Six games into the winter season, the 3-3 Bedford High School varsity boys’ basketball team is developing its identity.
“I think guys are doing a good job, they’re working hard, they’re preparing,” said second-year Head Coach Anthony Halls. “By the end of the season, we will be a lot better team collectively. These guys are willing to work and that will ultimately pay off.”
The Bucs travel to Stoughton High School on Friday for the nightcap of a girls-boys basketball doubleheader, then play their fourth consecutive away game next Tuesday at Weston.
Earlier this week they lost by a lopsided score at Mansfield High School, but the coach said it wasn’t all negative.
“When we scheduled Mansfield, everyone was aware of how great that program is. But I wanted to test out guys with one of the elite teams in the state,” he said.
“We are in Division 2 now and if you want to compete for a state title, you have to beat a team like that. We were able to take some positives out of it, move forward, and hopefully translate to success later on in the season.”
The entire schedule is challenging, Halls said. “We are going to be getting everybody’s best shot.”
The Bucs own Dual County League victories over Wayland and Waltham, and traveled up to Dracut for a non-league win. The team dropped its home opener to New Mission and also lost at Millbury High School.
Compared to a year ago, the team has changed significantly – because eight seniors have departed from last year’s roster.
“We have a young team in terms of varsity experience,” Halls pointed out. “It takes some time for guys to get accustomed to the speed of the game, the strength of other teams.”
“Justice Buchannan has been a standout for us,” Halls said, noting, “A lot of teams are keying on him and on Camdyn Shoesmith.” Both are juniors who saw the most minutes last season among all the returnees.
The coach also mentioned junior Jameson Baer – “He has improved overall since last year” – and senior Eric Miles – “He has been solid for us, specifically defensively.”
Freshman Mekhi Volcy is “making the adjustment,” and junior Justin Liberman and others coming off the bench have “showed flashes.”
Halls said he wants to build more depth not only on the team but through the overall program.
“We are still looking for combinations,” Halls said. “We have to be better defensively, and guys have to play with a little more confidence. That goes back to some varsity inexperience.”