Titans paint a pretty good picture in win over Bedford
NASHUA – Oh, the possibilities.
The Nashua High School North boys basketball team showed glimpses of what it can become during this past weekend’s Chick Fil A tournament.
But in Wednesday night’s 56-41 win over Bedford, the Titans gave us a better idea.
“Once when we’re all on, we’re playing our best,” North sophomore guard Curtis Harris said after leading all scorers with 18 points and setting the tempo. “We play really good together, our defense is key, and we make our offensive plays, and we score. I feel we can run with a lot of people in the state.”
And defense is the idea. The Titans (2-1, 4-2 overall) held Bedford (2-1) scoreless for the first 6:10 of the game, jumped out to a 13-0 lead, led 19-3 after one period and 33-12 at the half.
“I think defensively, we were as good tonight as we were in the first five games,” Titans coach Steve Lane said, “and that’s kind of what keeps you in games.”
It was an amazing first half display, and the Titans still had a 20-point third quarter lead before the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run, used six second half 3-pointers to finally bring it to within 42-34 with 6:31 left.
But still, those first 20 minutes. …
“They came out on fire,” Bedford coach Mark Elmendorf said. “They really did. Shot the lights out. And we were there, I thought we were playing hard, but they played great.
“We had 14 turnovers in the first half, and that’s a lot. Defensively they’re very, very good.”
Music to Lane’s ears. The other big key for North seems to be the pace. The Titans want to run, and it will be up to teams to keep up.
“We want to be an up tempo, high tempo, frantic type of team,” Lane said. “If we can continue to play defense like that, we have a chance to beat anybody. Not saying we’re going to, but we have a chance if we can play defense like that. And thankfully, the ball went in a little bit in the first half.”
In the second half, the Bulldogs started hitting from beyond the arc. But Nathan Kane (16 points) and Chris Inzerillo hit big hoops inside and Chukweuemeka Okorie nailed a 3-pointer with 3:21 left to give North a more comfortable 49-36 lead.
Lane expected a Bulldog run.
“Like any team, it’s really hard to come out of the halftime and say, ‘Play exactly like you did in the first half’,” Lane said, “because (the Bulldogs) aren’t going to do it. They’re going to play better and we’re going to kind of hold on.
“But we did a nice job, when they cut it to 10, cut it to eight, we got a layup, hit a couple of free throws. … I’m proud of them for that.”
Bedford only had one scorer, Justin O’Neill, in double figures with 11, while Tim Greene added seven. They didn’t have a player like Harris, who controlled the entire pace of the game, and was aggressive taking the ball to the basket.
“He’s got his basketball legs at this point,” Lane said. “The football stuff is out of him. You could tell, he was really rusty early on (in the season), but he was really confident tonight.”
And now the Titans, who host Merrimack on Friday, see the formula going forward.
“Easy on the offensive end, and really intense and focused on the defensive end ,” Lane said, “gets you a result like this tonight.”