Beckman’s boys’ basketball team knew it was going to come sometime. A Class 2A school can’t usually play in a 3A conference as tough as the WaMaC without getting that first loss of the season.
It happened Jan. 3 at DeWitt, a 58-55 decision that put the Blazers at 7-1. And it didn’t help that DeWitt aided them in digging a big hole early. They trailed 20-7 at the end of the first quarter but battled back big time in the second, hitting 26 points to DeWitt’s 14, to trail by a single point at halftime, 34-33.
The green-and-gold took the lead in the third quarter, up 46-44, going into the last but it was a battle in the final frame.
“This was the first game of the season where we really saw more than two waves of in-game adversity,” explained coach Michael Molony. “For that, you need to credit DeWitt. They came out to a scorching start and mounted a 20-3 lead in the first quarter which resulted in two first-quarter timeouts. To our guys’ credit, they stayed the course and worked on getting one point back at a time. We talked about getting within six by halftime and actually had it all the way down to a one-point game. That second quarter was one of the best offensive performances we have had all season and what I expected of our guys given the talent they possess.
“The fourth quarter seemed to be back and forth basketball but we were able to obtain the lead for long stretches in the entire second half (at one time it was a five-point lead). We just weren’t able to ‘Climb the ladder’ as we talk about every day. We would get stops or scores but we couldn’t string them together. If we don’t progress the game up the ladder, the other team maintains its confidence and in those close games, it’s always anybody’s game at the end.
“Still, we had opportunities with the lead in the final minute, by making winning basketball plays but the ball didn’t seem to want to bounce our way.
“This one game doesn’t define our season but it is a great learning experience for the guys. The look on their faces showed me they would give anything for another shot at those winning plays. That’s something we need to always remember.”
On top of that Mason White fouled out after adding 11 points (one trey) to the total and his extra scoring potential was missed. Michael Keegan hit 17 (two) and Tom Jaeger 14 (one) to lead the team. Jack Westhoff (one) and Jack Gehling added four, Luke Goedken three, Jake Hermsen two.
Other Beckman statistics include: rebounds — Keegan seven, Goedken and Gehling four, Jaeger and Westhoff two, White one; steals — White and Westhoff two, Keegan, Jaeger and Hermsen one; blocks — Keegan six; assists — Goedken six, Jaeger and White two, Keegan and Westhoff one.