The Bedford High School Buccaneers will be guarding against a letdown when they host the girls’ basketball team from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
The game Head Coach Jim DeBenedictis called the best of the season – last Friday’s 68-54 dismantling of Acton-Boxborough – is receding in the rear-view mirror, as his team works to fortify its post-season positioning over its final five games.
The Bucs are 12-2, and the first-year coach said he and the team are enjoying “working in practice and then seeing the fruits of our efforts.”
A-B came to town 11-2 with great shooters, but Bedford smoked the visitors with blistering defense. At the end of three quarters, the Revolution trailed by 22 and had missed 30 of 42 shot attempts.
“We put in a solid three straight days of practice getting ready for Friday night,” DeBenedictis reported, “taking what we saw on film and creating an approach defensively that we executed. I know we scored 68, but it was really our defense that carried the day.”
The Buccaneers took the game over late in the first quarter when consecutive three-point baskets by Ashley Cohen and Mackenzie Tierney broke open a one-point game. Bedford doubled its seven-point lead to 14 at the half, as freshman Annabelle Davis took a feed from Bridget Sheahan and drained a trifecta from left corner at the buzzer.
Bedford continued to pour it on offensively, leading 53-31 after three and building the advantage to as many as 28. The Revolution cut the final margin to 14, sinking seven of their last eight three-point shot attempts – well after the outcome had been decided.
Mackenzie Tierney was the leading scorer for Bedford with 16 points. Cassie Morrison scored 15 points, including nine free throws, and also had 11 rebounds, seven on the offensive glass, three steals and two assists.
“She is an anchor for our team, indispensable on offense and defense,” the coach testified. Because she drives, she breaks pressure and gets fouled. And she works every day on free throws.”
Sheahan’s 12 points and six rebounds only told part of her story, DeBenedictis said. Defensively, “she was solid inside, and when they went small on us, she adjusted and played a guard and our ‘D’ had no letdown.”
One statistic that indicates the Bucs’ dominance was 20 second-chance points, thanks to 14 offensive rebounds.