After his team’s win in the Div. 3 North Section Semifinal, Watertown High School basketball coach Steve Harrington said he was pleased with how his team is playing. He added, however, the Raiders opponents in the North Final – Bedford – also look tough.
Come playoff time, the run-and-gun style Watertown sometimes plays goes away, and Harrington said the team has a much more cautious approach.
“If we play smart and we play possession by possession, and take care of the basketball, we can compete with any team,” Harrington said.
The Raiders have been a threat from inside and out in the tournament. Against Lynnfield, three Watertown players combined for five three-pointers.
“We’re staring to make shots, which is good,” Harrington said.
The Raiders are the top seed in the North, and the 58-46 win over Lynnfield improved their record record to 20-2. Bedford (17-6) was seeded sixth but upset the second seed Newburyport 56-52 in their Section semi.
Like Watertown, Bedford plays in a league with a mix of big and small teams. Their Dual County League schedule included a game against Div. 1 Cambridge Ringe & Latin, the top ranked team in Massachusetts.
Bedford is a familiar Tournament foe for Watertown. In 2015, a Bedford team with a losing record upset Watertown in the first round, and before that Watertown eliminated the Bucs seven times in 13 years, Wicked Local Bedford reported.
Harrington scouted the Buccaneers on Tuesday night, and said they are a team to be reckoned with. Plus they are the defending Div. 3 North Section Champs.
“They are outstanding – athletic, they are fast, multiple shooters,” Harrington said. “It’s going to be a tough game on Saturday, a tough battle.”
Watertown may have history on its side. The Raiders have won their last five North Section Finals (including vs. Bedford in 2007), and are 6-3 all-time, according to a section final preview by the Boston Herald. The last time Watertown advanced that far, 2014, the Raiders defeated Stoneham on the way to the Garden. That year was also the last time they defeated Bedford, this time in the section semis.
The North Section Final will be played at 7 p.m. at Burlington High School. Follow live on Watertown News’ Twitter feed (@WatertownMANews). The winner advances to the Eastern Mass Final (a.k.a. the state semifinal) at the TD Garden on Monday at 4 p.m.