BG boys knock off Bedford

With standout guard Luke Ruggery out injured, Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic started the season with a lineup full of players with virtually no varsity experience.

The lack of experience hasn’t meant a lack of success early on for the young Marauders, however.

BG improved to 3-0 on the season with a 77-69 win over Bedford in its home opener Friday night.

Kyle Ruggery, Luke’s younger brother, scored 11 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Marauders. Jessiah Witherspoon had 20 points, and Michael Montecalvo added 17.

“This’ll give us a lot of confidence. We’ll continue to gain experience as we go, get better and keep winning I hope,” Kyle Ruggery said.

When Drew Hall banked in a 3-pointer from the left wing in the final minute of the third quarter, Bedford held six-point lead at 51-45.

BG answered with four straight points, however, to seize the momentum heading to the final quarter.

After Casey Smith’s two foul shots, Witherspoon came up with a steal on the ensuing Bedford possession. He missed the shot driving to the basket, but Ruggery put in the rebound just before the buzzer to make it a two-point game.

“That basket was really big,” BG coach Chris Drenning said. “We’d been playing too stagnant. We trapped in the half-court, got a steal, came down and scored. Then we got back to moving the ball and getting open shots. We have a bunch of guys who can shoot the ball.”

Ruggery’s steal on the opening possession of the fourth led to a Montecalvo layup that tied the game. BG took the lead for good midway through the quarter when Will Helton and Montecalvo drained back-to-back 3-pointers.

Witherspoon extended the lead with a 3-point play, and Montecalvo was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line down the stretch to help seal the win.

The Marauders bolted out to a 23-10 lead after one quarter. Witherspoon keyed a 9-0 run with seven straight points to close out the opening stanza.

The BG offense slowed down after, though, and Bedford took full advantage, doubling up the Marauders in the quarter 20-10 to make it a 3-point game at the half.

Jace Growden knocked down a trio of 3-pointers in the second quarter then opened the second half with a slam dunk to continue the Bisons charge. The 6-foot-5 senior followed with a layup off a long pass from Steven Ressler moments later to give Bedford its first lead of the game.

Growden finished with a team-high 27 points. Ressler scored 21 points and Hall added 13 for Bedford, which falls to 2-1 with the loss.

“We got punched in the nose early, but we didn’t get knocked out. We played within our system, and we fought back in the second and third quarters,” Bedford coach Leo Brunelli said. “They’re a good team, and this is tough place to play. Good early season test for us. We’re just trying to get better every game.”

Luke Ruggery’s expected back in a couple weeks, but until then, his teammates will have to continue learning as they go.

“In the first three games, none of the starters ever had a varsity start before this season. We’re very young, but at the same time, we’re not going to make excuses for who we don’t have,” Drenning said. “I told the guys ‘Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us. You’ve got to embrace the opportunity in front of us.’ I think we’ve done a good job of that so far.”

BEDFORD (69): Growden 9 4-5 27, Price 1 1-2 3, Ressler 6 5-7 21, Arnold 1 0-0 2, Hall 4 3-4 13, Swaim 0 0-0 0, Ebersole 1 1-2 3. Totals — 22 14-20 69.

BISHOP GUILFOYLE (77): Witherspoon 7 5-8 20, Helton 2 0-0 6, Ruggery 10 1-4 27, Woolridge 0 0-0 0, Montecalvo 5 4-4 17, Kenner 0 0-0 0, Smith 1 2-2 5, Yanoshak 1 0-0 2, Negola 0 0-0 0. Totals — 26 12-18 77.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Bedford 10 20 21 18 — 69

Bishop Guilfoyle 23 10 16 28 — 77

3-point goals: Bedford 11 (Growden 5, Ressler 4, Hall 2); Bishop Guilfoyle 13 (Witherspoon 1, Helton 2, Ruggery 6, Montecalvo 3, Smith 1).

Records: Bedford (2-1); Bishop Guilfoyle (3-0).

JV: 70-24, Bishop Guilfoyle. High scorers–Ebersole (B) 4; Adams (BG) 14.

COMMENTS