Defense sparks Beavers to tourney win


Don Tate | Greene County News Beavercreek junior Keaira Youngblood, shown in action earlier this season against Bellbrook, had 13 points in the Beavers’ tournament win Saturday over Fairborn.


By Scott Halasz

shalasz@civitasmedia.com

HUBER HEIGHTS — Fairborn was a much better team Saturday than the one that lost to Beavercreek by 55 points in December.

The 17th-seeded Skyhawks led by three and had the ball late in the first quarter, but a 13-0 run by the No. 4 Beavers to end the quarter erased the lead and wiped out any chance Fairborn had of pulling off a major upset in a Division I girls basketball tournament game at Wayne High School.

Sophomore Lexi Moore scored nine straight points during the run as Beavercreek advanced to the next round with a 59-24 win. The Beavers (17-6) played No. 13 Troy, Wednesday at Wayne. The winner of that game plays the winner of the New Carlisle Tecumseh-Kettering Fairmont game, Friday, tentatively set for Troy High School.

The run was started by a Keaira Youngblood fastbreak off a turnover and continued as Beavercreek made steal after steal, much like the first game when the Beavers led 9-0 after the first quarter and 34-2 at halftime.

“You’re playing a powerhouse in Beavercreek,” Fairborn coach Bridgett Williams said. “They just get you with their hard work. We just hit a stronger opponent with their execution. Very good basketball IQ.”

Truer words were never spoken as Beavercreek’s players displayed their court-sense, anticipating the pass and jumping into the passing lane to create fast-break chances. Even after the initial Beavercreek run ended, the Beavers still forced turnover after turnover. In all, Beavercreek forced 27 Fairborn miscues, including nine in the second quarter.

“We went to a little trap there in the second quarter,” Beavercreek Coach Ed Zink said. “(And) we finally hit a few shots there at the end of the first quarter. It gives you a little more confidence. Even when we subbed our subs did a real nice job.”

Behind Moore and Youngblood, the Beavers built a 31-12 halftime lead and extended it to 45-18 after three. Moore finished with 15 points, while Youngblood added 13. Maddi Shannon chipped in eight for Beavercreek. Thirteen Beavers played and just about everyone scored. With her offensive effort Saturday, Youngblood went over the 200-point mark for the season and became the team’s top scorer.

Jana Brown-Griffith led Fairborn (6-17) with 13 points, while Evelyn Oktavec had seven. Courtney Mustard, the lone senior on the Fairborn roster, had four points and four rebounds in her final game.

“We’ll look for someone to fill (her) void, which is hard,” Williams said.

Don Tate | Greene County News Beavercreek junior Keaira Youngblood, shown in action earlier this season against Bellbrook, had 13 points in the Beavers’ tournament win Saturday over Fairborn.
http://xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/web1_DHT-BB-Girls-Bellbrook-vs-Beavercreek-12-21-2015-0421-B-0171.jpgDon Tate | Greene County News Beavercreek junior Keaira Youngblood, shown in action earlier this season against Bellbrook, had 13 points in the Beavers’ tournament win Saturday over Fairborn.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

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