By: Tuesday and Friday
Junior Meghan Cramb scored the last 6 points of the game for BG to give the Cardinals their second state title in the last 5 years. Junior Abbi Field added 7 points for BG. Alexis Meservey was high scorer for Bedford with 11 points.
The biggest question at the start of this state title game was how Bedford was going to respond playing their biggest game of the season without the injured Bri Purcell. The answer quickly came with the smooth stroke of junior Alexis Meservey. In a 3 minute span of the first quarter she hit three 3’s to give Bedford some much needed momentum.
“Those 3’s by Alexis Meservey got everyone in the game”, said Bedford coach Sue Thomas. “It also allowed the whole team to breathe a sigh of relief and to concentrate on playing the game and taking away our jitters.”
Bedford used the Meservey 3 point shooting to take a 12 to 9 lead at the end of the first quarter. Bedford continued their renewed confidence and maintained their lead for most of the 2nd quarter. Maddy Blake and Courtney O’Connell helped Bedford control the paint with their height and hops. Bedford took an 18 to 15 lead to the halftime break.
Sue Thomas said, “I didn’t know what to expect without having Bri for the title game. To take a lead into halftime was really big for our team.”
With 1:49 left in the 3rd quarter Jenoyce Laniyan hit a jumper to match Bedford’s biggest lead of the game at 22 to 17. This was the big season intersection for BG. At this point the Cardinal car could’ve stayed in neutral or be put in reverse. Instead, 6’1 junior Abbi Field came up big. In the last 90 seconds of the 3rd quarter Field scored 5 points on a free throw and 2 nifty moves in the paint to knot the title game at 22 heading into the 4th quarter.
BG coach Brad Kreick said, “We were down 5 near the end of the 3rd quarter. I called a timeout to try and calm them down. Then Abbi Field came through with a couple of enormous baskets. Being able to tie it up heading to the 4th gave us momentum.”
A layup by Caroline Hoffer 14 seconds into the 4th gave BG their first lead in almost 15 minutes of play. A layup by Molly Dee pushed the BG lead to 4 at 26 to 22 with 5:55 to play. Nicole Tucci hit one of her only 2 baskets of the game to draw Bedford within 2. Meghan Donovan completed an And 1 with 4 minutes left to give BG a 29 to 24 lead. Over the next 2 minutes Bedford underclassmen Lanyian, Meservey and Fillion combined for 5 points to tie the game at 29. Enter Meghan Cramb.
5’8 junior Meghan Cramb is a very tough player for opponents to match up with. She has a perfect blend of size, speed and strength. She can take a guard outside and shoot over them. If a big tries to play her she will slash to the rack and finish with authority and oh by the way she plays good defense also. “Cramb did a good job of defending Tucci”, said BG’s Kreick. Tucci was held to 4 points in the title game. Cramb used her versatility to hit a layup and knock down 4 free throws after drawing contact in the last minute of the game. Meanwhile, Bedford was mired in offensive mud in their possessions at the most crucial point of the game.
“This is where we really missed Bri”, Coach Thomas said. “Bri really calms down our offense and creates situations where her teammates can succeed offensively. You could see our offense really needed her at the end of the game.”
BG will return 4 of their 5 starters. They also return their key reserves. They have a talented frosh class coming in next year. The Lady Cardinals have the potential to have a run similar to Londonderry with their last 2 titles or perhaps making inroads to a Winny-like run of 2007 to 2011.
Coach Kreick said, “I’m just so happy for my kids. They are a tough bunch of kids, physically and mentally tough.”
Now, the rest of the teams in D1 girls will have to figure out a way to crack this tough bunch of Lund Rd basketball Ladies starting next December.