When the 2022-2023 Bedford High School varsity boys’ basketball season concludes, there will be the usual discussion and debate about which game was the Buccaneers’ best.
But there will be no arguments about their best eight-minute period.
Leading 31-26 over Cambridge Rindge and Latin School at halftime on Friday night in the BHS gym, the Buccaneers outscored the Falcons, 24-4, in a dazzling third quarter. The final score was 68-48.
Bedford takes its 8-4 record on the road on Tuesday to Boston Latin School and on Friday to Waltham High.
Last Friday, the Bucs missed only three of 14 shot attempts over that third-quarter run while the Falcons missed eight of nine and turned the ball over five times. Indeed, over the second and third quarters, the Bedford advantage was 46-16.
“We haven’t been starting our third quarters well,” said Head Coach Anthony Halls. “At halftime, I wanted to make sure my guys were ready.”
The second quarter ended with Cambridge cutting Bedford’s 10-point lead in half; the coach warned that the game could go either way.
Junior Justice Buchannan set the pace for the Bedford offense with 28 points, 10 of them in that third quarter. Buchannan hit 12 of 17 from the field. He missed a three-pointer early in the third quarter, then converted six straight extending into the fourth quarter.
Although no other Bucs were in double figures, the Bedford scoring was spread among nine Buccaneers. Cam Shoesmith had nine plus eight rebounds, Justin Liberman added eight points, and senior Andrew Blunt came off the bench in the second quarter to score six, helping spark the Bedford turnaround after a slow start.
Halls had to go deep into his bench, as Mekhi Volcy was out with an injury, Eric Miles wasn’t available, and senior guard Jayvon Williams was helped off the court with an injury 16 seconds into the second period.
However, the return of senior center Jamie Buchannan after missing several games with a tender ankle was significant because of his toughness, Halls said.
Following Tuesday’s home loss to Cardinal Spellman, “the last two practices were outstanding, and they translated into this,” the coach said.
Bedford also picked up points on fouls sinking 11 of 16. Halls said the team has been practicing situationally, with players on the line “under duress, and when they’re tired.”