The Bedford High School Buccaneers improved their 2021-22 record to 8-3 with a hard-fought 46-39 boys’ basketball win Friday night against Boston Latin School.
It was Bedford’s first game in the BHS gymnasium since Dec. 21. And it was the Wolfpack’s first game anywhere since Dec. 23, when surging cases of Covid-19 led to a shutdown of all interscholastic athletics in the Boston Public Schools. Practice didn’t resume until Tuesday.
Maybe that’s why the Wolfpack, who led by as many as five in the third quarter and seemed ready to match the Bucs point for point, faded down the stretch. Over the last three minutes, Bedford outscored the visitors 7-2 and forced three turnovers.
The Buccaneers were clinging to a 39-37 lead with three minutes to play and Latin had the ball, looking for the tie or the lead.
The first turnover was an offensive foul called on senior guard Hayden Groh, who up to that point had torched the Buccaneers with long-range shooting. After an errant Bedford pass, the Wolfpack missed a short jumper that would have tied the game. Matt Forman secured an emphatic rebound, and several seconds later, at the other end buried a three-point shot from beyond the top of the circle.
Bedford led by two possessions, 42-37, with 2:12 to play, and the Pack never got any closer.
Out of a timeout, Groh lost the ball on suffocating defense by Jacori McNeil. Next possession, still trailing by five but with time ticking away, McNeil blocked a shot attempt and Bedford had possession with less than a minute remaining.
Forman and Dylan DiGang sank four free throws in the final minutes, and the seven-point margin of victory was Bedford’s largest of the game.
It seems like every night his season the Bucs have had a different go-to guy, and Friday it was lanky sophomore forward Camdyn Shoesmith, who played only about eight minutes in the third and fourth quarters but led all Bedford scorers with 11 points, connecting on all five of his shot attempts from close in and keeping his team in the game.
Without his five-for-five, th Buccaneers shot less than 25 percent from the floor, though they went 10 for 13 from the line.
Forman finished with 10 points, all in the fourth quarter, and led all rebounders with 14. The Bedford bench scored 19 points; in addition to Shoesmith, Reidon Ford added six with three steals
The Bucs remain at home for their next game, against a long-time rival, Wayland High, Tuesday at 6:30.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at [email protected], or 781-983-1763