Senior staff writer
Beech Grove’s boys basketball team beat the final buzzer in back-to-back games.
First, senior guard Kenny Washington nailed the winning shot with three seconds left Friday against Indiana Crossroads opponent Park Tudor in The Hive, 56-54.
And then Saturday at Manual, the Hornets stormed from five points down with 70 seconds left and defeated the Redskins 58-57 on senior Jalyn Curry’s long 3-pointer with :00.3 on the clock. Curry caught the kick-out pass from Jomar Seals and canned the shot.
“When I saw him get the ball to Curry on the far wing, I had all the confidence in the world, he would knock it down,” Washington said. “This was really a team effort, a team win.”
Curry’s shot touched off a boisterous Beech Grove celebration while Manual was stunned.
The Hornets (4-0) trailed 56-51 with 1:10 to go but already had Manual (4-2) in the cross hairs with a super-aggressive full-court trapping defense that forced four turnovers. Washington hit two free throws and later scored on a driving layup. A missed free throw by Manual on the front-end of a one-and-one put the ball back in the Hornets hands with 10 seconds remaining.
“Coming off a night going to the buzzer and coming in here, I was really worried about our mindset, but our kids showed a little grit,” Beech Grove coach Matt English said. “After the game we talked about the contributions of so many guys. Up and down the bench, guys came in and got something done.”
English pointed to the off-the-bench play of Jawan Allison with a field goal and playing the point on the trapping defense, sharpshooting Nick Ancelet with two baskets in the second half and Griffin Wade’s five points.
Washington wound up with a game-high 25 points with 11 of them coming in the last quarter. Curry had eight points.
The Redskins warmed up Friday by defeating Indianapolis Home School 82-45 but found a formidable foe Saturday in Beech Grove.
Manual opened a 19-11 lead on an 8-0 run sparked by junior guard Montez McNair, which prompted an irritated English to call a time out. The Hornets responded to take a 25-22 halftime lead.
The Hornets limited 6-8 junior Jalen Johnson to 16 points and 6-9 senior Ali Alquraishy to four. Eventually the Hornets’ full-court trap doomed the Redskins.
“We needed to take better shots with two minutes to go, and they were in a 1-3-1 when you need to score with layups,” Manual coach Donnie Bowling said. “This came down to one last shot. If we would have won, we would have been celebrating.”
Undefeated Roncalli handled winless Whiteland 50-38 on Dec. 8 after trailing 15-7 after the first quarter; Perry Meridian claimed its second win against Bloomington North 71-56 behind Jaden Taylor’s 17 points; Greenwood recovered from an overtime loss Friday at Franklin and pounded visiting Herron 92-45 Saturday; and Greenwood Christian downed visiting Lutheran 71-57.
Among upcoming games: Friday, Franklin Central visits Perry Meridian and Whiteland is at Center Grove; Saturday, Roncalli goes to Scecina and Ritter visits Lutheran; and Tuesday, Perry Meridian visits Center Grove and Greenwood journeys to Beech Grove.