The inside-outside duo of junior SinCere McMahon and senior Jaiquan Edwards proved lethal for the Beech Grove Hornets Saturday night as the Crispus Attucks Tigers secured a berth in Saturday’s semistate with a 68-63 victory over the Orange and Black in the regional final at Greencastle High School’s McAnally Center. McMahon scored 22 points, 16 of those coming in the second half, while Edwards poured in 20, with 11 coming in the second half as well.
Beech Grove fell behind 24-14 early in the second quarter before rallying to take its largest lead of the game at 41-37 in the third period. The Hornets’ last lead was 47-46 early in the final stanza before the Tigers went on a 10-0 run to seize control of this regional championship tilt.
John Parker led the Hornets (18-8) with a season-high 26 points. Gavin Hess added 15 points and nine rebounds while Jajuan Allison poured in 11 points and collected three steals. Jordan Brickley dished out a team-high eight assists. But the difference in this game was free throw shooting as the Tigers made more free throws (20) than what Beech Grove attempted (15).
Crispus Attucks (20-8) advanced to Saturday’s southern semistate game at Seymour’s Lloyd “Barney” Scott Memorial Gymnasium, where it will face Silver Creek at 3 p.m. Eight-time state champion Marion (19-7) will play defending 3A champion Culver Academies (23-3) in the northern semistate the same day at North Side Gym in Elkhart. That contest will get under way at approximately 6 p.m.
For Coach Mike Renfro’s Beech Grove Hornets, who failed in their bid to win the school’s first regional boys basketball title, they made the basketball program’s centennial season a memorable one even if they didn’t post the best record in school history (19-4, set in 1937-38 and equalled by the 2007-08 ball club). Five seniors will graduate this spring (Jordan Brickley, John Parker, Griffin Wade, Romeo Echols and Gavin Hess). However, the cupboard is not bare as two starters return (junior forward Jajuan Allison and sophomore guard Jadyn Curry), not to mention four key players coming off the bench (Josh Fryar, Vin Pich, Gavin Mitchell and Josh Copenhaver). With those returnees, as well as a few players from the junior varsity team that finished 19-1, the Hornets should be primed for a fifth straight winning season. Beech Grove fans should look forward to the 2019-20 campaign.