Girls Edge Waltham Behind 22 Free Throws

February 13, 2023
Mackenzie Tierney sinking a free throw from the line Friday night for the final point of a Bedford Girls’ Varsity Basketball 54-49 victory over Waltham. She scored 22 points in Friday’s game. Image BedfordTV.

The Bedford High School girls’ basketball team keeps finding ways to win.

On Friday night, the Buccaneers converted only 13 of 49 shots from the floor and withstood a 17-point swing over the first 11 minutes of the second half. 

But 22-for-29 free-throw shooting – including 12 out of 15 in the fourth quarter – was pivotal, and the team rallied to defeat Waltham at home, 54-49. Less than two months ago, Waltham was victorious by 17. 

Bedford, now 9-7, hosts a makeup game against Boston Latin School on Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Friday’s triumph was the girls’ fifth in the last six games. “We absolutely won that game on the free throw line,” said Head Coach Ashley Kepaa. “We have been emphasizing perfecting the little things.”

One big thing was the shot that put Bedford ahead to stay, after clawing back from a 44-39 deficit to tie the game at 47. Junior Madison Tierney, wide open near the left corner, took a pass with 1:55 left to play, squared up, and drained a three-point shot that barely touched the net.

That made it 50-47. And when Cassie Morrissey converted a free throw after being fouled on a defensive rebound, Bedford had a two-possession lead. The Hawks cut it to two points on a putback with 69 seconds to play, but that was their last basket, and foul shots by Morrissey and Madison Tierney closed it out.

Mackenzie Tierney led all scorers with 22, including 10 consecutive free throws, most of which never touched the rim. Madison Tierney had 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting, and Bridget Sheahan finished with 12 rebounds, half of them offensive boards. Sheahan was seven-for-eight from the stripe.

Morrissey was injured driving the lane late in the first period. “Cassie going down was a challenge for us. She typically plays every minute of the game,” Kepaa said. She came back at the start of the third quarter, played for a minute, then sat until re-entering with four minutes to go.

Aliya Acevedo, Grace Weisz, and Christina Hovnanian more than held their own during Morrissey’s absence.

“It’s nice to be able to see the sophomores come off the bench and impact the game positively,” the coach said. “We’re definitely growing as players and expanding upon our IQ.”

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