King's gambit: Star leads 'buzzsaw' Bedford into quarterfinals

Alex Hall, The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester
·3 min read

Mar. 7—Bedford High School senior guard Isabella King served as a facilitator instead of her usual dominating scorer role in the Bulldogs' final two regular-season games. In Bedford's 67-44 NHIAA Division I preliminary-round home victory over Manchester Memorial on Friday night, she did both.

After scoring a combined 12 points in Bedford's previous two games, King opened the playoffs with a game-high 25-point outing, including 10 points in the first quarter that helped build the Bulldogs a 20-7 advantage they never relinquished.

Bedford (9-2) will host Concord (7-6) for a quarterfinal bout today at 5 p.m. The Crimson Tide defeated Trinity of Manchester, 68-34, on Friday night.

The attention King demands on the court created opportunities for her teammates like freshman center/forward Lana McCarthy and junior guard Saphia Mumpini.

McCarthy scored 15 points and played a vital role in Bedford winning the rebound battle, 48-22. Mumpini added 12 points, tripling her total from the last time the Bulldogs faced Memorial — a 50-36 win on Feb. 17.

"(Friday) she not only facilitated but went back to being the scoring machine we all know she is," Bedford coach Kevin Gibbs said of King, who is committed to Division I Bucknell University.

The Bulldogs had a 35-18 cushion at halftime and led by as many as 27 points in the second half.

The Crusaders received a team-high 18 points from senior guard Jessica Carrier and seven points each from senior forward Ryan Moran and junior forward Elizabeth Barrientos.

Memorial coach Greg Cotreau said his team expected King would get her points but went in with the mindset of shutting down Bedford's other players.

"I think the biggest thing is we ran into a well-oiled machine (Friday)," Cotreau said. "They were a buzz saw from the beginning."

Bedford and Concord will meet today for the first time since the opening week of the regular season in January. The Bulldogs won both regular-season meetings, 59-42 and 62-45, but Gibbs said those games might as well have been years ago at this point.

Gibbs said after Friday's victory that he planned to watch the film from both those contests and Concord's most recent few games to see how the Crimson Tide have progressed since they last played Bedford.

Gibbs said Concord boasts dynamic players like Ava Woodman, junior forward Elizabeth Blin and junior point guard Elizabeth Cox alongside great complementary players.

Cotreau, whose Crusaders played both Bedford and Concord twice, said the Crimson Tide have the size to match up with Bedford and noted the individual battle between Woodman and King should be exciting to watch.

"It's a matter of you know on the Bedford side McCarthy is going to score and be a factor, you know King will be a factor," Cotreau said. "On the other side, you know Blinn and Woodman will be factors. It all comes down to the supporting players around those girls — the one or two players that are going to be able to emerge and provide some additional firepower. Whoever does that the best will come out as the winner."