BG girls pass their first big test
Bedford's Rachel Collins(15) keeps the ball from Bishop Guertin's Madison Gibbs during the second half of their game hosted at Bedford High School Friday evening. Bishop Guertin won 51-42. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
BEDFORD - Facing a stern test on the road, Bishop Guertin of Nashua scored a dozen straight points in the fourth quarter and defeated Bedford, 51-42, in girls' basketball action Friday night.
It's early for playoff talk, but Division I may not feature another game with so much talent until the postseason.
Junior guard Jamie Sherburne led the Cardinals with 13 points and sank six consecutive free throws down the stretch. Senior forward Madison Gibbs added 11 points, and senior center Meghan Green had eight points as BG improved to 2-0. Bedford (2-1) suffered its first loss since moving up to Division I.
"Bedford's as talented as any team in the state," Bishop Guertin second-year coach Scott Hazelton said. "That's a big win. We struggled at times, offensively, but the good thing is we know we can get a lot better."
Bedford won the first four minutes, swatting shots and holding BG scoreless on six consecutive possessions. Bulldogs captain Maggie McGown had the first basket of the game, and Rachel Collins hit a 3-pointer late in the first half, but neither team could find a rhythm on offense.
"I think they blocked our first three shots. We made up for it by playing good defense," said Green, committed to play at Boston University next season.
The defending champs regained their swagger in the second quarter.
Green scored twice in the paint, and Sherburne split the defense with drives to the bucket. BG's Gibbs and Nicole Hayner each sank 3-pointers - the result of swift ball movement - and the Cards took a 24-15 lead into halftime.
The Bulldogs battled back in the third quarter, trimming the deficit to 26-23 on Haley Driscoll's aggressive move to the basket. Megan Kerutis snapped a five-minute drought for BG, converting on a layup, and the game tightened up in the final stanza.
McGown sank a pair of free throws with 3:05 remaining, whittling BG's lead to 38-36. From there, however, the Cardinals unleashed a 12-0 run to seal the big win.
McGown had 10 points and Rachel Collins eight in a balanced attack for the Bulldogs. BG's Green, a resident of Bedford, scored all of her eight points in the first half.
"Bedford's a really good team, and we knew they'd be a contender after moving up to this division," said Green, who played against some of her good friends and fellow Bedford residents. "It was kind of weird for me. I was going to attend Bedford but at the last minute decided to go to BG. It's a lot of fun coming back to my hometown, but I'm definitely proud to say I'm playing for Bishop Guertin."
Bedford's Driscoll (four points) sat out a chunk of the first half after banging her head on the floor but seemed OK after returning. The Bulldogs have embraced a baptism by fire since moving up to Division I, beating Manchester Central and Londonderry prior to Friday night's battle with BG.