Tag: Bedford

Bedford caps off undefeated season with championship

By Nathaniel Ford

DURHAM – The Bedford Bulldogs, in their seventh championship appearance in the last decade, defeated the Pinkerton Astros 60-41 for the Division-I title. 

After falling short of taking home the trophy in 2022 and 2023, the Bulldogs were able to get it done tonight. Their victory tonight caps off a perfect 21-0 season. 

Bedford got off to a slow start, scoring only 5 points in the first four minutes of the quarter. It was all Pinkerton, who, led by Brooke Benze, jumped out to an early 9-5 lead. 

Bedford fought and kept it close, mainly due to the play of Lana McCarthy, who scored an impressive 13 points in the first quarter. Despite this, the Astros held the lead 18-16 entering the second frame. 

Pinkerton was led by sophomore Brooke Benz, who scored 8 points for the Astros, including two three pointers.

The second quarter was slow for both teams offensively, with each side being held scoreless for a multi-minute drought in the middle of the frame. 

Pinkerton held a 4 point lead for a portion of the quarter, and they brought lots of defensive intensity to hold Bedford scoreless. The Bulldogs seemed rattled by the increased energy from both the players and the fans. 

McCarthy picked up her third foul and came out of the game, so it looked as if Bedford’s scoring woes would continue. However, they were able to find a groove. Due to a 7-0 run to end the quarter, they entered the second half leading 26-23.

Only three players scored for the Bulldogs. McCarthy led the way with a game-high 13 first-half points, while Sarah Muir added 8 and Kate Allard scored 5 of her own.

Pinkerton was led by Benz’s 11 points. Kaylee Dupuis carried the rest of the load, scoring 7 points as well. Alexandria White contributed greatly on the glass, grabbing a game-high 7 rebounds. 

To start the third quarter, everything was going in the favor of the Astros. Shortly into the period, McCarthy picked up her fourth foul and was taken out of the game. 

Amidst this, Pinkerton went on an 11-2 led by Elizabeth Lavoie, who knocked down a three and got a pair of baskets in the paint. Her 7 points propelled them to a 4 point lead over the Bulldogs. 

Despite their leading scorer being out of the game, Bedford rallied and put together a huge end to the quarter, finishing on an 11-2 run coming out of a timeout. Four out of five players on the floor during the run scored, and they entered the fourth up 43-36. 

Baskets in transition were what propelled Bedford during the third quarter. Nearly all of their field goals were on the fast break, and they continuously wore down Pinkerton and were able to find success beating them down the floor. 

In the fourth quarter, Bedford ran away with it like they had in most games this season. The lead stayed around a 10 point lead for the first part of the quarter. 

Down by double figures, Pinkerton had to start fouling. Between Bedford knocking down free throws and Pinkerton not being able to connect on outside shots, the lead grew even more. Bedford ended up with a 60-41 victory in the title game.

The Bulldogs were led by standout senior Lana McCarthy, who, despite dealing with foul trouble all game, finished with a game-high 20 points. Kate Allard (14) and Sarah Muir (12) added double figures of their own, with Allard grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.

The Astros were paced by 14 points from Brooke Benz and 13 points from Kaylee Dupuis. Alexandria White, despite scoring 0 points, made a big impact on the glass, grabbing a team-high 9 rebounds. 

Pinkerton had a fantastic season, with a 17-1 regular season record, earning the second seed in the division. While they came up short tonight, they played with lots of energy and passion, and they received unbelievable support from their fans tonight. 

This marked Bedford’s fourth consecutive appearance in the title game. While they have some key contributors graduating, they return a lot of their core, and they will look to add to their continued success over the last decade.

Check out the full photo gallery by Dave Beliveau…

North knocks off Bedford, advances to title game

Third-seeded Nashua North upset No. 2 Bedford, 84-68, in the semifinal round of the NHIAA Division I Boys Basketball State Tournament on Wednesday night at Exeter High School.

With the win, the Titans advance to the title game where they will take on No. 1 Pinkerton on Sunday at UNH. The game time is still to be determined.

North jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead in a fast-paced first quarter before Bedford rallied to take a one-point lead, 21-20, after one. The Titans kept the pedal to the metal in the 2nd quarter with 20 points again, while holding the Bulldogs to 12 points. North led 40-33 at the break.

The second-half was once again a frantic pace. The Titans balanced offense outscored Bedford, 25-20 in the quarter. North closed things out in the 4th to come away with the convincing 16-point win.

A quartet of Titans netted double-digits: Robinson Rodriguez (26 points), Parth Miglani (24), Jaden Pena (18) and Luke Peters (10).

The Bulldogs struggled to put the ball in the basket all night, but were led by 14 points apiece from Niko Badoian and Austin Kasyjanski. Leading scorer Luke Soden (26 PPG) managed just 13 points for Bedford.

Check out the full photo gallery by Jeff Criss of Perfect Photos…

Bedford finishes strong to down Portsmouth

Top-seeded Bedford trailed by as many as nine points in the 1st quarter before putting the clamps on Portsmouth and rolling to a 62-35 win in semifinal round action of the NHIAA Division I Girls Basketball State Tournament on Tuesday night at Exeter High School

The Bulldogs advance to the title game where they will they will take on No. 2 Pinkerton on Sunday at UNH. The game time is still to be determined.

The Clippers scored 16 points in the 1st quarter and took a 16-9 lead, but Bedford held Portsmouth to just 19 points the rest of the way to roll to the win.

Lana McCarthy led all scorers with 18 points for the Bulldogs, while Lyla Stein and Sarah Muir added 12 points apiece. Portsmouth was paced by 13 points from Avery Romps and 11 from Margaret Montplaisir.

Check out the full photo gallery by Betsy Hansen…

Bedford tops Alvirne, advances to D-I semifinals

No. 2 Bedford punched its ticket to the semifinals with a 69-51 victory over No. 10 Alvirne in quarterfinal round action of the NHIAA Division I State Tournament on Saturday.

The Bulldogs advance to the semis where they will take on No. 3 Nashua North on Wednesday at 5:30 pm. The site is still to be determined.

Luke Soden led all scorers with a game-high 23 points for Bedford, while Niko Badoian (16 points), Brady O’Connell (14) and Austin Kasyjanski (11) all netted double-digits as well. Alvirne was led by 16 points from Garrett Hall and 13 from Evan Bettencourt.

Check out the full photo gallery by Todd Grzywacz of Stonewall Photography…

Bedford blows past Exeter to semifinals

Top-seeded Bedford held No. 9 Exeter to just 14 first-half point en route to a 74-32 victory in quarterfinal action of the NHIAA Division I State Tournament on Friday night.

The Bulldogs advance to the semifinals where they will take on No. 4 Portsmouth on Tuesday at 7:30 pm. The site for these semifinals is still to be determined.

Bedford was paced a game-high 20 points from Kate Allard and three other Bulldogs in double-digits: Lana McCarthy (13), Mel McCarthy (10) and Megan Muir (10). The Blue Hawks were led by 8 points from Jessica Melick.

Check out the full photo gallery of the action by Cindy Lavigne of Lavigne’s Live Shots…

Bedford cruises past Central to quarterfinals

Behind a game-high 29 points from Luke Soden, #2 Bedford cruised to an 88-55 win over visiting #15 Manchester Central on Wednesday night in first round action of the NHIAA Division I State Tournament.

The Bulldogs advance to the quarterfinals where they will take on #10 Alvirne at Saturday at 7:00 pm.

Bedford came out firing as Soden (10) and Brady O’Connell (9) combined for 19 1st-quarter points to give the Bulldogs a 24-14 lead after one. Suffocating defense in the 2nd quarter limited the Little Green to just 7 points and Bedford took a commanding 44-21 lead to the break.

The Bulldogs were led by Soden, while O’Connell added 19 and Austin Kasyjanski had 15. Pacing Central was Izaya Diaz with 13 points.

Check out the full photo gallery by Cindy Lavigne of Lavigne’s Liveshots…

Bedford blows past Salem

Bedford put a bow on its undefeated regular season with an 82-32 win over visiting Salem on Thursday night.

The Bulldogs clinch the #1 seed for the upcoming Division I state tournament which gets underway on Tuesday.

Check out the full gallery by Cindy Lavigne of Lavigne’s Live Shots…

Bedford flies past Pinkerton in battle of unbeatens

The final two remaining unbeaten Division I teams met on Friday night and Bedford flew past visiting Pinkerton, 91-54.

It was a tight contest in the first quarter, as Bedford led by just one after the first 8 minutes of play. But, the Bulldogs put the pedal to the metal behind three triples from Megan Muir in the 2nd quarter and took a 45-32 lead to the break and never looked back.

Bedford boasted a balanced attack with five players in double figures: Kate Allard (18), Lyla Stein (18), Lana McCarthy (14), Megan Muir (13) and Sarah Muir (11).

Pinkerton was paced by a game-high 28 points from Elizabeth Lavoie, while Kaylee Dupuis and Alexandra White added 12 and 11, respectively.

With the win, the Bulldogs remain perfect and push their record to 15-0, while the Astros fall to 14-1.

Check out the full photo gallery by John Scott Sherburne…

Pinkerton hands Bedford first loss of the season

Unbeaten no more. Behind a game-high 35 points from Jackson Marshall, Pinkerton handed visiting Bedford its first loss of the season, 91-79, on Friday night in front of a packed house in Derry.

In a rematch of last season’s Division I championship game, this one felt like another title bout. And, well, we wouldn’t be surprised in the least if these two square off in one month from the today for the state’s top crown.

This one was a track meet from the opening tip as both teams came out firing and were tied 22-22 after one quarter of play. The Astros would later take a three-point lead to the break, 39-36.

A quick 6-0 run to open the second half gave Pinkerton a nine-point lead, 45-36, and the Astros were rolling. They would take a 62-55 lead to the final frame and pushed past the Bulldogs for the 12-point victory.

Joining Marshall in double digits for Pinkerton was Charlie Ludden (21), Drew Brander (15) and Christian Brander (13). Luke Soden paced Bedford with 25 points, while Niko Badoin (17), Brady O’Connell (16), Austin Kasyjanski (11) and Thomas Braga (10) all netted double figures as well.

With the win, the Astros improve to 14-1 on the season and holds the head-to-head breaker over the Bulldogs (14-1).

Check out the full photo gallery of the action by Cindy Lavigne of Lavigne’s Live Shots…

6 Unbeatens Remain

By: KJ Cardinal & Jayda Davis

It’s crunch time in NHIAA basketball with state tournament play looming right around the corner. While some teams are vying to just make the playoffs or perhaps secure a coveted home game, there are six well-oiled machines around the Granite State that are still in search of perfection.

Let’s take a look at the six remaining unbeatens…

Division I Boys: Bedford

Bedford’s Luke Soden leads the Bulldogs with 26.5 PPG. [📸 Todd Grzywacz]

Frank Moreno’s Bulldogs have their sights set on back-to-back state titles and with a perfect 14-0 mark, it’s hard not to think they’ll get there. Bedford’s high-octane offense is averaging a scorching 81.1 points per game and winning by nearly 24 points per contest.

Luke Soden has been nothing short of amazing this season, pouring in 26.5 PPG, while Brady O’Connell (15.5 PPG) and Austin Kasyjanski (13.7 PPG) are the mainstays for the Bulldog fire power.

Bedford has only played in three games this season that were decided by single digits, with a three-point win over Manchester Memorial being the biggest test thus far for the Bulldogs. However, that may all change tonight as Bedford heads to Derry to take on 13-1 Pinkerton in a rematch of last year’s championship game. You can watch that game live here (PPV).

Division I Girls: Bedford & Pinkerton

Pinkerton’s Elizabeth Lavoie leads the Astros with 20.0 PPG. [📸 Jill Stevens]

In what could be a preview of the 2024 title game, it’s a battle of the unbeatens tonight in Bedford when the Bulldogs (14-0) host Pinkerton (14-0). You can watch that game live here (FREE).

These two squads have been absolutely steam-rolling the rest of the division. Bedford is winning by an average margin of 42.9 PPG. The Bulldogs six-point victory, 56-50, at Portsmouth back on Jan. 23 is their only win this season coming by less than 30 points. Let that sink in for a second.

Pinkerton is also winning by a 31.6-point clip with their closest game being a 17-point victory at Dover on Jan. 26. Lani Buskey’s Astros are led by the top scorer in the division Elizabeth Lavoie (20.0 PPG) and two other double-digit scorers: Sydney Gerossie (15.5) and Brooke Benz (10.2).

Bedford’s Lana McCarthy leads the Bulldogs with 13.9 PPG. [📸 Cindy Lavigne]

Kevin Gibbs’ Bulldogs boast the most dominant player in the state with Lana McCarthy. The McDonald’s All-American Game nominee is averaging 13.9 PPG in often limited minutes due to Bedford’s 40+ point victories. The Purdue commit is paired with Kate Allard (13.4 PPG) to form an extremely tough duo.

Division IV Boys: Profile
The 16-0 little town of Bethlehem Profile Patriots could be the most fun team to watch in the state. This group of perennial north-country underdogs is not only the divisions top dog this season, but one of the top teams in the state, regardless of division. Period.

Profile’s Josh Robie leads the Patriots with 26.4 PPG. [📸 KJ Cardinal]

We’ve witnessed first-hand the Patriots defeat opponents from all four Divisions and Mitchell Roy’s squad would most definitely compete with any foe put in front of them. The biggest reasons for this: seniors Josh Robie and Alex Leslie.

While his shot may look unorthodox, Robie (26.4 PPG) is an absolute sniper from deep and his improved mid-range game and playmaking abilities are the driving force behind Profile’s perfect start. Leslie (19.8 PPG) is one of the most athletic bigs in the division and his ability to get downhill and finish on opponents can be deadly at times.

Seemingly always in the way for Profile has been Woodsville and Littleton. The Patriots have knocked off Woodsville once this season and twice defeated the Crusaders, including a five-point win, 62-57, on Jan. 31. Profile heads to Woodsville tonight in the final big regular-season test remaining for the Patriots.

Division II Girls: Concord Christian

CCA’s Emma Smith leads the Kingsmen with 19.2 PPG. [📸 KJ Cardinal]

When we said “well-oiled machines”, the first team that comes to mind is Concord Christian. After winning the Division IV crown two years ago and the D-III title last season, the 12-0 Kingsmen seem poised to earn the D-II championship this March.

Rebecca Carlile’s squad simply wears teams down. There isn’t a more conditioned team in the state and CCA’s uptempo style, defensive prowess and the ability to take care of the rock is a brand of basketball that is impressive to watch.

Leading the way for the Kingsmen is Emma Smith (19.2 PPG) and Lilli Carlile (18.6). CCA has already taken care of business twice this season versus the 2nd and 3rd ranked teams with wins over Laconia and Pembroke. The Kingsmen head to Laconia on Feb. 15 for the biggest remaining challenge on the regular-season slate.

Division IV Girls: Littleton

Littleton’s Addison Hadlock is averaging 10.1 PPG for the Crusaders.[📸 KJ Cardinal]

If defense wins championships, then we could certainly see Littleton cutting down the nets at Colby-Sawyer College on March 2nd.

The Crusaders are holding teams to a minuscule 30.7 PPG and winning by an average margin of 27.3 PPG. Only three teams have been able to reach the 40-point plateau versus Littleton all season long.

Dale Prior’s balanced offense is led by a trio of double-digit scorers: Lauryn Corrigan (10.8 PPG), Addison Pilgrim (10.2) and Addison Hadlock (10.1).

The last tough test for the Crusaders this regular season will come tonight as Littleton hosts 15-1 Groveton. The Crusaders escaped Groveton with a narrow five-point win, 39-34, in a defensive battle back on Jan. 5.