CALCUTTA - With their fullcourt press forcing multiple turnovers in the fourth quarter, the Beaver Local Beavers rallied for an exciting 54-48 win over the Oak Glen Golden Bears Tuesday at Beaver Local High School.
The Beavers are 8-5 on the season. Oak Glen falls to 2-8.
Trailing 33-31 entering the final quarter, the Beavers' press forced numerous turnovers, including two consecutive errors that enabled them to take a 44-41 lead with 2:10 remaining. While they were successful in forcing turnovers, the Beavers were struggling at the foul line, making only three of charity eight tosses in a late 70-second span. That string ended when Bryce McKenzie came off the bench to convert four of six free throws in the final 19 seconds to seal the victory.
"In the fourth quarter, we were doing what we ideally wanted to do the entire game, which was to have fullcourt pressure," said Beaver Local head coach Jeremy Christen. "We hadn't been able to do it earlier. The kids stepped it up in the fourth quarter and those forced turnovers got us back in the game."
Beaver Local's Jared Lyder led all scorers with 22 points and topped all rebounders with 11. Chase Hilliard tallied 11 with Hayden Grafton and Josh Underwood scoring seven each. Hilliard had eight steals, most of which were in the fourth quarter during the Beavers' comeback. Grafton passed out six assists.
Bub Haddox led Oak Glen with 17 points, followed by David McGraw 14, Tyler Click 10 and Smith seven. Click grabbed seven rebounds for the Golden Bears and Smith dished out four assists.
"Bub Haddox played probably what was the best game of his career tonight," said Oak Glen head coach Dave Smith. "Those turnovers really hurt us in the fourth quarter. Give Beaver Local credit, they played a solid game."
Leading by just one, 12-11, after the the first quarter, Oak Glen's matchup zone defense stymied the Beavers in the second quarter, limiting them to just six points.
With the Beavers struggling from the outside, the Golden Bears were able to focus their efforts on stopping Lyder and Underwood inside.
"We weren't attacking the basket," said Christen. "They pulled their zone further back as we were only making one pass and then shooting at the first open shot."
During the second quarter, Oak Glen received balanced scoring as four different players found the hoop. McGraw and Smith tallied four points each with Click and Haddox each dropping in a basket on their way to a 24-17 halftime lead.
Neither team shot a foul shot in the second quarter. Lyder was two for four on the game's only free throws in the first period. Oak Glen only shot two foul shots the entire night, those being when Click connected on two tosses with 24 seconds remaining in the game.
Focusing on getting inside in the second half, Beaver Local was able to shoot 23 foul shots in the second half. Working the ball inside in the third quarter enabled Lyder to garner nine points, trimming the Golden Bears' to just two, 33-31, heading into the final quarter.
"At halftime, we came in and drew it up on the board," said Christen. "We attacked the gaps and did a much better job of screening. On defense we were getting more stops and then were able to beat their zone down the floor."
Despite the loss, Smith did see some improvement in his young team.
"I liked our desire. We worked really hard. Those turnovers in the fourth quarter were the difference."
Oak Glen committed 18 turnovers and shot 42 percent from the floor. Beaver Local shot 39 percent (19 of 49) from the floor.
The Golden Bears are back in action tonight traveling to Buckeye Local. Beaver Local hosts Harrison Central Saturday.
Oak Glen was without the services of Kyle Woodruff who injured his left knee Saturday versus Wellsville. Currently on crutches, his date of return is uncertain at this time.
Beaver Local won the JV game 57-38 with Chase Wilcox leading the way with 17 points. He was supported by Kevin Mackey 11, Conner Hall 10 and Tyler Kithas eight. Shane Theiss led Oak Glen with 14 followed by Noah Feicht with eight.
OAK GLEN: 12-12-9-15-48
BEAVER LOCAL: 11-6-14-23-54
OAK GLEN SCORING: Matt Stipec 0-0-0, Tyler Click 3-2-7, Jakob Ford 0-0-0, Bub Haddox 8-0-17, Bryan Congo 0-0-0, Brennan Smith 3-0-7, Chase Hartley 0-0-0, David McGraw 7-0-14. TEAM TOTALS: 21, 2-2: 48.
BEAVER LOCAL SCORING: Chase Hilliard 4-2-11, Jared Lyder 9-4-22, Hayden Grafton 2-2-7, Ethan Campbell 0-0-0, Chandler Cornell 1-0-3, Josh Underwood 3-1-7, Chase Wilcox 0-0-0, Bryce McKenzie 0-4-4. TEAM TOTALS: 19, 13-27; 54.
Three-point goals: Oak Glen 4 (Click 2, Haddox, Smith), Beaver Local 3 (Hilliard, Grafton, Cornell).