SHACKLE ISLAND - Beech High School will move on to the District 9-AAA semifinals and the Region 5-AAA tournament following back-to-back wins over city rival Hendersonville in the quarterfinal round Monday evening.
The Lady Bucs will travel and face the second seed Gallatin Lady Wave on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., and the boys will host Lebanon at 7 p.m.
Lady Bucs escape pesky Lady Commandos
Monday night’s victory wasn’t pretty for the Beech Lady Buccaneers, but they got the job done and that is all that matters in tournament play. Survive and advance.
Following a Christa Dean 3-pointer at the 2:52 mark of the fourth quarter, Beech ran off nearly two minutes of game clock before two Laci Walmer free throws, a Walmer offensive rebound and Bri Ellis free throw sealed the win, 37-33.
Both teams started and finished the game relatively sloppy, combining for 35 turnovers during the 32 minutes of action.
Beech led 14-11 after one and 18-16 at the break before extending their lead to six in the third frame, their biggest advantage of the game. An Areya Rice 3-pointer to end the third quarter cut the Lady Commando deficit to only three and a Lindsey Alridge 3-pointer to start the fourth frame tied the game at 27.
The two teams traded baskets before Hendersonville reclaimed a 33-31 lead with over three minutes remaining.
On the next Lady Bucs possession, Christa Dean found herself wide-open in front of the Lady Buccaneers bench, firing and connecting from long range for the one-point lead.
From there, the Lady Bucs held on to the ball, limiting the Lady Commandos opportunity to re-take the lead.
Hendersonville ends their season one win shy of the region tournament, but it is undeniable head coach Kelly Reed has helped turn around the culture of HHS girls basketball.
“I think the girls have done a good job, they’ve responded well and answered every call this season,” she said. “They have done a good job of brining the energy every day. The three things we teach are energy, effort and attitude and they do that consistently. Our fans were huge for us tonight and I hope we don’t like how this feels and don’t have to feel this way anymore.”
Reed adds in order for her team to be better, they will go to work immediately.
“The good thing about this team is they enjoy being around each other,” she said. “We will keep them together as much as we can because we don’t have time to take a break. We missed an entire summer so we have to get in the weight room. Our focus will be to get bigger, faster and stronger. This was a great learning experience for them.”
Girls Box Score
Beech (37): Jada Jones 6, Bri Ellis 6, Loryn O’Neal 6, Laci Walmer 6, Christa Dean 5, Riley Long 4, Carson Sisk 2, Natasia Jones 2
Hendersonville (33): Jeryn Jarrett 10, Brette Taylor 10, Areya Rice 5, Abbie Fuqua 3, Lindsey Alridge 3, Hailey Sebring 2
Shaw scores 22, leads Beech past Hendersonville
Nearly 10 minutes ran off the clock Monday night at Beech High School before the top-seeded Buccaneers grabbed control of their quarterfinal matchup with Hendersonville, but once they did, it was all Beech.
Kristian Shaw paced the Bucs with 22 points, knocking down five 3-pointers before sitting out most of the fourth quarter.
In total, 11 different Buccaneers scored for Kip Brown as they jumped out to as many as a 25 point lead in the third quarter.
Leading 41-27 to start the third frame, Beech outscored Hendersonville 25-10, including a 14-3 run in the first five minutes of the quarter.
“At the break we talked about extending our lead to 20 before they can get it under 10 and we did that, that was a big deal to get some breathing room,” Beech head coach Kip Brown said. “ We made some mistakes in that first half, but Hendersonville also made some tough shots — give them credit; we knew they would come out hungry.”
Mostly reserve players played late in the third quarter and the fourth quarter as the Buccaneers tried to get some rest before a quick turnaround with Lebanon on Tuesday.
“We didn’t have to fight to the very end tonight so it was a no-brainer to get them out of the game in the fourth quarter,” Brown said. “We are feeling good, but you gotta bring it every night, no matter who we play.”
Against Hendersonville, Beech dominated the paint, scoring 26 points around the rim, while grabbing six offensive rebounds for seven second chance points and connecting on nine 3-pointers.
Hendersonville’s Dace Shuck led the Commandos with 16 points.
“Dace was a load tonight,” Brown said. “We didn’t really have anyone who could guard him, but I thought overall we played pretty well defensively.”
The Commandos end their season 5-16.
Boys Box Score
Beech (76): Kristian Shaw 22, Kaleb Powell 8, Jackson Long 8, Xaviere Jones 6, Andrew Paige 6, Luke Fleming 6, Adrian Johnson 6, Jojo Brown 3, Braden Brinkley 3, Bradley Wheeler 3, Sam McClendon 3, JP Courtney 2
Hendersonville (54): Dace Shuck 16, Steven Simerka 8, AJ Owens 8, TJ Kolbe 6, Jordan Zuger 5, TJ Lane 3, Justin Biggs 3, Hays Pfaffman 2, Harrison Perry 2, Donnell Brown 1