In a rivalry game between a pair of teams in the middle of the pack in D-I, Bedford had a big 2nd half charge to beat Bishop Guertin. It was tied 10-10 after 1 quarter, and the Bulldogs were only up 2 at halftime, 26-24. But Bedford dominated the 2nd half, led by senior wing Ryan Brown (scored 11 of his 13 points in the 2nd half) and junior forward Gardner Gendron (scored all 12 of his points in the 2nd half) Bedford broke the game open. They led 45-32 after 3 quarters, and in the 4th quarter they led by as many as 25.
"We noticed they were getting offensive rebounds and we had to stop that" said Brown, who will be playing on a golf scholarship next year at Bryant. "Coach told us to keep driving, rebounding and playing defense and it will work out. And Gardner had the game of his life."
The biggest key though was that halfway through the 4th quarter, Bedford's defense held BG to just 9 2nd half points. Gardner Gendron finished a fast break layup, hit a pair of free throws and then Brown iced the win with a 3-pointer from the left corner to make it 60-35 with just 3:30 left in the 4th quarter. Both teams then began pulling their starters.
"We didn't score" lamented Bishop Guertin head coach Jim Migneault, who coached the Cardinals to their last D-I state title in 2011. "We didn't run our offense. Too much selfishness. Players going 1 on 4 or 1 on 5."
Bedford got the scoring started early in the 2nd half, with a quick fast break bucket by Brown. BG ran a fast break of their own off the make, with 6-foot-1 junior point guard Jack Zimmerman (team-high 15 points) made a layup. Bedford shooting guard Ryan Hughes (17 points) drained his fifth 3 of the game. Senior Tommy O'Rourke made a good dish on a post entry pass to 6-foot-7 sophomore forward Colby Gendron (game-high 18 points) for a layup, followed by another transition basket by Brown. Just like that it was 35-26 Bulldogs, as Bedford began the 3rd quarter on a 9-2 run.
"I think they had 6 or 7 offensive rebounds in the 1st half" said Bedford High head coach Mike Fitzpatrick. "We stopped that and built the lead."
The Bedford run continued, as Brown hit a 3. Highes hit a pull-up jumper along the baseline. Then Gardner Gendron (Colby's brother) took over. He had a put-back to make it 40-28 BHS, then made a great hustle play by diving on the floor near the baseline for a loose ball, saving it from going out of bounds while at the same time knocking it over to a teammate.
Junior forward jack Krzminski (7 points off the bench) drilled a 15-footer, but then Bedford raced right back up the court and Gardner Gendron converted another layup. It was 45-32 Bulldogs after 3 quarters.
Bedford continued to roll in the 4th quarter. They showed good ball movement, with Joshua Bauer zipped a pass over to Gardner Gendron for an and-1 finish. The Bulldogs went back to that same play, with bauer again driving and dishing it down to Gendron for a layup to make it 51-33 Bedford with 5:32 left in the 4th quarter. On the next trip down Gardner Genndron crashed the offensive boards, went up strong with a put-back attempt, got fouled and hit both FTs. Just seconds later the Bulldogs came down on the break, again got it to Gendron for yet another layup and it was 55-35 BHS.
"The points from Gardner are a bonus, because he brings us a physical presence" said Coach Fitzpatrick.
Gardner Gendron again got fouled on his up up near the bucket, and then Brown drilled the dagger - a 3 that made it 60-35 Bulldogs with just 3:30 left in the 4th quarter. The teams began pulling their starters, and Bedford cruised to the 61-44 win.
"You want to go into the playoffs winning, but this is our fifth loss in a row" said Coach Migneault. "This makes Tuesday's game big, so we can avoid playing a top 4 seed."
It was an evenly matched, back-and forth 1st half. Hughes hit a 3 off the catch, from 4 feet behind the line - nothing but net. Bedford was playing tough half court man-to-man defense. Colby Gendron hustled for a loose ball, and then finished strong at the rim. BG senior wing Kyle gavin buried a 3 to tie it up 5-5, but Hughes came right back and hit another 3 of his own to put the Bulldogs back on top 8-5. Gavin converted a tough finish on the break, but then Colby Gendron made a strong move to the rim for an and-1. BG ran a quick fast break, with Zimmerman finishing at the buzzer, tying it up 10-10 after 1 quarter.
"It helps with Ryan (Hughes) shooting and our inside game" said Brown. "Our chemistry is there, we just need to keep it going."
Hughes drilled his third 3 of the game early in the 2nd quarter to put Bedford back ahead 13-10. Bulldogs junior point guard Justin Hayes played good on the ball defense on Zimmerman, forcing a turnover. Hughes hit another 3, putting Bedford up 17-14. Tim Hinrichs showed good hustle for BG, and then Krzminski played good post defense on Colby Gendron and then blocked his shot. Then Krzminski drilled a 15--footer, and then Zimmerman hit a 3 from the left wing to tie it up 19-19 with 3:03 left in the 2nd quarter. Coach Fitzpatrick called timeout.
Colby Gendron made another strong move to the rim for 2, but then BG sophomore Mike Rinko countered with a good take and finish. It was 26-26 Bedford at halftime.