GALLATIN: A back-and-forth game between district foes Station Camp and Beech went down to the wire Friday night before the road Bucs walked away with a thrilling 58-52 overtime win.
Both fan bases were on fire with each basket and neither team disappointed as Beech jumped out to a 12-8 lead at the end of one period of play.
The Bucs lead most of the first half, but only by a few baskets. With time winding down, Kavon Blankenship buried two 3-pointers to give the Bison a 22-21 lead at the half. The second shot was from 28’ as he faded away from the Buccaneer defender who was all over him. It was a tremendous individual effort on his part, and the crowd went absolutely nuts as the Bison led going into the dressing room at the half.
“Wow! Both teams played so hard tonight. Trey Moore got us going against their zone in the first half, Blankenship’s three’s were huge,” Station Camp head coach Seth Massey said. “We never led by more than four and just when you thought we had it under control they would make a shot or a steal… we just couldn’t put them away.”
The game continued its back-and-forth theme as the Bison led 38-36 at the end of the third quarter. Beech’s Bradley Wheeler played the game of his life as his lockdown defense and five steals propelled the Bucs through the physical play. “Wheeler played so hard, he was a maniac tonight. No way we win tonight without him,” Beech head coach Kippy Brown exclaimed.
Station Camp held the slim lead for almost all of the fourth quarter and led 47-44 until Kaleb Powell knocked down a three from the top of the key to tie the game with 6.7 seconds left. Blankenship took the ball down the sideline with three Buccaneer defenders all over him and missed a last second shot, sending the game into overtime.
“He (Powell) didn’t play a great game by his standards, but he hit a big shot and that’s what great players do,” added Massey. “It was a great high school game, great atmosphere… somebody’s got to win and somebody has to lose. Congrats to Beech, they wouldn’t go away.”
The Bucs scored first in OT and a steal and a layup by Luke Fleming put Beech up by four very quickly. Powell then made five-of-six free throws to seal the game. “We played hard, just kept grinding away and staying within reach through the second half tonight, didn’t think it was gonna happen for a while. We got that big shot by Kaleb at the end. When we got the lead in OT we just stretched it out,” added Brown.
Boys Box Score
Beech (58): Kaleb Powell 14, Luke Fleming 14, Kristian Shaw 13, Bradley Wheeler 7, Drew Paige 5, Braden Brinkley 3, Jackson Long 2.
Station Camp (52): Cameron Gerlach 12, Trey Moore 12, Kavon Blankenship 11, Eli Thurtson 7, Kheller Die 6, Trey Moore 3.