Bucs Season Comes to a Close in Regions

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Ryleigh Piotto, who scored six points for Beech, puts up a three-pointer for the Bucs. JOHN DECKER

McCall Decker gets a hug from coach Kristi Utley after fouling out of the game Friday night. It was the senior’s last game. JOHN DECKER

Callen Jolly shoots for the Lady Bucs. JOHN DECKER

JC Swafford makes a pass inside. JOHN DECKER

Mia Dean puts up a shot for Beech. The freshman led the Bucs with 16 points on the night. JOHN DECKER

From left: JC Swafford, McCall Decker, Kennedy Powell, Savannah Jarratt and Mia Dean. JOHN DECKER

Beech players Destiny Tinker (44), Savannah Jarratt (45) and McCall Decker play defense. JOHN DECKER

McCall Decker fires a three-pointer. JOHN DECKER

The Beech cheerleaders made the trip to Clarksville to cheer on the Lady Bucs. JOHN DECKER

CLARKSVILLE – Sometimes it’s just not your night. That was certainly the case for the Beech girls basketball team in the quarterfinals of the Region 5-AAA tournament Saturday evening when they played Rossview.

The Lady Bucs fell behind 15-0, missed their first 11 free throws and trailed by 28 points at halftime in a 65-38 loss. The defeat ended Beech’s season.

“We got off to a horrible start,” said Beech coach Kristi Utley who concluded her first season as coach with a 15-15 record. “When you play a team like that you can’t get off to a horrible start. We’re young and we looked young tonight. That shows sometimes when you get in these do-or-die tournament games.”

The Bucs started off at a disadvantage as sophomore starter Kendra Mueller was in street clothes because of an injury.

“You don’t realize how much Kendra does until she’s not out there,” Utley said. “She blocks shots, she rebounds, she deflects passes. We really missed her.”

The Bucs played better in the second half, outscoring Rossview, 31-30.

Beech was very young this season with several underclassmen in their regular rotation. The experience they gained should bode well for next season.

“I told the girls we made some steps this year and we’re going to build upon that,” Utley said. “We talked about what they need to work on in the off-season and what we need to get better at.”

Utley spoke in glowing terms about the one person who won’t be back next season, senior McCall Decker.

“I told her that I think it was meant for me to come in my first year and have her as my senior,” Utley said. “She’s just on and off the court such a leader by what she does. She’s a fine young lady and we’re going to miss her more than anyone would ever think. It’s going to be really hard to replace her. She has done such a good job with the young girls and it’s benefited us so much.”

BEECH 2 5 16 15 38

ROSSVIEW 21 14 16 14 65

BEECH (38): Mia Dean 16, Ryleigh Piotto 6, Savannah Jarratt 5, JC Swafford 5, Kennedy Powell 2, Callen Jolly 2, Gracie Hines 2.

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