LUNENBURG — The summer has been going well for Bailey’s Bar & Grille, a team comprisied of North Middlesex basketball players. The team entered its Lunenburg Summer Basketball League matchup against Lunenburg on Monday night with just a single loss and exited the contest the same way after recording a 45-37 win.
The game had a persistent theme to it as Bailey’s built an early lead and forced Lunenburg to play catch-up. Lunenburg was willing and never stopped fighting, but Bailey’s always had the answer in place to hold them off. Whether it was an outside shot, a strong drive or a key defensive stop, Bailey’s were able to come with a key play, offensively or defensively, when required.
A balanced offense, which featured eight players who scored, keyed the victory for Bailey’s. Leading the way were two players in double figures, center Matt Foley (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Kyle McDermott, who showed a nice outside touch on his way to a 10-point night. Mark Schulze finished with six points, Scott Cavanaugh (five rebounds) and Steve Valacer each scored five points while Brian Magee added four points and three rebounds, while David Lorden and Dylan Kimbar chipped in with two points each.
Troy Cutter of Lunenburg was the game-high scorer with 13 points, in addition to five rebounds and five steals, while Josh Moore added six points and three rebounds for the Blue Knights.
Bailey’s got off to a quick start when McDermott buried a 15-footer and Schulze followed with a three-pointer for a 5-0 lead.
After Lunenburg got on the board with a fast break lay-up, Schulze drained another trey to build the lead to 8-2.
After establishing its outside game, Bailey’s flashed their versatility as Foley started to produce from inside the paint. He finished off a fast break with a lay-up after taking a pass from Schulze and added a basket after hauling down an offensive rebound to make it12-6.
Lunenburg drew to within 14-10 when Nick Priest hit a lay-up, but Bailey’s responded with five consecutive points to build its largest advantage at 19-10. Cavanaugh hit a long three-pointer before David Lorden finished off a fast break with a lay-up after taking a pass from Cavanaugh.
Lunenburg clawed back, drawing to within 19-15 when Moore hit a lay-up after taking a pass from Cutter, but Bailey’s immediately answered to create some breathing room when Cavanaugh hit a follow-up basket, and Foley added a lay-up after taking a pass from Dylan Kimbar to make it 23-15.
After Cutter buried a 17-footer to draw Lunenburg to within 26-20, Bailey’s rebuilt its largest lead when Valacer closed the half with a three-pointer to make it 29-20 at intermission. Solid work off the boards was crucial in building the advantage as Bailey’s owned a 15-8 rebounding edge, including eight at the offensive end.
Bailey’s maintained a comfortable lead throughout most of the second half. Back-to-back drives by Magee extended the lead to 10 at 35-25 at the midway point of the half. A minute later, McDermott rebuilt the lead to 10 by draining one of his two three-pointers in the contest.
Kimbar turned in the shot of the game when he finished off a gorgeous reverse lay-up to make it 40-32, but Lunenburg had one final run in the final minutes as a three-pointer, followed by a strong drive by Moore made it 40-37. They wouldn’t score again. McDermott hit a crucial three-pointer to double the advantage at 43-37, before Foley scored the final points of the contest with a lay-up after taking a pass from Cavanaugh.
Bailey’s owned a 31-20 rebounding edge in the game.
Lunenburg worked hard defensively, coming up with 12 steals.