HENDERSONVILLE - The Beech boys’ basketball team improved to 2-1 on the young season on Saturday taking down Bearden and White House High School in back-to-back games.
In the opening game against the defending Class AAA State Champion Bearden Bulldogs, Beech used a well-balanced attack of five different players in double figures to take down their opposition 67-55.
Led by Andrew Paige who poured in a team-high 14 points, Beech tossed in 28 paint points and added seven three-point field goals to pull away from the Bulldogs in the second half.
“I thought we played with purpose, poise, and were aggressive when we needed to be,” Beech head coach Kip Brown said. “That was a good team effort.”
Leading by two at the break, Beech outscored the Bulldogs by six in the third quarter to push their lead to 45-37 after 24 minutes in large part to five offensive rebounds and numerous layups on the fast break.
“We want to run up the court and make plays on the fast break,” Brown added. “It starts with getting stops and when you do that it’s easier to get out and run. I thought we did a good job of that.”
The Bucs are littered with mostly underclassmen and will rely heavily upon several sophomores, but that doesn’t mean that expectations on Shackle Island are low.
“We have high expectations for ourselves this year,” Brown said. “This is a good group. We had a good summer and good scrimmages. We didn’t play well in our first game so it was good to see us bounce back today and play with the confidence we are capable of playing with.”
The Bucs never trailed against Bearden, leading wire-to-wire for the win.
“It certainly helps when you get off to a fast start in any game,” Brown said. “We started tonight off with an (Andrew Paige) dunk, then follow that up with back-to-back three-pointers from Jyquale (Matthews). It was good to see.”
The Bucs added 22 points in the fourth quarter to seal the 12 point victory.
In the late game, Beech squeaked out a 73-70 win over fellow Sumner County foe White House.
Leading 22-17 after the first quarter, Beech carried a 42-36 lead into the locker room. The Blue Devils outscored the Bucs 18-14 in the third quarter cutting the lead to just two heading into the final quarter.
Beech senior Jyquale Matthews led the Bucs with 27 points while Kristian Shaw added 16 and junior Kaleb Powell poured in 12.
Beech will play at the Wolverine Classic on Nov. 27 at Lavergne High School vs. Smyrna at 3:30 p.m.
Boys Box Score:
Beech (67): Andrew Paige 14, Luke Fleming 13, Jyquale Matthews 12, Kaleb Powell 11, Jackson Long 10, Bradley Wheeler 4, Kristian Shaw 3.