After playing a nip-and-tuck first half with the Bedford High Bulldogs in its season-opener in Londonderry last Friday night, the Londonderry High boys’ basketball squad kicked its game into high gear and rolled its way to a pleasing 75-49 blowout of that opponent.
Powered by senior guard Cody Ball – who netted 16 points in the third quarter and a total of 20 in the decisive second half – coach Nate Stanton’s Lancers outscored their guests by a 42-23 margin after the halftime break to walk off into the chilly December night with the lopsided win.
There were a dozen lead changes and three ties in the first half of play, which ended with the hosts grasping a modest seven-point lead of 33-26. But it was a different LHS crew which came out to play the second half, with Ball netting 16 of its 26 points on the kinds of slick offensive moves which would doubtless have made even Michael Jordan grin. In addition to the exceptional offense added by the senior guard, Londonderry put the clamp down defensively on the Bedford offense.
“I thought we came out very well in the second half. We played strong team defense and limited a good basketball team’s offense,” said coach Stanton, who was the 2013-14 D-I coach of the year in his first season with the Lancers.
After holding advantages of 17-15 after one quarter and 33-26 at the half, Londonderry took the game over in the third period behind the rocket-fueled offensive heroics of Ball, who is presently in the process of deciding whether he’ll play his college hoops at Saint Anselm College or Merrimack College.
The Lancers netted 15 of the first 19 points in the period, with Ball scoring nine of those. Bedford coach Mike Fitzpatrick felt the need to call no less than three time-outs in the quarter – the first a mere 39 seconds in – to rally his troops and try to keep the game from getting away. But get away it did.
“The sky’s the limit with him,” said coach Stanton of Cody Ball after the contest. “He’s capable of taking a game over, as you saw in the third quarter.”
The hosts led by 21 points (59-39) at the conclusion of three quarters, and the fourth period was basically eight minutes of garbage time with coach Stanton getting the pretty valuable opportunity to substitute at will.
Cody Ball and his fellow senior forward Marc Corey wound up outscoring Bedford all by themselves by combining for 50 points. Ball had 30 of them to pace all scorers, and Corey added the other 20. Joey Kwiatkowski contributed 12 points and Jake Coleman notched eight, with the Lancers burying no less than 10 three-point shots in the victory. Ball and Corey each sank three of the treys.