Dartmouth boys’ basketball outlasts Bedford in first game of tournament
The Dartmouth boy’s basketball team came out on top in its first game of the postseason on Thursday, March 2 taking down Bedford (21) in a matchup that came down to the wire.
Dartmouth stayed ahead for the majority of the game, but Bedford was close on their heels until the last seconds ticked off the clock. The final score was 50-46.
Though Dartmouth — the 12-seed in the Division 2 tournament — was the favorite going into the game, the team suffered a setback the previous day when starting point guard Aiden Smith sprained his ankle in practice.
Head Coach Nick Simonetti said that in Smith’s absence, the team relied on its other guards junior Elaijah Monteiro, senior Jake Chiquito, and junior Logan Kennedy to fill his role.
“Those three guards played a great game,” he said. “They limited their turnovers, which is exactly what we wanted. They made great plays defensively and offensively. They played so strong.”
One of the Indians’ star players, six-foot-seven junior Hunter Matteson, echoed his coach’s sentiments and praised the work of his teammates — especially the guards — in making up the deficit.
“Aiden obviously is one of our top scorers on this team and we knew we were gonna be missing a big piece. And that’s just when the other guards have to step up,” he said. “We got big minutes from [Kennedy], [Monteiro]. Elijah played great handling the ball, controlling our offense and filling in that spot.”
Matteson himself also played a big role in making up for the missing points, scoring 18 points from the field and another 11 on free throws.
He was also responsible for securing many of the team’s rebounds, an area that Simonetti had emphasized as he prepared the team ahead of Thursday’s matchup.
“The major emphasis was not to let up offensive rebounds and we did a great job,” Simonetti said. “[Bedford] is tough in the paint. They have two big guys that have been dominant all year and they’re a great team. We just played and we affected it perfectly.”
Now Dartmouth will move on to the “Sweet 16” round where it will take on the winner of Tewksbury Memorial (28) versus Charleston (5), which will be played on Friday, March 3.
Whoever their opponent ends up being, Simonetti said the team will be ready.
“As long as we play as hard, do the little things correctly, we have a shot against anyone,” he said. “Our goal was not just to make the tournament but to continue to keep pushing game by game and see where it ends up.”
The date and time of Dartmouth’s next game will be announced after its opponent is determined.