Bedford girls in midseason formBy HARRY KOZLOWSKI
Special to the Union Leader
December 20. 2013 9:29PM
MERRIMACK — The Bedford girls showed they’re ready to defend their Division I girls’ basketball title, beating Merrimack 58-24 on Friday.
Shooting accuracy, aggressive defense and lots of speed, the Bulldogs overwhelmed the Tomahawks. Merrimack managed one 3-point basket in the first quarter, while Bedford scored 22 points.
And the Bulldogs were just getting warmed up. “Today was about just getting on the court and playing someone other than ourselves” said Bedford coach Sue Thomas.
Bedford played a fast-break offense getting to the basket before Merrimack could set itself on defense.
And when they didn’t have the ball, the Bulldogs swarmed the Tomahawks in the backcourt, forcing many turnovers. Bedford led by 29 at the half, 41-12.
“I wanted to work on our defense” said Thomas. “I know my girls can score. Today was all about trying out our various defenses.”
“Our goal this year is to be really up on players, trapping, double teaming,” said Thomas.
Bedford spread the scoring around. Rachel Collins led with nine points, Gabby Hunter and Nikki Tucci had eight, and McKenzie Brown added seven.
“We have a very unselfish team” said Thomas. “It’s not about anyone’s stats, it’s about the team winning. Our girls can play hard the entire game because we have a very deep bench.”
The game marked the debut of Merrimack coach Courtney Cheetham, who took over the Tomahawks this year.
“We have a very young team, with three freshmen,” said Cheetham. “I’m trying to introduce some new systems and it will take some time for the girls to settle in.”
The Tomahawks were led by Lauren Dubois with eight points. Grace Mulvey had seven points and Amanda D’Amico added six. “Lauren is only a sophomore” said Cheetham. “She’s a team leader and ranks right up there with some of the best guards in the state.”