Andrew Paige

Drew Paige goes up to score two points for the Bucs. 

HENDERSONVILLE - A 7-0 run to end the first quarter, coupled with a dominant second quarter propelled host Beech High School into the Bucs Christmas tournament semifinals Thursday afternoon.

Beech, playing host to Riverdale, outscored the Warriors by 17 in the final 10 minutes of the first half helping seal a 75-57 victory over the fellow Class AAA Murfreesboro product. 

Junior Kaleb Powell poured in 20 points leading his team while senior Jyquale Matthews added 10. 

13 different players scored for the Buccaneers in the win leaving coach Kip Brown happy with his team’s execution. 

“It’s fun to watch these guys share the basketball,” Brown said. “Everyone out there is a good passer, a good shooter, or a good finisher. It’s hard to guard when you have five guys at any given time that can score or make the right pass.”

Tied at 11, the Bucs ended the first quarter on a 7-0 run then outscored the Warriors 25-15 in the second quarter for a commanding 43-26 halftime advantage. 

The second half was much closer as the two teams scored nearly identical points in the third and fourth quarters.

In clear control of the game in the final four minutes, the Bucs were able to sub in their bench allowing the younger and less experienced players get quality playing time.

“It’s really great to get those guys in and it’s great to see our normal starters cheer for those guys when they do get in,” Brown said. “The chemistry is really good with this team.” 

The Bucs will take on Muhlenberg County out of Kentucky in the semifinals on Friday at 7 p.m.

“It is going to be a tough game for sure,” Brown said. “Muhlenberg is a really good team.”

2019 marks the 15th year the Bucs have hosted the Christmas tournament.

“To host this and try and make it a great event that is centered around just watching and playing great basketball games is what it is all about,” Brown added. “You kind of get into the Christmas spirit a little bit. It’s nice being home for the holidays and it is a tradition we look forward to sticking with for many years to come.”

Boys Box Score

Beech (75): Kaleb Powell 20, Jyquale Matthews 10, Braden Brinkley 9, Drew Pagie 8, Luke Fleming 8, Adrian Johnson 5, Kristian Shaw 3, Sam McClendon 2, Levi Johnson 2, Jackson Long 2, Kenny Miller 2, Josh Jordan 2, Bradley Wheeler 2.

Riverdale (57): Santonio McDaniel 12, Javon Nelson 12, Mar J Watson 10, Preston Whittington 9, CJ Johnson 6, Kade Hewitt 4, Jackson Underwood 2, Braxton Caruthers 2. 

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