By Matthew VanTryon Flyer Correspondent
Hendricks County Flyer
---- — Ben Davis played host to rival Pike in the sectional semi-finals Friday night, looking to avenge a loss to the Red Devils earlier in the season and advance to the sectional championship. Despite 21 points from senior forward Michael Beaty, the Giants fell 52-50 in overtime.
Despite the loss, Ben Davis coach Mark James said the team just couldn’t get the play it needed to win.
“I’m proud of our kids, they played hard,” James said. “Pike made plays when they needed to and we came up one play short.”
Ben Davis (11-9) started strong, jumping out to a 6-0 run from the opening tip and finished the first quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 19-10 lead into the second quarter.
Beaty ended the half with a flourish, nailing a full-court buzzer-beater that brought the crowd to its feet.
The Giants extended their lead to 11 going into the half, as they held the Red Devils to only nine points in the second period.
Ben Davis shot 62 percent in the half while Pike struggled from behind the arc in the opening two quarters, shooting 2 of 8.
Beaty led all scorers at the break with 12 points.
Pike picked up the pace to begin the second half, and started on a 4-0 run after forcing consecutive turnovers. The Red Devils forced 15 turnovers in the contest and grabbed nine steals.
Pike cut the deficit to eight going into the final minutes.
The Red Devils continued to claw their way back into the contest and outscored Ben Davis 16-8 in the period. Pike junior Tahjai Teague scored eight points for Pike in the quarter.
Teague hit a layup with just under two minutes remaining to tie the game at 45. After a Giants foul, Teague hit a pair of free throws to give the Red Devils their first lead of the game since the opening quarter.
Beaty hit a layup for Ben Davis with a minute to go to tie the contest and scored all eight points for his team in the period.
James said he was proud of Beaty’s performance.
“Beaty played really well,” James said. “As a senior he played a really good last game of the year. We won’t be able to replace him. He’s a good player, good athlete, and good kid.”
Pike held the ball, and took two timeouts to attempt to draw up a play. The Red Devils missed a 3-pointer as time expired and the game headed to overtime.
Both teams stepped up their defense in the extra period, and only two field goals were scored.
In a similar fashion to regulation, Pike had possession with 30 seconds to play and this time the Red Devils were able to convert. Senior Jalen Morgan drove through the Giants’ defense and found the net to give the Red Devils the lead with under three seconds remaining.
Beaty missed a desperation heave, and the Red Devils came away victorious.