Jake Butler plays defense for Beech. DAVE GOULD
Mitchell Sorenson fights for the loose ball. DAVE GOULD
Ty Dean presses the Lebanon ball-handler. DAVE GOULD
Leroy Blackwell looks to pass the ball down the court. DAVE GOULD
Jayson Brown makes a move to the basket. DAVE GOULD
LEBANON – Through the first half of the Beech boys basketball District 9-AAA semifinal contest against Lebanon on Saturday, it looked like the Bucs were going to storm into the championship. But the top-seeded Blue Devils had other ideas. Lebanon outscored Beech by 16 points in the third and fourth quarters to capture a 44-35 victory and a berth in the championship game Tuesday night.
Seven different Bucs scored in the first half as Beech jumped out to a 22-15 lead. However, Lebanon came out on fire in the third period scoring the first nine points to take the lead for good. Drake Sanson hit one of his four three-pointers midway through the third quarter to make it a one point game, but that was as close as it would get.
“We played a pretty good first half and then in the second half they did pretty much what they wanted to do and we let them do it,” said Beech coach Kip Brown. “We struggled shooting the ball but a lot of times we didn’t make the right play. We let their intensity get to us where we should have been the enforcer instead of just standing on our heels and letting them push us out further away from the basket.”
The loss means the Bucs will face Mt. Juliet in the consolation game on Tuesday and they will have to travel for the Region 5-AAA tournament.
“We need to look at ourselves and see how bad we want it,” Brown said. “We’ve got to play with a little more purpose, passion and desire than we did in the second half.”
BEECH (35): Drake Sanson 12, Mitchell Sorenson 7, AJ Robertson 5, Jake Butler 3, Ty Dean 2, Nelson Smith 2, Jayson Brown 2, Leroy Blackwell 2