(Kingston NH) Bishop Guertin is so good that even on an “off” night they make it look easy.
The Cardinals (18-0) handled Londonderry, 54-25, on Thursday night at Sanborn Regional to reach the D1 finals on Sunday against Bedford.
“Bedford is going to have their hands full,” said Londonderry coach Nick Theos after having what he called, “a tough night” against Bishop Guertin.
BG will be chasing their fifth straight D1 title.
The Cardinals gave the Lancers (6-10) little room all night long.
Almost every time the Lancers picked up their dribble they were in trouble.
How much trouble? Thirty-four turnovers worth, by my count. That’s a lot of empty possessions.
For a half, the Cardinals had their own problems on offense. I had them for fifteen turnovers BUT they still had a 25-9 lead at halftime.
“We need to be sound defensively,” explained BG coach Brad Kreik afterwards. “If you do that than you can be a little sloppy and off your game a bit offensively and still have a shot to win.”
Everywhere a Lancer went with the ball there would be one, two, and sometimes three Cardinals close by.
“We were a little tentative at the start,” said Coach Theos.
Bishop Guertin jumped ahead, 12-2, in the first four minutes led by sophomore Liv Murray (18 points).
Neither teams would score a point during the final four minutes of the turnover-packed first quarter.
“We missed having Brooke Paquette (8 points) on the floor for much of the first half,” said Coach Kreik. “She got into foul trouble and without her out there we felt it. We got out of our rhythm.”
The good defense never went away, however.
And the offense started the second half with five minutes of turnover-free basketball. Five different Cardinals contributed points during the productive segment as part of a 17-3 run.
Catelyn Wheeler (11 points) had seven points during the burst and the Cardinals lead was, 42-12.
“You can’t take away one or two kids,” said Coach Theos, “because they continue to throw good kid after good kid at you.”
The rest of the way both coaches cleared their benches rewarding their entire rosters with some tournament semi-final action.
Shannon Ball and Olivia Chau paced Londonderry with seven points.
Impressed with the way BG’s 6-foot sophomore Meghan Stack got to the basket and defended smartly in the backcourt.
All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.
(The link to this coverage will be on Twitter @mcclellandpeter. Later, I will post some of the pictures on Instagram @mcclellandmiscellanea.)