After bowing out in last year's Class C state semi-finals, a young and talented Beecher team vowed they would be back. The Bucs made good on their promise, but could have never imagined how their season would come to such a crushing conclusion.
A McBain putback of a missed shot with just tenths of a seond remaining in regulation sent Thursday's semi-final battle into overtime, and a stunned Beecher squad was never able to recover. The Ramblers went on for a 70-66 overtime victory, as the Bucs were stopped one game short of reaching the state title game for the second straight year.
Monte Morris paced Beecher with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, but he also turned the ball over seven times. Teammate Cortez Robinson chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds. McBain's Jessie Larr led the Ramblers with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Cody King added 13 points and six boards.
Beecher held a 35-24 lead mid-way through the third quarter before watching it all gradually slip away.
"I thought in that third quarter we just were kind of going through the motions," said dejected Beecher head coach Mike Williams. "I think we thought we had this game wrapped up. We didn't come out with the same fire that we did the last few games."
"They had it packed in real tight, trying to make it hard to get inside those gaps," said Beecher junior guard Monte Morris, who finished four assists shy of a triple-double. "Our shots weren't really falling. It was real hard, we (were) trying to get inside to get the zone moving."