Weston helps Broncos pull out 40-38 win at BG
NASHUA — Ryan Weston felt the desperation.
His Alvirne High School boys basketball team was shorthanded. This was a golden opportunity in the final seconds of Friday night’s game in front of a big crowd at Bishop Guertin to survive that.
“We knew we needed to work the ball for one of those last shots,” he said after he drilled a 15 footer to give the Broncos a 40-38 win over their rivals. “We really needed this one. We were down a couple of players, so this was a big win for us, definitely.”
Weston led all scorers with 17 points, and scoring was at a premium in this one. As great a win as it was for the 3-1 Broncos, it was just as tough a loss for 0-3 Guertin, its second straight defeat in the final seconds. The Cards had a chance to send it to overtime, but Andrew Arika front-rimmed a floater at the buzzer.
“Hey the other night they (Londonderry) hit the shot, and tonight we didn’t,” Guertin coach Matt Regan said. “They did everything we asked in practice yesterday. … We figured we were going to try and score in the 40s.”
That’s because he didn’t want to get into a shootout with the Broncos. But, Regan couldn’t have expected his team to go scoreless for 7:57, spanning the last 1:12 of the third and nearly all of the fourth. Guertin’s Max Matarazzo hit the second of his two 3-pointers to give Guertin a 35-27 lead they took into the final period with 1:12 left in the third.
The Cards didn’t score again until Austin Hiscoe, who had a team-high nine points, hit a trey with 1:15 left to give Guertin a 38-37 lead.
“I knew it was going to be like this,” Edwards said. “I knew BG was going to play fantastic and they did. … They’re dangerous. But my kids stepped it up, started playing some great defense, they went after it and that helped shut (BG) down.”
What about that scoring drought?
“I thought we could’ve gone to the basket a bit more,” Regan said. “Some of these guys have played other sports where they haven’t won a lot of games. Sometimes you get in that habit of trying not to screw up, so then you actually screw up. … If we can just get over the hump, I think we’ll be alright.”
The Broncos, who were without starters Cole Zimmerman and Meshack Mugariri, had their outside game going early to lead 15-6 after one, but the Cards used a 10-2 run late in the second quarter to close to withing 23-22 at the half.
After Hiscoe hit his big trey, Alvirne’s Paul Manzi (six points) hit one out of two free throws to tie things at 38. The Cards misfired on their next possession and Alvirne called tie with 24.6 ticks left, that possession leading to Weston’s dagger.
“He hits big shots, he always hits big shots for us,” Edwards, a former BG assistant, said. “He’s a great team leader. He plays great defense. Austin Hiscoe is a tremendous basketball player and he played him most of the game.”
He saw he had an opening to the left, “and I just stepped back and took it,” Weston said.
Big shot, big win for the Broncos; tough shot, tough loss for the Cards – again.