Girls Basketball Wins 2022 Division I State Title
DURHAM, N.H. - For the sixth time in seven years, the Bishop Guertin girls basketball claimed the Division I New Hampshire State Championship on Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals used a tremendous late-game comeback to overcome a seven-point deficit and beat Bedford, 48-46, at UNH’s Lundholm Gymnasium.
Junior Brooke Paquette led the way with 21 points in the game, while adding four assists and seven steals.
BG only led for three minutes and 33 seconds of game time, while the Bulldogs were ahead for nearly 24 minutes of action. Most of that time leading for the green and yellow came in the fourth quarter as they entered the final frame tied at 28-28. After a Bedford basket, BG rattled off five points to take a 33-30 edge. The Bulldogs went on a 10-point run over the next two-plus minutes, appearing to take over the game and lock up a second consecutive title.
That was when the Cards responded, chipping away at the deficit with 11 straight points on free throws as the plan of driving to the basket was rewarded with contact and foul calls in their favor.
After two Molly Smith ’23 free throws made it a two-point game at 44-42, the junior followed up her makes by stealing the ball off the inbound and kicking it out to Paquette for the open three and the one-point lead.
Bedford was not able to get back in rhythm again as BG forced a pair of turnovers on the next two possessions and Paquette hit three more from the charity stripe to seal the win. The fourth-quarter free throws were the difference as the team in green went 13-for-16 from the line in the final frame, while the Bulldogs managed just 2-of-4 in the period.
The defense also stepped up when it needed to and finished the game with 17 steals in what proved to be a physical game that featured 40 fouls between the two teams. BG took those steals and turned them into offense at the other end, posting 31 points off turnovers and 10 fast-break points in the victory.
Sunday marked the program’s seventh all-time state championship with each coming since 2012. It was the third NH title for BG in 2021-22 as girls basketball joined boys cross country and girls soccer as Granite State Champions this year.