Beavercreek, Ohio — Beavercreek is just one of four GWOC schools that are still participating in winter sports as Montgomery county recently entered a Purple level 4, which is the highest level of COVID-19 warnings. The Beavers kicked off their 2019/20 season with a matchup against a tough GCL South Elder squad. The Panthers were coming in fresh off of a blowout win over Aiken where they scored nearly 90 points.
Coming into this season, Beavercreek’s guard situation was expected to be their Achilles. Beavercreek knew the guard position would be their weak point as they graduated a pair of talented guards in Chris Herbort who is now playing at Florida Coastal Prep and Yousef Saleh who had committed to Sinclair before they shutdown.
The forwards the Beavers return are arguably the most talented in the GWOC though. Adam Duvall is an elite forward with guard skills who mostly stays outside of the perimeter and shoot the ball very well. Gabe Phillips is a traditional big who rebounds and blocks shots, and Braden Grant is a hybrid of both as he can create shots for teammates as well as score the ball effectively himself.
On senior night, senior Braden Grant got off to a hot start. The 6’7″ big picked off the Elder pass and took it to the rack and he slammed it down with authority. Adam Duvall would hit a jumper and then a corner three and Gabe Phillips got a bucket with the foul. But Elder still led 14-13 at the end of the quarter due to the pair of threes from Andrew Harp.
Beavercreek got out in front 19-16 due to Siloam Baldwin‘s ability to drive and score the ball. Just as quickly as Beavercreek built up their lead, everything quickly fell apart. After some turnovers and missed shots, Andrew Harp nailed three three-pointer’s in a row. This gave Elder a 30-23 lead. Elder led 33-25 at the half.
Braden Grant got the half started off hot again as he drilled a corner three for Beavercreek. But everything would soon fall apart as the Beavers’ ball security lacked and that gave more possessions to Elder who would continue to heat up. A three from Andrew Harp and then a pair of three’s from Michael Keehan would give them a twelve-point lead. Then Andrew Harp, J.T. Miller, and Michael Keehan went on a tear. It felt like the trio couldn’t miss at times as they hit countless three after three. Beavercreek’s narrow deficit at halftime turned into a twenty-seven point deficit heading into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was more of the same as Elder just could not miss. The Beavers ended up losing by a final score of 77-41. Although this loss will look bad on paper, Beavercreek still had a lot of positive tonight. They looked really good for most of the first half against a very good Elder team. They looked and felt like they could win this game. The lack of experience and height at the guard position was what killed them in the end though. However, as the year goes on, this team will get a lot better and will compete in the GWOC. They will look to bounce back Friday as they take on a young Springboro team.