Senior staff writer
Beech Grove’s boys basketball team has stepped into a new realm.
The Hornets (13-4) upset 3A No. 1 New Castle 67-57 (16-2) in front of a raucous crowd Thursday at The Hive, and followed that up by defeating 4A host Roncalli (13-6) 42-39 Saturday for the first time in 10 years.
“Both games were emotional and physical, and the kids really rose to the occasion,” 10th-year coach Matt English said. “We had figured out ways to win games before, but we really showed more resiliency in those two games.”
Beech Grove opened the season with only three returnees from an 18-7 squad with seniors in 6-2 guard Kenny Washington, 6-6 Jomar Seals and 6-2 forward Jayln Curry. The steady improvement of 6-3 Gavin Hess, 5-7 Gordon Brickley and 6-0 Griffin Wade, all juniors, gave more sting to the Hornets.
“There’s a saying that the whole is greater than the sum of their parts and that describes these kids,” English said. “They are invested in each other.”
Wade came off the bench and hit four 3s against New Castle, Hess added nine points and nine rebounds and Brickley continued with his steady role.
The Hornets’ triumph against the Rebels avenged a four-point double-overtime loss in the Marion County tourney.
Beech Grove travels to Ritter for a key Indiana Crossroads duel tonight at 7:30 p.m. and returns home to face Rushville Saturday at 1:30 p.m.