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NHIAA Boys' Basketball: Bedford bounces back, routs Spaulding

New Hampshire Union Leader

February 20. 2018 11:31PM

Bedford's Justin O'Neill shoots against Spaulding's Cade Connelly at Bedford High School on Tuesday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

Spaulding's Ryan Bernier battles Bedford's Nolan Anderson at Bedford High School on Tuesday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

BEDFORD — Spoiler is not a role the Bedford High boys’ basketball team has had the luxury of playing this season as one of the favorites in Division I. The Bulldogs had their opportunity on Tuesday, though, as they snapped Spaulding of Rochester’s eight-game winning streak in a 59-25 rout.

Coming off a disappointing upset loss on Friday, Bedford (12-4) found its way with a 23-4 second half against Spaulding (8-7), which did not score in the fourth quarter.

“Friday was just a killer for us,” Bedford coach Mark Elmendorf said. “Kids were down and we couldn’t practice over the weekend. It just hurt, but it was nice to get back and now we just have to see what happens.”

The lead was just five points for Bedford into halftime before it reeled off 13 unanswered points as the third quarter came to a close. Connor Crowley scored seven of the Bulldogs’ points during the spurt, including back-to-back fast break layups that put Bedford’s lead in double digits for good. The Bulldogs went on to score 18 more unanswered points in the fourth to wrap up the win.

“Connor’s a tough kid and just a very underrated player,” Elmendorf said, adding that Crowley and Max Chartier spearheaded the defensive effort that generated Bedford’s third-quarter burst. “He hits good shots and big shots for us and handles the ball very well. Really does a nice job all around for us.”

Crowley ended up leading Bedford in scoring with 12 points overall while Max Chartier registered nine. Keagan Calero notched all but one of Spaulding’s points, finishing with 24.

Spaulding’s bad fortune in the second half was mostly a product of playing without 6-foot-6 standout forward Arie Breakfield, who did not travel for the game due to the flu.

Bedford took on a height advantage without Breakfield, but the Red Raiders offense lacked the focal point that had opened up the offense during their recent winning streak.

Instead, Spaulding settled for highly contested jumpers while trying to force passes into Bedford’s zone defense.

“We were competitive in the first half and pleased with the effort, but you have to make shots,” Spaulding coach Tim Cronin said. “It just fell apart. They changed to zone but we were prepared for it, especially after seeing it in Durham (in the D-I semifinals) last year against them. It’s about execution.”

Spaulding remained close in the first half based solely on the production of Calero, who scored 20 of the Red Raiders’ 21 first-half points. The junior point guard suppressed Bedford’s runs with spurts of his own as he alone outscored Bedford 9-2 over the final minutes of the half to keep the Red Raiders’ deficit at just 26-21.