By Scott Halasz
CENTERVILLE — If someone had told Beavercreek basketball coach Mark Hess that the Beavers would hold Centerville’s Keegan Saben to 13 points and the Elk senior wouldn’t score until the second half, Hess would have taken that.
And probably a Beavercreek win.
The first part of that equation happened Friday night as Saben didn’t have a first-half point. But the Beavers didn’t account for Sam Lash.
The 6-foot-5 senior gashed the Beavers for a game-high 16 points, nearly double his average, as the Elks beat the Beavers, 54-38. Lash, who scored 11 points combined in Centerville’s last two games, had 10 points by halftime, scoring the game’s first two baskets off Beavercreek turnovers and then hitting a pair of 3-pointers late in the half as the Elks (4-2 overall, 3-0 Greater Western Ohio Conference National East) led, 25-12, at halftime.
Beavercreek took just 11 first-half shots, had eight turnovers and couldn’t contain Lash.
“He got some open looks,” Hess said. “(And) you’re not going to get a lot of points (with 11 shots). We’ve got to be more efficient. We just weren’t moving the ball enough. That’s where we’ve got to get better.”
Cedric Baldwin tried to keep Beavercreek (5-4, 2-4 GWOC) close, scoring seven of his team-high 11 in the first half. Peyton Young added 10 points, all in the second half, as the Beavers tried to make a late run.
Down 39-21 after three quarters, Young and Baldwin scored back-to-back to get the Beavers to within 14.
Saben followed with a conventional three-point play with 6:40 left, and then Baldwin drained a jumper to make it 42-27 with 6:30 left. Saben and Young traded baskets, and after Centerville’s Donnie Shelton made a basket, Beavercreek’s Ian Whitlow hit a three-pointer to make 46-32 with 5:17 left.
About a minute later Jordan Williams scored on a fast break to make it 48-36, but the Elks scored six straight to put the game away.
Credit the Beavers with playing a better second half, but they simply could not generate enough offense to overcome the first half. Beavercreek also went more than four minutes between baskets in the third quarter.
“We’re just not good enough to get over that hump,” Hess said.
The Beavers are at Fairmont Friday, Jan. 6, while the Elks are at Cincinnati Moeller Saturday, Jan. 7.
‘Creek girls beat Lebanon
The Beavercreek girls improved to 7-2 overall with a 52-45 win at Lebanon Friday night.
Beavercreek trailed 14-10 after one but held the Warriors to four second-quarter points in taking a 23-18 halftime lead. Beavercreek led 38-30 after three quarters.
Bailey Draughn scored a game-high 16 points, while Keaira Youngblood added 13. Michaela Rhoades added eight, Lexi Moore seven, Cori Dilsavor six and Carmen Williams two.
Beavercreek hosts Alter 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 2.