Bucs Face Sharon High on Tuesday for a Ticket to State Basketball Finals

March 11, 2024
Coach Anthony Halls and the BHS boys varsity basketball team take on Sharon in the MIAA Division 2 Final Four playoffs at UMASS Boston, Tuesday at 6 p.m. Photo by Gil Galman

Late Tuesday afternoon, the Bedford High School basketball team will go somewhere it never has been before.

And shortly after they arrive, the Buccaneers will try to go somewhere that no boys’ team sport in BHS history has been before.

The Buccaneers will travel to the Clark Athletic Center at the University of Massachusetts, Boston to face the Sharon High School Eagles in the MIAA Division 2 semifinals. The game will begin close to 7 p.m. (it will be preceded by a girls’ semifinals match). Tickets are available online through GoFan: https://gofan.co/event/1456603?schoolId=MA14503

The game will be available – for a fee – through the following livestream link: https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/miaa/gamf5aff90302

The winner of this contest will face either Malden Catholic or Somerset-Berkley at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell this weekend for the Division 2 crown.

This is the fourth trip to the basketball semifinals in program history. The first three – in 1973, 2010, and 2016 – ended in disappointment. And indeed, that’s the case for all BHS boys’ teams that have reached this level. (Tennis and winter track won state titles, but by an amalgamation of individual scores.)

“Sharon is a really great team. It’s going to be a tall task to try to win the game,” said third-year Bedford Head Coach Anthony Halls, who was in the stands Saturday night as the Eagles outlasted Scituate, 58-54, in a back-and-forth quarterfinals game. The night before, the Bucs dispatched Middleboro, 69-43.

Sharon finished seventh in the MIAA Division 2 power rankings, and Bedford was 14th. Both teams have been playing well – each has a seven-game win streak. Bedford took an 80-mile bus ride last week and knocked off third-seeded Pope Francis by 10 points.

“Right now, everyone has momentum,” Halls pointed out. “We just hope we can make enough plays to be successful.”

The Eagles’ big threat is 6-5 Nathan Katznelson, a 1,000-point career scorer who can do damage inside and is deadly from beyond the three-point arc. He poured in 47 points in an early-season win vs. Taunton. Fellow senior Jacob McLoughlin is an all-scholastic point guard, and Anthoiny Piron and Ryan Brown are also senior impact players.

Bedford seeded #14 will take on the #7 seed Sharon tomorrow. The winner heads to the championship at Tsongas Arena this weekend. Photo of Mekhi Volcy by Gil Galman

The Bucs are led in most categories by seniors Justice Buchannan and Camdyn Shoesmith. Over the last month, there has been more scoring balance with contributions by Justin Liberman, Keston Paul, and Mekhi Volcy. The entire team has a profound commitment to defense, evidenced by the fact that only once in 22 games has an opposing team scored more than 56 points against them.

“There are no huge egos going on,” Halls said. “These guys are really supportive of each other. They’re going to have big memories for the rest of their lives.”

The players, he said, “are all very connected, they all like each other and that’s a tribute to where we are right now.”

One excited fan is Jason Harris, head men’s basketball coach at UMass Boston and a BHS varsity player from 1999-2001.

“I’m proud that the MIAA and UMass Boston could get back to this venue, and I wish both teams the best of luck,” he said, adding, “I’ve been a lot of things in my athletic career, but I’ll always be a Buc. I see bright futures for the young men on the roster and know that a few of those guys will make a college coach really happy.” 

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