No. 1 Naps stay unbeaten; Langford's presence too much for the Bernardians.


Byline: Kevin O'Malley

FITCHBURG - Holy Name senior center Bianca Langford scored a team-high 11 points to lead the top-ranked and undefeated Naps to a 40-31 road win over No. 5 St. Bernard's last night at the Activity Center.

It was a homecoming of sorts for Holy Name coach Barry Finneron, a graduate and former athletic standout at St. Bernard's.

"We were obviously hyped up to play this game," Finneron said. "It's a tough place to play, my coming home, I graduated from here. They take you to the wire all the time. They play hard, they come after you, and they got a couple of kids that can shoot the 3, so you can never relax."

"From our last game, we knew they were going to come after us," Langford said. "Being undefeated, everyone comes after you and we've been talking about it a lot the last week, that we were going to come out and work hard right from the jump ball."

Langford's presence in the paint worked in keeping the normally slashing St. Bernard's from taking the ball into the key. Holy Name (12-0, 4-0 Central Mass. Conference) opened up an 11-6 lead after one quarter and 20-11 at the half.

"(Langford's presence) definitely did, she's a great presence inside for them, and we definitely played timid," St. Bernard's coach Kate Maki said. "I think we were a little bit afraid to go in there. She's a great shot-blocker, and I think the kids just got scared to go up against her."

Langford and sophomore point guard Aryauna Perez created an inside-out combination that was too much for St. Bernard's (9-3, 2-2). The Naps' first five field goals were layups. Perez assisted on three of them, all by fellow sophomore Ama Biney (10 points).

"We've been working together for a long time,...

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