BEAVERCREEK — For both Bellbrook and Beavercreek, Tuesday night at Beavercreek High School could have been a night to lose focus. With it being the end of the regular season, senior night for the Beavers, and the postseason looming, it would have been easy for both teams to forget about this game. But instead it was a hard fought battle with both teams trying to gauge where they were going into the tournament.
But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any fun to be had.
After the senior ceremony for a team that’s mostly made up of seniors, Beavercreek (14-8) came out for warmups wearing matching headbands and an array of ugly socks. Even though they looked like they just got released from the loony bin, it was all business as the Beavers handled the Golden Eagles (14-6), 73-50.
“I think we came out really motivated, I think we executed really well,” said Beavercreek head coach John Ahrns. “I thought our defense was better than it had been in a while, and our guys just wanted to prove that even though we we’re on a losing streak, we had played pretty well. We just played a lot of tough teams. We want to get on a roll in the tournament.”
Beavercreek was moving the ball with style and getting everyone involved. With just over five minutes left to play in the second quarter, senior Airius Moore dished a behind-the-back pass to senior Tyler Reasoner who put in in the basket and gave Beavercreek a 29-15 lead. Nine players scored for the Beavers, including a game-high 15 from Moore.
Moore talked about his team’s performance in this game and how they have great chemistry.
“I think it was a big game for us since we lost four in a row. It kind of boosted our confidence a little bit. It’s good to get a win before the tournament,” he said. “Being a senior this was really fun. This is our last game at home. We’re pretty much a family, and I think we all enjoyed this game tonight.”
“We want to get to districts, but we can’t look at districts first. It’s a process and I think we have to work through the process. I think we’re all ready for the tournament,” he said, looking forward to the postseason.
Bellbrook senior Josh Schumacher tied Moore for a game-high 15, and the Golden Eagles tried their hardest to keep with Beavercreek. Bellbrook head coach Perry Caldwell said that his team wanted to treat this like a tournament game, and that the competition was good for getting ready for the postseason.
“A couple of our players commented on how physical the game was. Beavercreek does a good job of being physical, being aggressive, and getting in your stuff defensively. Even offensively, making good strong moves to the basket,” he said. “We wanted to play a game like this at the end of the year to get us ready for our sectional tournament, and I think our boys should be proud. We battled and battled, but we just kind of got out-manned.”
The Bellbrook Golden Eagles face Ponitz (11-3) at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at Vandalia Butler.
With this being his final season as Beavercreek’s head coach, Ahrns reflected on this season a little before moving to the postseason.
“I’ve never had a better group of guys,” he said. “I’ve been here 16 years in one form or another. I played here a couple years before that. I’ve never had more fun. I’ve never been around a better group of guys.”
After a bye week, Beavercreek will face the winner of the Piqua-Fairborn game at 6 p.m. on Wednesday Feb. 26 at Vandalia Butler High School.