NHIAA Basketball: BG girls take care of Londonderry
BG's Meghan Green goes up for a shot against Londonderry's Elisabeth Caron during Tuesday's game. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
The Cardinals turned a rematch of last year's Division I championship game into a rout with stunning quickness and ease, rolling to a 78-32 that was all but decided three minutes after the opening jump.
It certainly didn't look like a game that featured two teams with matching 5-1 records going in.
The defending champions defended with tenacity and made seven of their first eight shots as they put the Lancers (5-2) in 17-2 hole they never recovered from. It was 22-7 after one quarter, 41-15 at the half and 58-18 after three stops.
This is one Londonderry coach John Fagula was probably glad he missed.
Londonderry assistant coach Nick Theos said the team learned about 20 minutes before getting onto the bus that their long-time coach was not going to make the trip. Theos said Fagula had missed the last two days of practice with the flu.
"It was a tough night, no excuses," Theos said. "We should have been better with or without John."
Bishop Guertin coach Scott Hazleton said he thought his team had been playing soft for most of the season, so he challenged his players before the game to show more toughness.
"I just wanted them to play hard," Hazleton said. "They answered the challenge."
No use in dissecting the numbers too much. It was ugly from the start, as Londonderry turned the ball over on six of its first eight possessions and was down 13-2 when Theos called a timeout with 4:41 left in the quarter.
The Cardinals (6-1) did a particularly good job stopping Londonderry's Aliza Simpson from finding her teammates for easy baskets off penetration.
"Against a good team like BG, you can't shoot the way we did, you can't turn the ball over the way we did," Theos said. "There weren't many things we did right."
Bishop Guertin's Nikki Hayner (12 points) set the tone, knocking down three of her first four 3-point attempts in the opening three minutes, while Meghan Green (14) scored three buckets underneath to bump the lead to 19-2.
Jamie Sherburne added 13, while Simpson led Londonderry with 6.