By: Tuesday and Friday
Exeter used a balanced scoring attack with Max Medley leading the way with 10 points to move into the QCIBT semifinals. They will play Merrimack at 6:00 pm on Friday. There is a term referees use to have substitutions enter the court during a basketball game. It is called beckoned. If you are a fan of subs being beckoned on the court during a basketball game then the first half of the Bedford – Exeter game was the place to be. Both teams can go 10 plus deep. Both Coach Holmes and Coach Fitzpatrick had a parade of subs beating a path to the scorer’s table at Memorial. Both teams are still in the process of finding the right rotations. Given this was a holiday tournament game; both teams took advantage to find the right cohesion amongst their rosters.
Exeter was leading after the first period 16 to 9. Six different players got into the Exeter scoring column in the opening stanza. Medley had 4 points. Bryant Holmes and Jordan Dickenson each hit a 3. The Blue Hawks continued to receive balanced scoring in the 2nd period as 5 different players scored and they took a 27 – 22 lead at halftime. Both teams shortened their benches in the 3rd period. Both teams ratcheted up the defense in the 3rd, which forced turnovers on both ends. The Blue Hawks held a tight 34 to 32 lead heading into the 4th period. The senior Bedford backcourt of Grande and Meservey had a cold touch from the outside.
Enter Bedford freshman Colby Gendron.
The 6’5 Bulldog freshman was coming off a monster 23 point performance this past Monday in a loss to BG. While the seniors on the team were feeling cold the gangly frosh stuck a huge 3 with 6 minutes left in the game to give Bedford their first lead in a while at 37 to 36. Zach Holler took over the next minute with great court vision and a couple of nice assists on Exeter baskets to give them a 40 to 37 lead. Gendron shook free on the extended elbow and buried another 3 to tie the game at 40 with 4:55 left. Memo to D1 coaches: Hazardous to your team’s win column to leave Colby Gendron open near the end of the game or at any point of the game. Memo sent.
The teams traded baskets then Charlie Austin hit a big 3 to give Exeter a 45 to 42 lead with 2:50 left. A Holmes FT upped the Blue Hawk lead to 46 – 42 30 seconds later. A Meservey drive would get Bedford within 2 at 46 to 44 with 1:17 remaining. Exeter hit 6 FTs to put the game away and advance to the semifinals. Colby Gendron and Cam Meservey each had 12 to pace the Bulldogs. For Bedford you can say they are the best team in the state without a win. In a little over a week they’ve lost by 3 in OT to Merrimack, 3 in OT to BG and 6 to Exeter. 3 quality teams and 3 quality losses. When Bedford learns how to win, they will be a very dangerous team. They have a very good backcourt in Grande and Meservey. They have some good height and length. They have a nice blend of experience and youth. They have Mike Fitzpatrick. Bedford will get their share of Ws.
Exeter doesn’t wow you with top heavy talent. They just go at you with a disciplined approach and an ample amount of solid depth to wear you down. Holler is a nifty point guard. Medley has some good paint footwork offensively and has some nice defensive timing and defensive verticality with his shot blocking approach. Their semifinal game with Merrimack should be a good one and will be very interesting. Both Exeter and Merrimack would like to be mentioned in the same sentence as Central and Trinity. Friday night starting at 6:00 pm both teams can start working on that basketball sentence structure.