Souhegan boys live, die by 3 in loss to Bedford
BEDFORD – The Souhegan High School boys basketball teams typically keeps its relationship with the 3-point shot casual.
Friday night at Bedford, the Sabers fell in love with the long ball.
More than half of Souhegan’s field goals (12) came from behind the arc, but the Sabers missed more than they made, often times settling for a 3 against the Bulldogs’ zone. After building a 17-point lead in the first half on the 3, the Sabers died by it in the second half, falling to Bedford 68-63.
Souhegan (13-2 in Division II) opened the game by making its first two 3s, and the Sabers made six in the first quarter. Another in the second helped them take a 33-16 lead over Bedford with under four minutes to go until halftime.
“We fell in love with it,” Souhegan coach Mike Heaney said. “Sometimes shooting is contagious. He got one, so I’ll get one, and we got that a little bit, but then we’ve got to take a breath and run our stuff. I thought if we kept shooting like that, we’d get them out of the zone.”
But Bedford didn’t come out of its zone. Instead, the Bulldogs (12-3) buckled down and withstood the storm.
“You’re concerned any time you start getting down double digits,” Bedford coach John Langlois said. “When they get it to 15 or 16 it’s a big concern, because if they get it to 20, any team can start to lose confidence.”
The Bulldogs kept their heads up and closed the first half on a 12-3 run that made it an eight-point game at halftime.
“We had a big finish in that half and I told the guys that we’re OK,” Langlois said. “They hit those 3s and we can hit shots. We’re coming back, we’re fine in this game, and we were.”
Bedford continued its run into the third quarter, scoring the first six points to make it 36-34 Souhegan. The Sabers were able to hang on to the lead, pushing it to as many as eight, but the Bulldogs ended the third on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 45.
Cameron Meservey gave Bedford the lead for good with a 3-pointer with 4:42 to play, putting the Bulldogs up 52-49. James Caparell, who had a game-high 24 points, was 10 for 12 from the line in the second half, while Collin McManus had 10 of his 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds after halftime.
“I told my bigs that I was really disappointed in them,” Heaney said. “I thought they played scared, I thought they played timid. It was weird moment because I went from yelling at them for being intimidated and then I said ‘Oh my God, I’m yelling at a 13-2 team that everyone thought was going to be 9-9.’
“I was trying to raise their heads, that I was proud of them, but they didn’t want to hear that. They wanted to hear the challenge that they didn’t play like a 13-1 team. It’s a long way from where we were four years ago.”
Souhegan got 17 points from Brandon Len and 11 from Zack Simmonds. Ben Peterson and Tyler Ford each had nine points for the Sabers, who will host Hollis Brookline on Tuesday.