Friday, January 02, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> Beebe gets quality win over eStem at tourney

Leader sports editor

The Beebe Badgers picked up their second win of the season on Tuesday, beating eStem Charter 40-33 in the final round of the Beebe First Security Bank/Jeremy Gilliam Christmas Classic at Badger Arena.

Beebe’s offense found a away to score against a 3-2 zone and defended well the entire game to beat the now 10-4 Mets.

“At this point any win is a good one for the Badgers,” said Beebe coach Ryan Marshall. “It was nice to see us finally step up and hit some shots over that zone. That was good for us.”

Marshall exhorted his guards to shoot the ball after they spent most of the first quarter passing up open outside looks. Once they did, the home team quickly got back into the game.

“You wouldn’t think you’d have to tell a kid to shoot the ball these days, but we weren’t wanting to do it. I’m glad we finally did and we knocked them down. Hopefully it will give us a little confidence moving forward.”

The Mets stormed out to an early lead, taking a 10-4 advantage in the first quarter and stretching it to 17-6 before the Badgers began their comeback.

eStem started in a 3-2 zone after Searcy used it to shut down Beebe’s offense in the second half on Monday. But the Badgers finally started hitting shots in the second quarter. Sophomore point guard Chad Brown drained a 3-pointer to make it 17-9.

Landon Davis and Grant Jackson each hit a pair of free throws and Austin Moore sank back-to-back 3-pointers to complete an 11-0 Beebe run and tie the game at 17 by halftime.

The Mets came out in an aggressive man defense to start the second half and it paid quick dividends. Just like in the first quarter, eStem jumped ahead, scoring the first seven points of the second half to take a 24-17 lead. After a Beebe timeout, senior Ty Childress scored three-straight baskets and tacked a free throw onto the last one to pull the Badgers even again with four minutes left in the third quarter.

All three Childress buckets were layups, the first after a defensive rebound and going the length of the court. The last two from cutting to the basket in the half-court offense.

“Ty has had a pretty rough stretch so far this season,” Marshall said. “I was really pleased to see him do that. That’s what you need your seniors to do when you’re down and I hope this gives him some confidence to maybe take on a little more.”

After an eStem turnover, Bradley Worthington got an offensive rebound and putback to give Beebe its first lead of the game with 3:16 left in the third, and the Badgers would never trail again.

eStem’s Michael Calamise tied the score just seconds later with an uncontested layup, but Micah Dubose hit a 10-foot floater to put the Badgers up for good. Beebe took a 33-29 lead into the fourth quarter, and held the Mets to just four points in the final frame.

Beebe scored the first three points of the quarter on three free throws by Moore before Calamise finally put the Mets on the board. eStem then went back to its 3-2 zone and Beebe pulled the ball out and held, where Austin Moore held it underneath his right arm for more than a minute before the Mets finally came out to guard him and switch to man defense.

The Mets got a few stops, but could only muster one more layup by Calamise on the offensive end.

The Badgers held eStem’s Division I prospect RaShawn Langston to just nine points, and only two in the second half.

“He’s a talented player but really I think we’ve defended pretty well all season,” Marshall said of his squad. “We struggle to score and so you have to defend well.”

Calamise led eStem with 11 points and Moore led the Badgers with 14.

On Monday Harding Academy beat eStem while the Badgers lost 35-25 to Searcy after leading that game 21-16 at halftime.