Beloit boys advance with Nemaha win
The Beloit Trojan boys would have advanced into the semi-finals of the 3A State basketball tournament after their win over Nemaha Central on Thursday in their 16th state appearance. They now end their season at 21-3 after the Kansas State High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that the 2020 KSHSAA State Basketball tournament would be cancelled due to the COVID-19 spread prevention. Beloit would have faced the number two seed Wichita Collegiate team with a 4:45 p.m. tip-off on Friday.
"It was a hard fought first round win over Nemaha Central," said Beloit Coach Ryan Eilert. "Bryce played really well again scoring and altering shots. I thought Grant played one of his best games of the year. Collegiate has a lot of different weapons that we will have to prepare for. We are going to have to handle pressure and attack when opportunities present themselves."
Nemaha Central took the early 8-2 lead before Beloit settled down and scored 7-12 in the second quarter to come back within one point to end the first half.
Sophomore Marus Beck grabbed the rebound as Beloit's first shot ran short to open the first quarter and landed the next inside shot for the early Nemaha Central 2-0 lead. The Trojans turned over the ball and twin brother Kurtis Beck landed the next shot for the 4-0 lead at the 6:25 mark as Beloit struggled on the next turnover and a lost chance at the bucket.
Carson Cox sparked the offense as he grabbed the rebound for Beloit and Bryce Mason landed the jump shot to put Beloit on the board 4-2 at the 5:45 mark. Andrew Leonard was sent to the line for the next two free shots for the 6-2 lead at the 4:45 mark.
Beloit suffered a line violation on their next possession on their third turnover and Marcus Beck landed the long two at the 4:06 to extend their 8-2 lead.
Cox landed the first triple to bring the Trojans back within three 8-5 and Hudson Gray pulled down the needed rebound, but another turnover plagued Beloit. Cox retaliated once again with the two point long shot to pull Beloit within one 8-7 before Austin Ahlquist landed the long two for the 10-7 score.
With just :06 seconds on the clock, Thunder added two and Nemaha Valley ended the quarter with the 12-7 lead.
Beloit opened the second quarter with Gray at the line for the added two free shots and at the 7:19 mark Beloit was within three, 12-9. Marus Beck quickly retaliated with the inside shot to keep on the start of Thunder's 5-0 run as Bryce Uphaus landed a key triple for the 17-9 lead.
Vincent Palen answered with a triple of his own for the 17-12 lead to keep Beloit within five and Gray executed a key steal. Gray connected on the putback for the 17-14 score before Marcus Beck was sent to the line for the three point play to extend Nemaha Central's lead 20-14 at the 4:53 mark. Kurtis Beck added the next two points for Thunder.
Caleb Burks landed a key triple at the 4:18 mark to close the gap 22-17 and Burks executed a steal on the defensive end but the play would not transpire.
With 2:43 on the clock, Mason made his way inside for the two point jumper to pull Beloit back within three, 22-19. With just 1:26 remaining, Leonard was sent to the line for two added free shots as Thunder extended on a five point lead, 24-19. Mason retaliated with the inside shot for the 24-21 Beloit trail and Arasmith's defense forced the turnover for the Trojans next possession.
Gray landed his turn around jump shot to make it a one point game 24-23 ending the first half with Nemaha Valley ahead by one point.
Mason opened the third quarter with the long two point shot to gain Beloit's first lead of the game 25-24. Kurtis Beck answered to regain Thunder's 26-25 lead but Palen quickly retaliated for the 27-26 Beloit lead on a long shot.
Cox made good on his signature triple shot at the 5:56 mark to make it a four point game 30-26 and Gray grabbed the rebound for Beloit's possession. Mason landed his two point shot and with 5:25 on the clock, Beloit went on the 5-0 lead for the 32-26, six point lead.
Ahlquist connected on the next Thunder shot to keep them within four, 32-28.
Grant Arasmith made the day on the next key triple to extend Beloit's lead 35-28 but Uphouse was sent to the line for the three point play at the 4:25 mark as Nemaha Central closed the gap once again at 35-30.
Mason took a trip to the line for the following two free shots at mid-point 4:07 to pull Beloit's lead back to seven 37-30. Palen landed another key triple as Arasmith grabbed the offensive rebound and the Trojans took the 10 point lead 40-30. Gray grabbed the defensive rebound but the next Trojan play would not transpire and Ahlquist landed the inside shot as Nemaha Central kept in the game with the 40-32 trail.
Nemaha Central took on the next two back to back steals on a key 5-0 run as Marcus Beck landed a layup and Dylan Schultejons scored on the three point play at the line to bring them back 40-37 with just :15 seconds on the clock as the ending quarter score.
The Thunder quickly started rolling in the fourth quarter as Uphaus landed the putback to bring Nemaha back within one point 40-39. Gray found Arasmith inside for the key jump shot to keep the Trojans in the game 42-39 and Arasmith took on the defensive rebound for another Beloit possession.
Mason landed the put back to widen the gap by five 44-39 at the 5:35 mark and executed a blocked shot on the defensive end but Nemaha grabbed the rebound. Gray pulled down the next rebound and Palen drew the foul for the added bonus point and the 45-39 lead at the 4:34 mark.
With 3:09 on the clock, Kurtis Beck landed a field goal and was sent to the line on a failed free shot as Thunder trailed 45-41. Mason was next at the charity stripe on the one on one and landed both free shots for the 47-41 Beloit lead with 2:38 on the clock. Mason followed with a nice key blocked shot on the defensive end and Arasmith made his way to the free throw line on two failed shots at the 2:14 mark on the 47-41 lead.
Ahlquist added a long shot as Thunder sounded to come back within five 47-43 with 1:27 on the clock. Leonard executed a key steal for Nemaha's last possession but Palen answered with a steal of his own and a walk to the line for two free shots for Beloit's 49-43 lead with just :43 seconds remaining. At the :27 second mark Beloit regained possession and Mason was fouled with just :11 seconds on the clock for his last two two bonus points and the 51-43 lead and the final ending score. Beloit won the game for the State advancement into the semifinals against Wichita Collegiate.
Leading Beloit in his ninth double double game for the Trojans was Bryce Mason scoring 16 points with 11 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Vincent Palen scored 11 points with 3 rebounds and 1 steal. Hudson Gray scored 8 points with 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Carson Cox scored 8 points with 3 rebounds, and 1 assist. Grant Arasmith scored 5 points with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Caleb Burks scored 3 points and Owen Eilert added 2 steals and 1 rebound.
Beloit was lead by Bryce Mason scoring 16 points with 10 rebounds, 2 assist followed by Vincent Palen with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and Hudson Gray with 10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal. Carson Cox scored 6 points with 3 rebounds, 1 assist; Grant Arasmith 5 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal; Caleb Burks 3 points, 1 steal; Owen Eilert 1 rebound, 1 steal; Kyler Vahle 1 rebound.