Hendersonville – When Andrew Paige slammed home an alley-oop pass from Kaleb Powell to make it 4-0 Beech, the game appeared the Bucs might just run away with their semifinal contest against Muhlenbuerg County. However, Paige picked up his second foul just one minute later and the game changed.
Each team swapped baskets most of the first quarter which ended with Muhlenberg in front 18-15. Beech scored just four points over the first five minutes of the second quarter and fell behind 26-19. A furious rally helped the Bucs tie the game at 30 at halftime.
“It really hurt having to sit Drew Paige all but two minutes of the first half,” Beech head coach Kip Brown said. “He got off to a great start. We were down seven and really started to play our game toward the end of the half.”
Paige sat all but two minutes of the first half. Luke Fleming, Powell, Kristian Shaw and Jyquale Matthews all did a great job of attacking the basket in the half, offsetting Muhlenberg’s point guard, Trey Lovell who had 20 points. Lovell, just a sophomore, single-handedly kept the Mustangs in the game.
The Bucs opened the second half just like they finished it… on fire. Beech outscored the Mustangs 22-12 as Braden Brinkley hit two big 3-point baskets to end the third quarter.
Tempers flared as Muhlenberg coach, Kyle Eades, was tossed after his second technical foul. The game was physical and neither team would back down from the other. It was a very intense and competitive game from start to finish. Powell finished with 21 points, 11 of those were on free throws (11-for-12).
“We have a poised group, even though we are young nothing seems to get to them,” Brown added. “They are resilient, so I am having some fun coaching these guys. Luke was great tonight, he makes so many plays that don’t go on the stat sheet, he scoring more for us. He’s like a silent assassin. Everybody played well, just a great team effort tonight.”
The Bucs will take on 9-AAA rival Station Camp in the title game Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7:00 p.m. while the Mustangs will play Vestavia Hills at 4:00 p.m. in the third place game.
Lady Bucs handle Cane Ridge, will play for BA for championship
Beech girls ran away from Cane Ridge, opening a 29-4 halftime lead, and coasting to a 58-19. The victory sets up a rematch with Brentwood Academy, who beat Knox Central, 69-25. The Lady Bucs lost 67-60 in Franklin two weeks ago to BA. The girl’s championship game will be at 5:30 p.m.