2 evenly matched teams went at it in the second game on day 1 of the Queen City Invitational Basketball Tournament (QCIBT) as Bedford took on Dover. Bedford overcame a slow start (Dover led 18-9 in 1st quarter) to win 74-65. It was an even match up, but in the end Bedford just had a little more size, depth and timely baskets and they get the win.
6-foot-7 sophomore Colby Gendron (17 points), junior Josh Koehler (15 points) and senior Ryan Brown (14 points) all scored in double figures and senior Thomas O'Rourke set the tone with his toughness, defense, rebounding and intensity.
Ryan Hughes came off the bench and hit a 3 to give the Bulldogs the lead after they were down 18-9 early. Bedford held the lead for the remainder of the game, despite a valiant effort on the part of Dover. After starting the regular season off 0-2, this was a nice first win for Bedford over a tough, scrappy Dover squad.
The teams went back-and-forth early, as Brown had a pair of strong takes to the rim and finishes, while Mike Hoeing converted a put-back for the Green Wave. Colby Gendron slashed to the rim for 2, and Kylani LaFleur (game-high 18 points to go with 9 rebounds) used a smooth euro-step move to get to the bucket for 2. The points were coming fast and furiously in the 1st quarter - if you blinked you missed a basket. Karim Winn (15 points) slashed to the rim for 2 and then LaFleur hit a 3 to put Dover up 18-9 with 3:33 left in the 1st quarter and force Bedford head coach Mike Fitzpatrick to call a timeout.
The Bulldogs regrouped, and out of the timeout Colby Gendron mad another strong move to the rim, missed the shot inside but grabbed his own rebound and put it in. LaFleur answered with a strong put-back of his own. Josh Bauer came off the bench and made a nice dish to O'Rourke (8 points) for a layup and then Bauer converted a reverse layup. Then Bedford kept the momentum going, as they grabbed a steal and got it quickly ahead to Koehler for an and-1 finish. That cut the Dover lead to 21-18, and after 1 quarter it was 23-22 Dover.
Hughes hit a 3 early in the 2nd quarter and Bedford retakes the lead 27-25 with 4:15 left in the 1st half. O'Rourke was making his presence felt with his toughness and intensity. Nobody out there played as hard as O'Rourke did. Basketball isn't his #1 sport but he still gives it his all and there's not a team in the state he couldn't help. The rest of the team followed O'Rourke's lead, picking up their intensity on defense, forcing 2 quick turnovers which lead to baskets by Koehler and Justin Hayes. That made it 35-25 Bulldogs with 2:05 left in the 2nd quarter. Dover senior point guard Jordan Lyndes answered, hitting an 18-footer after a smooth crossover dribble and then connecting on a 3-pointer from the corner off the catch thanks to some good ball movement by the Green Wave. Bedford went into halftime on top 35-30.
Colby Gendron continued his strong all-around game, burying a 3 early in the 3rd quarter. You're not going to find many 6-foot-7 sophomores in New England who can shoot the basketball, take people off the dribble and defend like Colby Gendron. Then his older brother Gardner Gendron finished a put-back and Koehler took it to the rim for an and-1. Gardner Gendron then made another nice play, blocking a shot and then saving it to a teammate before it went out of bounds.
Dover was fighting to stay in it, as senior guard Davin Hardin hit a 3 off the catch to cut the Bedford lead to 49-42. Koehler answered with another and-1 finish. Hardin and Matt Mulcahy (11 points) were both really hustling out there, giving the Green Wave some nice energy off the bench. LaFleur finished an and-1, and the Bedford lead was now down to just 4, 51-47 with 15 seconds left in the 3rd quarter. Colby Gendron ended the frame with another great play - he was being pressed full court, yet Gendron went by his man off the dribble, going coast-to-coast all the way to the rim for a strong finish. The Bulldogs were on top 53-47 headed to the 4th quarter.
Brown converted an and-1 early in the 4th quarter, but then Mulcahy hit a 3 to keep Dover in it. Brown drove and made a nice dish to to O'Rourke for a layup. The Bulldogs kept the foot on the gas pedal, as Brown and Koehler finished layups to make it 62-52 Bedford with 5:40 left in the 4th quarter. Dover put on a full court press, but Bedford broke the press and Hughes buried another 3-pointer to extend the lead to 65-52. Then Brown broke the press by himself and made another nice dish to O'Rourke for a layup. Dwayne Gordon made a nice up-and-under move for and and-1, but the Bulldogs held on for the 74-65 win.
Bedford advances to the semi-finals where they will take on Merrimack on Saturday night at 6 pm.