Bridgewater drops 34 points in season opener

It was a huge night for Bahamian point guard Dominic Bridgewater as he made a statement with 34 points in his season opener for Sapela Basket 13 as they took down Sorgues BC, 104-99, in overtime in France’s NM2 League regular season action on Saturday.

It was a road game for Bridgewater and Sapela at La Plaine Sportive in Chemin de Lucette, Sorgues, France, and the NM2 League is the fourth highest league in that country.

Bridgewater was on fire as he finished 12-for-22 from the field, shooting a high clip of 54.5 percent. He connected on one shot from deep and made 9-of-11 free throws in just over 37 minutes of play. His passing game was on full display as he came away with 10 assists, and was also disruptive on defense with five huge steals.

It was a tightly contested game that saw 14 lead changes and eight ties. Sorgues’ biggest lead was 16 points late in the game, while Bridgewater and his team’s biggest lead was seven points, early in the first quarter.

Sapela had to overcome the 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter with Sorgues up 82-66. The used a 15-0 run to climb back into the game and cut the lead down to four points, 87-83. A 6-2 run to end regulation saw Sapela sending the game into overtime at 90 points each.

In overtime, Sapela took control of the game as they outscored their opponents 14-9.

It was a great first quarter for Sapela as they led 28-22 heading into the second quarter. The home team took over in the second quarter as they outscored Sapela 27-15 to go into the half with a 49-43 lead. Their lead was extended to 76-62 at the end of the third quarter and Sorgues looked like they were in control of the game.

Bridgewater’s play and contributions to the game were key to his team’s comeback. They have the week off and return to the court on Saturday for a home game against BC Montbrison Masculins. That game will tip off at Halle De Coubertin in Le Coteau, France, at 8 p.m.

The speedy guard made his debut in the NM2 League last season for Sapela on loan from the FOS-Sur-Mer Byers. He was able to average 16.7 points and 10.4 assists in four games. However, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in France, his season was cut short. He was then promoted to the Byers’ Pro B team and played in three games.

The 21-year-old was a former national junior standout for Team Bahamas and is now a staple for the senior men’s national team. He last played for The Bahamas at the FIBA (International Basketball Federation) AmeriCup 2022 Qualifiers where he averaged 11.3 points, 2.8 assists and 1.8 boards per game.

The Bahamas is well-represented in France. Senior men’s national team player Willis Mackey Jr. and former senior men’s team big man Kino Burrows play in the NM1 League. Mackey signed with Mulhouse Basket Agglomeration this offseason while Burrows left Byers and is now playing with St. Thomas Basket Le Havre. Their season will get underway on September 24.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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