Two undefeated Bedford High School varsity basketball teams will compete in the finals of the Tony Romano Christmas Basketball Tournament at Tewksbury Memorial High School on Friday.
And they both had to deliver in the final seconds to get there.
The 3-0 girls’ team defeated Chelmsford on Wednesday, 49-45, in overtime. They will face Wilmington at 5 p.m. on Friday.
The boys outlasted Burlington, 42-40 on Thursday evening. They will meet the winner of Tewksbury-Chelmsford at 6:30 p.m. on Friday.
On Wednesday, the Bedford girls trailed Chelmsford at halftime, 24-17, but almost totally erased that advantage early in the second half on consecutive three-point shots by Maddie Tierney and Ashley Cohen.
The Bucs also elevated the defensive pace, forcing the opponent into quick shots and turnovers.
“Now the game was at our pace,” said Head Coach Jim DeBenedictis.,
In the fourth quarter and in overtime, seniors Cassie Morrison and Bridget Sheahan scored 16 of the team’s 18 points.
“They both put us on their backs at the end of the game,” the coach said.
Morrison led the Bedford offense with 12 points. “She was everywhere on both ends of the floor,” DeBenedictis said.
Cohen added 11 points and Tierney scored 10.
The 4-0 boys’ team sprinted to a 17-7 lead after the first quarter, then managed only 25 points over the final three periods. But that was just enough as Justice Buchannan’s foul-line jumper with five seconds to play sealed a 42-20 win over Burlington.
Bedford led at the half, 23-20, outscored 13-6 in the quarter. And they would have finished the third quarter with only five more if Camdyn Shoesmith hadn’t drained a three-point field goal with a second left on the clock.
Still, Bedford trailed 34-31, and Burlington led 40-39 with 52 seconds remaining. Buchannan scored on a driving layup and added a free throw. Don Teguia swished an open 10-foot jumper at the other end for the tie, but Buchannan, who led all scorers with 23 points, hit the final shot.
Buchannan converted 10 of 16 attempts from the floor, with 21 points split between the first and fourth quarters. He had six rebounds and two steals. Shoesmith tallied 15 points and corralled 10 boards. Only Jireh Joseph and Jameson Baer added more points for Bedford.
The Red Devils outscored Bedford, 14-8, in the third quarter, and Bedford turned the ball over seven times.
In the fourth quarter, the tables were turned, 11-6 with only a single Bedford turnover. Burlington took 21 shots from outside the arc, making seven, and attempted just 12 two-point field goals.
The Bucs were 3-for-13 from three-point land and 15-for-28 otherwise.