The Bedford High School Buccaneers are 9-1 halfway through the 2023-24 boys’ basketball season.
Wins number eight and nine came within a 45-hour span: a 72-53 triumph at Woburn Memorial on Sunday afternoon followed a 71-54 home victory on Friday night over Weston. Riding a five-game win, the Bucs probably would prefer to keep playing tomorrow, but the schedule says they’re off until an away game at Westford Academy on Friday.
Twice last weekend, the Bucs had to fight through slow starts. Indeed, on Sunday Woburn led 20-15 after the first quarter. Then Bedford took over the game, unleashing a 40-19 advantage over the next two quarters.
“We just have to be more consistent at the start of games,” Head Coach Anthony Halls acknowledged.
Halls has preached the supremacy of defense since the first day of practice, and after Sunday’s win, the song was the same.
“If we are engaged defensively, we give ourselves a chance to win,” he said, adding, “Everyone has to be on the same page for us to be successful.”
Despite allowing 20 first-quarter points, the Bucs held the Tanners to 53 on Sunday. Through 10 games, no opponent has scored more than 56.
Sunday’s statistics confirm the philosophy. Woburn converted five consecutive shots to close the first quarter, then missed 13 out of 21 over the next two. Also significant: the Tanners had just one first-quarter turnover, then lost the ball 10 times over the next 16 minutes of play.
Spearheading the second-quarter turnaround on the offensive side was junior Trevor Forman, who connected on three of four shots from outside.
The headliner for the contest, however, was senior forward Camdyn Shoesmith, who took possession of the baseline and scored 25 points on 10-for-11 shooting. He also sank five out of six from the line and had nine rebounds and six steals. Justice Buchannan scored 17, giving him 46 points over the weekend.
Bedford shot over 70 percent, missing only 12 attempts. The Tanners attempted only two free throws, missing both.
Against Weston, a team with no seniors, the Bucs reached the halftime break on the ropes, clinging to a 34-33 lead after Weston’s freshman Drew Carlson was fouled on a three-point shot and sank three from the line.
So, Bedford emerged for the third quarter and took over the game, outscoring the visitors, 26-5, converting nine of 15 shots, adding eight free throws, with 10 rebounds and seven assists. Buchannan had 17 points in the quarter; Shoesmith accumulated six points, six rebounds, three steals, a block, and an assist in the eight minutes.
Still, Halls said the key to the turnaround was defense. Weston, which scored 20 in the second period, managed five in the third, missing seven of eight shots. The Wildcats turned the ball over seven times in the quarter.
Buchannan’s final totals were 29 points, seven boards, and four steals. Forman added 14 points. Shoesmith had 11 rebounds, and Mekhi Volcy pulled down six.