By: Tuesday and Friday
Senior Molly Dee and junior Caroline Hoffer combined for 31 points to help lead the Lady Cardinals to the state title at the Penmen Fieldhouse. Senior Meghan Cramb punctuated an excellent career by scoring 12 points in the title game.
For Sue Thomas’ Bedford squad the most important task to do in the first half of this game would be to take care of the ball and limit turnovers. The last time these 2 teams played at Bedford the Lady Bulldogs committed too many turnovers and were blown out by BG.
“We had 15 days off from our last regular season game to our first playoff game and it actually helped us” Thomas said. “We had a couple of players who got healthy during that time and we had some really good competitive practices that helped prep us for the playoffs. It definitely helped us to put in a good team performance in the title game.”
Even though Bedford was down by 10 at half 32 to 22 they had some life and it didn’t seem this would be like a rollover game like the last time these 2 teams played. With just over 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter a layup by BG freshman Erin Carney gave the Cardinals their biggest lead of the game. It was time for Bedford to circle the wagons and they did by going on an 8 to 2 run to get them within 7 at 42 to 35 at the end of the 3rd.
Bedford started out the 4th quarter with 2 Laniyan lay ups in the first minute to make it 42 to 39 BG and it was Game On!! For the next 2 minutes the 2 teams traded baskets and it brought us to the most crucial point of the game. With 4:13 left BG held a tenuous 48 to 44 lead. For the next 2 minutes Bedford had ample opportunities to cut the BG lead even further, but failed to capitalize. With 2:25 left BG ran an inbounds play to free up one of their senior leaders and the smallest player on the court, BG frosh Erin Carney put in a layup among what seemed like a sea of sequoia trees to put BG up 50 to 44. This was the pivotal play of the game.
For the next 2 minutes BG held the ball and waited for Bedford to foul as Bedford only had 3 team fouls at this point. Carney and Dee canned 1 ft each to give BG some breathing room and all that was left was for the BG faithful to count down the clock to claim their 2nd title in a row.
Bedford graduates a lot in the senior trio of Laniyan, Blake and Meservey. That is a lot of points, rebounds, defense and heart to replace next season for the Sue Thomas squad.
BG graduates a lot also. 4 of their 5 starters are seniors. The difference for BG is that they received quality minutes and contributions form freshmen off the bench. Freshmen Hannah Muchmore, Addison Smith and Erin Carney didn’t play like a typical freshmen and combined with returning junior Caroline Hoffer they will probably make BG the pre-season #1 for next season. With 2 titles in a row under their belt and a solid foundation in place for the next few years for the Brad Kreick BG basketball program, it might be time to start discussion if this BG program can come close to replicating the 5 titles in a row the Winnacunnet program won from 2007 to 2001.