through walls out there if it helped her team win. You hate to see any player get hurt, but especially one like Kerutis.
Things got very physical in the 2nd quarter, and it seemed like the officials were losing control of the game. Bodies were flying around everywhere, hitting the court hard, players bumping into each other hard near the basket with nothing being called. At halftime I spoke to a few different people and the consensus seemed to be that if things don't settle down then someone might get hurt. Unfortunately someone did get hurt. Concussions are always scary, and they're even more scary when it's not the first time to happen to that player.
North also had a key player go down with an injury in the 3rd quarter. Freshman guard Dezi Okorie (one of two freshmen who start for the Titans along with LaPlante).
"Dezi got hit in the 3rd quarter and start to feel dizzy" said Nashua North head coach Ricky Oliver. "That really hurt us."
This was the second game of a boys / girls doubleheader, with the BG boys also coming out victorious in a 70-61 win over North. It was a great atmoshere in the gym, with a good crown on hand and both school's student sections out in full force. We need more of these types of games in NH, especially when rival schools are involved. It is good for NH basketball, as it raises the interest level in the sport. You get more people going to the games, better atmospheres, it's a more enjoyable experience for the players as well as the fans.
The points came fast and furiously for BG in the 3rd quarter. Hayner got things started with back-to-back 3-pointers to make it 35-15.
"Nikki Hayner is the best shooter in the state" said Coach Oliver. "I've been watching her come up through high school and AAU and she has just gotten better and better at that shot every year."
Then BG really started to push the pace of the game, get steals and then turn them into fast-brea layups on the other end. Sherburne started to take over the game with her play in the open court. She drove hard to the basket in transition on back-to-back plays, getting fouled and hitting 2 FT's on one drive and on the other one she made a nifty move by faking a pass before doing a euro-step move and finishing the layup. Then Hayner hit a layup on the break to make it 41-15 with 5:01 left in the 3rd quarter, as Oliver called a timeout to try and stop the bleeding.
"North is a scrappy team, they play fearless" said Coach Hazelton. "We just had to settle down and get back to playing our game."
Sherburne then made a great drop step and spin move on the low block, finishing insdie to make it 44-17 Guertin with 2:31 left in the 3rd quarter. The route was on. The teams emptied their benches in the 4th quarter, and senior wing Emmary Nelson hit a buzzer beating 3-pointer to make the final score 63-36.