LEBANON - The Beech Buccaneers stole more than just the show Tuesday night at Wilson Central as the No. 2 seeded Bucs defeated No. 5 seed Gallatin, 47-39.
Beech stole 13 Green Wave passes, converting the turnovers into 18 fast break points.
“We just wanted to guard as good as we could, and I thought we played great defense tonight,” Beech head coach Kip Brown said. “Having nearly half of our points come on fast break is huge. That was the difference in the game.”
The two teams battled for much of the first quarter seeing three lead changes and two ties, but it was the Bucs who came out on top after the first eight minutes, 13-8, thanks in part to two 3-pointers from Sam McClendon and Jyquale Matthews.
The second quarter was a much different story for the two teams.
Beech routinely found themselves in Gallatin passing lanes and converted turnovers into quick offense as they raced out to a double-digit lead just four minutes into the quarter.
Leading 24-13, Kaleb Powell stole back-to-back Gallatin passes, converting them into layups for the 28-16 lead - a lead Beech carried into the locker room.
“The message at the half was all about finishing,” Brown added. “We wanted to come out and win the third quarter, and we knew if we did that, we would have a good chance at closing it out.”
Neither team dominated the third frame offensively, but the Bucs did win the quarter, 8-6, to carry a 36-22 lead into the final quarter.
The Wave never quit attitude brought the score closer than the game was, as the green and gold nailed three 3-pointers in the final minute. But, the damage had already taken place as the Bucs ran out the time scoring the eight-point win.
The victory means Beech will travel to play Clarksville High School in the Region 5-AAA quarterfinals. It is the first region game for the Bucs since 2016.
“I’d say this is a special year because we made it back to regions,” Brown said. “I’m proud to finish second in a solid district in the regular season, then turn around and finish third in the tournament and still be playing. Starting two juniors and two sophomores, we are thrilled with what we have done so far. That said, yes, it’s a good season, but we want more.”
In total, nine different players scored for the Bucs, led by Kaleb Powell and Kristian Shaw, who each scored nine.
Tip-off on Saturday at Clarksville High School is 7 p.m.
Gallatin will travel to Clarksville Northeast for their opening round region game at 7 p.m.
Beech (47): Kaleb Powell 9, Kristian Shaw 9, Jyquale Matthews 7, Drew Paige 7, Jackson Long 4, Luke Fleming 4, Sam McClendon 3, Braden Brinkley 2, Adrian Johnson 2.
Gallatin (39): Beljwok Adaing 13, Cade Martin 8, Montez Banks 6, Noah Ring 4, Charlie Hale 3, Jack Robinson 3, Isaiah Ellis 2.