HENDERSONVILLE - Hot shooting mixed with clutch free throws down the stretch helped Beech pull out a 72-64 nail-biter over visiting Gallatin Tuesday night.
Beech junior Kristian Shaw lit the net on fire in the fourth quarter, sinking four 3-pointers en route to a game-high 24 points while senior teammate Luke Fleming knocked in one 3-pointer and iced the win going 9-for-10 from the free throw line in the final minute.
Trailing for 29 minutes, Beech took their first lead of the game on a Fleming 3-pointer at the top of the key — the team’s fifth made 3-pointer in the quarter — for the 61-60 advantage with three minutes remaining.
After giving up a Gallatin bucket, Beech held onto the lead for good with 1:45 remaining up 63-62 when Shaw pulled down an offensive rebound to waste an additional 20-30 seconds off the clock.
From there, Fleming made sure there was no comeback attempt from the Wave, knocking in eight consecutive free throws before his lone miss.
“Gallatin kicked our butt for a large part of that game and for me to sit here realizing we won that game I have no idea,” Beech head coach Kip Brown said. “We hit a bunch of 3s and that seems to be the medicine for success when we don’t play well. We kept it just close enough to make some plays late.”
Despite the loss, Gallatin head coach Bobby Luna says his guys played hard, they played well, Beech just made a few more plays at the end to win it.
“It stings because we handled 90% of what we needed to do tonight,” he said. “That is a good basketball team that you have to put a lot of scouting into. We handled them posting us up on the block ,we handled their dribble penetration respectively but I’m disappointed in not doing a good enough job on their personnel because I think we are better than that. In this league you need to handle 100% of your scouting report, especially against a good team like that.”
Gallatin raced out to a 15-12 lead after the first quarter and extended their advantage to 32-23 at the break.
Beech managed to win the third frame, but still trailed 48-44 at the end of 24 minutes .
Starting the fourth quarter, both teams traded six consecutive 3-pointers before a Jackson Long thunderous dunk shifted momentum towards Beech for good.
“That is the first thing we talked about in the locker room because while that dunk didn’t give us the lead, the momentum shifted right there,” Brown said.
District 9-AAA boys standings
Green Hill (8-1)
Station Camp (7-3)
Wilson Central (5-4)
Mt. Juliet (4-6)
Beech (72): Kristian Shaw 24, Luke Fleming 17, Andrew Paige 11, Sam McClendon 10, Jackson Long 6, Kaleb Powell 2, Xaviere Jones 2.
Gallatin (64): Cade Martin 18, Ethan Rogers 17, Cannon Hale 11, AJ Davis 9, Ty Martin 5, Isaiah Ellis 4.