News and Announcements
Story by Zach Womble
PIc by John Decker
Luke Fleming named Tournament MVP
HENDERSONVILLE – For the first time since 2012, the Beech Buccaneers are tournament champions.
Kip Brown’s crew capped off a District 9-AAA regular season championship Wednesday night with a thrilling 59-51 victory over Green Hill.
The Buccaneers will take the district’s number one seed into Saturday night’s Region 5-AAA quarterfinal round where they will host Henry County from District 10-AAA. The Patriots finished fourth in their tournament after finishing first during the regular season.
“Tonight is a great feeling, and we will enjoy this, but we need to be dialed in once Thursday rolls around,” Beech head coach Kip Brown said. “Every team in this region is really good, so no matter who we are playing, we need to come ready.”
Senior point guard Luke Fleming earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors while Kristian Shaw and Kaleb Powell earned All-Tournament selections as well.
“Luke refused to let us lose tonight,” Brown said. “The competitive spirit that runs through his veins is remarkable. Who would have ever thought he would be the Most Valuable Player of the district tournament with all this talent around him. He took over the game in the second half.”
Fleming finished with a team-high 19 points with 13 of his points coming in the second half, including four clutch free throws and a steal with less than one minute to play. Both teams battled back-and-forth throughout the first half as neither squad led by more than six points.
As the third quarter started, Green Hill raced out to a to a 5-0 run for their biggest lead of the of the game, four, 30-26.
After trading baskets, Brown elected to call a timeout with 2:38 remaining in the third frame. “We came out in that third quarter and were not moving well offensively,” he said. “We got stagnate, so I just told em lets have fun, be more aggressive on the defensive end and move the ball.”
Green Hill clung to a 39-37 lead after 24 minutes thanks in large part to Paxton Davidson’s back-to-back 3-pointers, but the Bucs never went away. Tied at 39, Beech got a stop on the defensive end before Kristian Shaw found himself open for three for the 42-39 advantage, the Bucs’ first lead since the second quarter.
Another defensive stop coupled with a Shaw 3-pointer with 5:41 remaining gave Beech all the momentum, forcing Green Hill to call a timeout.
“Those 3-pointers were huge,” Brown said. “He never loses confidence in his shot. He has the green light, and maybe there were one or two he shouldn’t have taken, but when you shoot as well as he does, you live with that. No one talks about his defense, but we put him on the other team’s best player most nights and he does as good of a job on that end of the floor as he does offensively.”
Momentum exploded in favor of the Buccaneers following a Green Hill timeout as Andrew Paige slammed home back-to-back possessions, followed by a huge block at the rim with 2:28 remaining as Beech extended their lead to 10, 53-43.
From that point, Bradley Wheeler and Luke Fleming knocked six consecutive free throws to seal the victory. “Andrew is as good as anyone in this district,” Brown said of the junior’s momentous dunks. “He controls the game whether he scores or not, and when he scores he is the best player in the district. He should have gotten all-tournament tonight, but we have four really good players that should always be all-tournament. Andrew is so easy to coach not only because of his talent, but his unselfishness.”
Beech (23-7) will host Henry County (18-5) Saturday night at 7 p.m. and Green Hill (15-8) will host Clarksville (16-5).
“Just so proud of our guys the way we played tonight,” Green Hill head coach Troy Allen said. “We did not play well the last time we were here; we didn’t compete the way our program competes. I thought we executed versus their press, just proud of how we have played all week. I think we became a program this week.”
Boys All District
Kristian Shaw, Andrew Paige, Luke Fleming, Paxton Davidson, Jason Burch, Yarin Alexander, Jarrerd Hall, Osize Daniyan, Eli Rice, Kheller Die’, Cade Martin, Alder Kerr, Zack Markus MVP: Riggs Abner
Coach of the Year: Jim McDowell, Lebanon
Beech (59): Luke Fleming 19, Kristian Shaw 16, Kaleb Powell 9, Andrew Paige 7, Jackson Long 6, Bradley Wheeler 2
Green Hill (51): Paxton Davidson 21, Riggs Abner 14, Mo Rottlen 12, Blake Stacey 4
1 Wilson Central 248.0
2 Beech 200.5
3 Lebanon 110.0
4 Hendersonville 103.0
5 Green Hill 101.0
6 Mt. Juliet 47.0
7 Gallatin 33.0
8 Springfield 12.0
Pic – Kaden White vs MJ earlier this year
TSSAA 11 AAA District Results for Beech
Cohen Oswald (19-18) placed 2nd and scored 16.0 team points.
Blake Palmer (30-5) placed 2nd and scored 16.0 team points.
Coen Myers (21-9) placed 3rd and scored 11.0 team points.
Trey Bates (32-0) placed 1st and scored 20.0 team points.
Cameron Cain (18-9) placed 3rd and scored 10.0 team points.
William Griggs (21-15) placed 4th and scored 11.0 team points.
Daniel Hammond (13-20) placed 3rd and scored 14.0 team points.
Tyler McDaniel (17-23) placed 3rd and scored 10.0 team points.
Jackson Light (18-16) placed 4th and scored 9.0 team points.
Mason Smith (33-0) placed 1st and scored 21.5 team points.
Preston Clark (17-17) placed 4th and scored 10.0 team points.
Donovan Rich (32-1) placed 1st and scored 22.0 team points.
William Kalamen (23-12) placed 3rd and scored 14.0 team points.
Kaden White (24-10) placed 2nd and scored 16.0 team points.
- The Boys team finishes first as Lebanon defeated Station Camp last night 56-53.
Pic: Kaleb Powell reached the 1000 point Club recently.
SHACKLE ISLAND – The Beech boys needed a win in the worst way.
A victory over the visiting Green Hill Hawks would give Kip Brown’s crew a shot at the number one seed in the upcoming district tournament.
A defensive adjustment in the second quarter allowed Beech to climb back from a nine point deficit to take the lead with two minutes left in the half following three consecutive 3-pointers from Bradley Wheeler and Kaleb Powell.
The 23 point outburst, mostly from a smothering press, saw five different Bucs score in the frame as Powell led all scorers with 14 points en route to a 34-28 halftime lead.
“Changing defenses worked well,” Brown said. “We haven’t played it much this year, but the situation called for it and the kids responded.”
The third quarter was a physical contest as both teams played extremely hard and gave up zero easy baskets.
Beech finished the fourth quarter 6-for-8 from the field, winning the eight minute stretch 16-11. The Bucs capitalized on free throw opportunities as Luke Fleming finished the stretch 5-for-6 from the line.
“We moved the ball so well, got everyone involved and played smart,” Brown said. “Kaleb played well tonight, and Bradley may have had the game of his life – he was a maniac tonight. Jackson Long took charges, just as a whole, everyone played so well.
Beech (62) – Bradley Wheeler 11, Sam McClendon 2, Luke Fleming 16, Kaleb Powell 16, Drew Paige 7, Kristian Shaw 8, Jackson Long 2
Green Hill (49) – Riggs Abner 15, Kaleb Carver 3, Paxton Davidson 8, Blake Stacey 2, Mo Ruttlen 8, Garrett Brown 3, Jason Burch 10
SHACKLE ISLAND – The Lady Bucs got off to a great start Thursday night, leading Green Hill 13-7 at the end of the first quarter of play. Green Hill, as they did all night, clawed their way back and trailed by just three points at the half, 24-21, but it was the Lady Bucs who held on for the 41-37 victory.
Both teams elected to run a full-court press at times, leaving play chaotic.
“We challenged our girls to take their fate into their own hands and not leave it up to tie-breakers,” Beech head coach Lauran Elkins said. “They stepped up and got two big wins this week.”
The win over Green Hill solidifies Beech as the number three seed in the upcoming District 9-AAA Tournament.
Beech outscored Green Hill 10-7 in the third frame, and the scoring slowed down in the fourth as the Lady Bucs elected to run a methodical offense.
Green Hill scratched and clawed to the very end, but could not get enough stops late to win the game.
“A very good team win tonight,” Elkins said. “We didn’t play great, but give Green Hill credit; we still have plenty to work as we prepare for the tournament.”
Jada Jones paced Beech with 10 points and Audrey Blankenship scored a game-high 16 points for Green Hill.
The Lady Hawks will take the fourth seed. Green Hill’s first round opponent is still to be determined as Station Camp and Hendersonville battle it out for the fifth seed, but the Bucs will take on Portland in their first round matchup.
Beech is 2-0 against Portland this season.
Beech (41) – Jada Jones 10, Natasia Jones 5, Bri Ellis 6, Carson Sisk 3, Christa Dean 5, Laci
Walmer 6, Riley Long 6
Green Hill (37) – Aubrey Blankenship 16, Kensley Carter 11, Sydnee Richetto 5, Savannah Kirby 3, Ashlynn Riggs 2
In a normal year they don’t have Wrestling “sectionals”, but due to Covid they are eliminating 16 ateams a round earlier than usual. The Bucs failed to control 2 key matches which ended up in pins for Oakland and ending the 2021 “Duals” season.
The team now turns to individual contests by weight class. The Bucs have 3 possible state champs in the ranks this year – 2x champ Trey Bates, a Central MIchigan signee, at 126, Mason Smith (won last year at 152) and Donovan Rich at 195. Beech will host the district and region individuals next weekend.
Oakland (OAKL) 44.0 Beech Senior (BESE) 36.0
106: Brayden Bouma (OAKL) over Cohen Oswald (BESE) (Fall 5:43) 113: Blake Palmer (BESE) over (OAKL) (For.) 120: Coen Myers (BESE) over (OAKL) (For.) 126: Cameron Cain (BESE) over (OAKL) (For.) 132: Trey Bates (BESE) over Tyler Vanderheyden (OAKL) (Fall 2:07) 138: Adam Tibitoski (OAKL) over William Griggs (BESE) (Fall 2:59) 145: Jaxsen Nicuwimer (OAKL) over Daniel Hammond (BESE) (Dec 8-5) 152: James Griffin (OAKL) over Tyler McDaniel (BESE) (Fall 0:49) 160: Stephen Beasley (OAKL) over Jackson Light (BESE) (Fall 5:58) 170: Mason Smith (BESE) over Jesiah Gordon (OAKL) (Fall 1:15) 182: Evan Harris (OAKL) over Preston Clark (BESE) (Fall 1:32) 195: Donovan Rich (BESE) over Braxton Myers (OAKL) (DQ) 220: Theron Gaines (OAKL) over William Kalamen (BESE) (Fall 2:20) 285: Peter Keating (OAKL) over Kaden White (BESE) (Fall 1:30) (OAKL unsportsmanlike -1.0)
Both basketball teams beat HHS last Friday.
The girls won 56-47. Bri Ellis had 24 points, Natasia Jones added 8 and Jada Jones had 7 for the Lady Bucs.
The boys won 60-44. Drew Paige had 13 and Luke Fleming had 10.
Saturday the boys lost a close one to Goodpasture 61 – 59. Kristian Shaw had 25 and Paige dropped in 14 for the Bucs.
The Bucs travel to MJ tonight for a pair of 9AAA games