DERRY — All season, the Pinkerton Academy girls’ basketball team has been plagued by slow starts.
Wednesday night against Bedford, it was the same story as the Astros fell into a hole early eventually fell behind by seven early in the third quarter.
But a massive run over the final 12 minutes of play was all the Astros needed to turn a loss into victory as they came back to beat the Bulldogs 55-45 at Hackler Gym. The game turned on the heels of a 20-3 run by Pinkerton (14-1) over a nine-minute stretch in the second half.
Senior captain Brooke Kane carried the load offensively, but Pinkerton effectively distributed the ball, which opened up the attack. Senior guard Madison Mahoney had eight points while sophomore Allison Ingalls had seven off the bench and junior Jesse Ames had six.
“If we want to be a winning team it can’t be two girls scoring because it becomes easy to defend,” Pinkerton coach Lani Buskey said. “When we start distributing, and we ask other players on the other team to defend those players, it opens everything up.”
However, it was Kane who led the charge for the Astros from the opening tip. Kane had Pinkerton’s first five points and finished with a game-high 20. She also had seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
Kane had nine points during the key Pinkerton run in the second half.
“Brooke is just enjoying basketball,” Buskey said. “A Brooke Kane that’s having fun is a Brooke Kane that’s hard to defend. She just gets the game. Her IQ is outstanding.”
The Bulldogs led from the first possession and didn’t relinquish the lead until the final seconds of the third quarter. Bedford (12-3) was led by 12 points each from juniors Allison Morgan and Amanda Jonas. Senior Kendra Barnard had eight but was one of several Bulldogs hampered by foul trouble during the game.
The Bulldogs dominated the offensive boards, beating Pinkerton 12-1 in that department but couldn’t turn the boards into points down the stretch.
“We got some kids in foul trouble, which caused us to switch up some defensive assignments, which went against the general game plan we were trying to execute, and we started being loose with the ball,” Bedford coach Kevin Gibbs said. “We needed to be a little more patient and execute, and we got caught up in a hurry-up pace instead of doing what was doing what was successful for us at the beginning of the game.”