Published in the March 17, 2016 edition
By DAN NUNN
NORTH READING — The Hornets boys varsity basketball season came to a heartbreaking conclusion as they surrendered an 11 point lead and fell to the Bedford Buccaneers 67-62 in the Division 3 North Semifinals in Burlington on Tuesday night. Senior captain Justin Dorosh led the way with 18 points.
North Reading came out of the gates strong in the first quarter. They raced out to a 13-4 lead and forced Bedford to use a timeout at the 3:17 mark. The timeout settled down the Buccaneers who cut the lead to 13-10 late in the quarter. By the end of the quarter the Hornets were up 19-14. The Hornets continued to play well in the second and the lead ballooned to 30-19 at 3:51. The closest Bedford got the rest of the quarter was within seven and at the half North Reading held 33-25 advantage.
It was a back and forth third quarter. Every time it looked like North Reading would pull away the Buccaneers fought back. With under a minute left in the quarter it was a one point game. At the end of the third the Hornets held a slim 51-48 lead.
Bedford took control in the fourth quarter. At the 3:39 mark they had fought back to take a 57-53. With just under a minute remaining the Hornets had a chance with the ball, down 63–62. But unfortunately they turned the ball over. The Buccaneers nailed their free throws down the stretch to seal the five point victory.
The boys finished the season at 19–3 and as champions of the Cape Ann League. By any measure, they had an outstanding season and that will go a long way towards relieving the pain of Tuesday night’s loss.