The last time that Bermudian Springs’ boys basketball team won its first three games of the season came in the 2013-14 campaign, and the Eagles ended up reaching the PIAA tournament that season.
Where this season ends up is still anyone’s guess, but the Eagles are off to their best start in seven years following a 43-35 road victory at Fairfield in YAIAA-3 action Wednesday night.
Bermudian (3-0, 2-0) won six of eight to finish last season and has used that as a springboard into the new season.
“These guys are pretty good players and they’re experienced,” Berm head coach Jared Nace said. “Experience and believing in what you’re doing can take you a long way.”
The Eagles began the contest hotter than a firecracker, as they made their first six shots from the field and already had 17 points on the board before five minutes had even elapsed.
Each of Berm’s starters had a bucket before half of the quarter was in the books and the Eagles held a 17-8 lead after the opening stanza.
“We shared the ball well, we took good shots and we made them,” Nace said. “When you can spread the ball around, it makes it tougher for the other team to defend you.”
Trifectas from Jay Martinez and Connor Shaw gave the visitors seven makes in as many attempts from beyond the arc in the game and a hoop by Shaw made it 25-8 midway through the frame.
Fairfield (1-1, 1-1) finished the second quarter strong with an 8-2 spurt and trailed 27-16 at the break.
“They move really well,” Fairfield head coach Andy Winebrenner said of the Eagles. “They cut well, they ran their offense well and they couldn’t miss early in the game.”
Knight junior Eric Ball pulled his team to within single digits for the first time since there were three minutes left in the first quarter when he connected on a pair of free throws at the 5:18 mark of the third quarter to trim the lead to 29-20.
Berm led 34-25 heading to the final quarter.
Hoops by Shaw and Jacob Schriver to begin the fourth quarter pushed Berm’s advantage to 38-25 with 7:16 to go, but Schriver’s bucket was the Eagles’ last made field goal of the game.
While the guests went cold, the hosts heated up and made things very interesting.
Ball ran off eight straight and Peyton Stadler posted a hoop for Fairfield and the score sat at 38-35 following Stadler’s make with 3:31 to go.
“We started pressing in the fourth quarter to try to speed them up,” Winebrenner. “That created some turnovers that got us back in the game. We played hard tonight, but we’ve got to play better.”
Fairfield had multiple chances to get within one or tie the game, but came up empty on all of them.
Meanwhile, Berm made 5-of-8 from the charity stripe in the final 86 seconds to salt the game away.
“I knew that Fairfield was gonna come at us,” Nace said. “They’ve got talented guys. They’re big, strong and tough.”
Martinez paced the winners with 14 points, while Shaw tossed in ten and Ethan Beachy chipped in with nine.
Ball led the Knights with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Stadler just missed a double-double with ten points and nine boards.
Both teams are back in action with road games on Friday. Fairfield plays at York Catholic at 6 p.m., while the Eagles travel to York Tech for a 7:30 p.m. tip.
Follow Tom Sixeas on Twitter at @TomSixeas
Bermudian 17 10 7 9 — 43
Fairfield 8 8 9 10 — 35
Bermudian Springs (43): Ethan Beachy 2 3-4 9, Jay Martinez 5 1-3 14, Jacob Schriver 2 0-0 4, Brandt York 2 1-2 6, Connor Shaw 4 0-0 10. Non-scorers: Kline, Young, Carpenter. Totals: 15 5-9 43.
Fairfield (35): Nik Nordberg 1 0-0 3, Eric Ball 5 2-2 15, Cody Valentine 1 0-0 3, Griffin Tabler 2 0-2 4, Peyton Stadler 5 0-0 10. Non-scorers: Myers, Griffith, Myers, Beaudette. Totals: 14 2-4 35.
3-pointers: BS-Martinez 3, Beachy 2, Shaw 2, York; F-Ball 3, Nordberg, Valentine.