Bedford boys basketball fends off Nashua South
BEDFORD – Bedford’s Nolan Anderson was a match up issue all night.
The Bulldogs’ center showcased all the skills needed for an offensive player to score a game-high 22 points that included a separating sequence at the end of the third quarter into the fourth.
That stretch included a drive on one end, block and rebound on the other to help extend the lead to 17 points and give Bedford a 60-46 boys basketball win on Monday night at Bedford High School.
“He’s very, very good,” Nashua South coach Nate Mazzerolle said of Anderson. “It’s tough when you know he’s good and you plan for two or three other guys that you have scouting reports on. That’s a very balanced, fundamentally-sound basketball players. They have six to seven basketball players. They can catch, shoot, pass dribble. That’s a good basketball team.”
Nashua South battled to cut it to eight with 2:35 to play on a Richie Mercado 3, but Maxwell Chartier buried five of six free throws down the stretch to put the game away for Bedford.
“I thought we played well,” Bedford coach Mark Elmendorf said. “I thought they were better than their record indicates. Started off good, then our shot selection went a little bad in the second, then we got it back in the third. It was a good win.”
Bedford (9-2) got off to a lightning quick start when Chartier caught the tip and drove in for a lay up seven seconds into the game.
Mercado briefly stopped the bleeding with a lay up to make it 6-2 just under two minutes in, but the Bulldogs answered with two of the following three baskets.
Bedford was quick to answer though, thanks to Chartier.
The senior guard ignited pretty much anything the home team did offensively, as he piled up four points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal in the opening quarter to stake Bedford to a 19-10 advantage.
South got it going late in the first quarter when Clay Medling got it done on the boards and the Panthers could turn over the Bulldogs.
The second quarter started stagnantly for both teams.
The Panthers answered a pair of Bedford free throws with a Mercado lay up.
The teams traded baskets, but the Bulldogs were able to limit Nashua South by defending the paint and forcing the visits to the free throw line.
The Panthers took advantage there though and Mercado and Ivan Nyantenji sandwiched a pair of free throws around a Razz Alkalay put back to cut the Bedford lead to 25-18 with 3:12 remaining in the half.
The teams exchanged threes with Medling’s deep ball making it 28-21 to finish the scoring in the opening half.
Anderson and Chartier accounted for 13 straight Bedford points to open the second half and stretched the lead to 41-29.
South halted the momentum on a Medling lay up, but the ensuing big sequence from Anderson made it a 17-point advantage at 48-31.
The Panthers sunk their teeth in defensively, forced some turnovers and bad decisions on the home team and got the lead down to eight.
Following a timeout though Liam O’Connell got to the foul line for a pair of free throws and Chartier followed by draining four more to end any doubt.
“We play better down because we can just scramble,” Mazzerolle said. “We can just play on the fly. When we have to rely on execution or making good decisions, we just don’t. Their effort is always there, it’s just the turnovers, the bad shots and the breakdowns defensively. Those are the things. There is a reason we are 1-7 our last eight games.”
Mercado scored a team-high 17 for the Panthers and Chartier netted 17 for the Bulldogs.
Bedford won the junior varsity game 52-49 on a four-point play with 1.2 seconds left.
Nashua South (4-7) hosts Pinkerton Academy today at 6:30, while Bedford take it’s nine-game winning streak to Keene today at the same time.