Beloit Trojans finish as State Runners-Up
HUTCHINSON – The Beloit Trojans took on the number four seed Girard Trojans (21-3) on Saturday in the 3A State Championship game. Beloit was the number two seed and fell just short to the other Trojans ending their season at 24-2 as this years Sterling Tournament Champions, NCAA League Champions, Sub-State Champions and State Runners-Up.
"Carson had an unbelievable first half shooting the ball," said Beloit Coach Ryan Eilert. "We were in control of the game until last half of the fourth quarter when we just couldn't get a shot to fall."
Beloit trailed 12-16 after the first quarter. They then dominated the second quarter scoring 19-9 and led 31- 25 after the first half.
Girardopened the first quarter with a three point shot forthe first points of the ball game. Carson Cox retaliated with a two point field goal for the Trojans and the score was 3-2. Girard scored the next five points of the game and were up 8-2 before Cox landed a trey followed by a two point basket from Vincent Palen. At the 5:01 mark, the Trojans were down by one 8-7. Tate Thompson scored his first two points in the quarter that gave Beloit their first lead 9-8. Cox was on fire behind the paint and landed another three pointer for the Trojans. Girard made a three point field goal at the buzzer and at the end of the first quarter Beloit was trailing by four 16-12.
At the beginning of the second quarter Hudson Smith passed the ball to Thompson for two inside points. Girard made a free throw at the 7:01 mark that extended their lead to three 17-14. Cox found his signature shot once again and landed back to back three pointers for the 20-18 Beloit lead. Hudson Gray connected on a trey followed by a two point field goal assisted from Bryce Mason and with 3:15 showing Beloit was ahead 25-21. Cox then scored on his fifth and sixth three point shots in the ball game and the Trojans were up by nine 31-22. Cox had twenty points in the half and eighteen of them were made from behind the three point line. Girard connected on a three point basket before time ran out in the first half and Beloit held the lead 31-25.
Beloit scored 10-11 in the third quarter and 4-13 in the fourth quarter.
"Defensively we played well enough to win the game, just couldn't score enough late," said Coach Eilert.
Girard connected on a two point basket forthe first two points of the second half. Palen landed a trey along withtwo free throws and Beloit were up by five 36-31. Girard scored the next threepoints and with 2:07 showing Beloit held the lead by two 36-34. Hayden Budke scored his first point of the ball game from the free throw line and Smith followed with a two point basket with 1:04 remaining. Beloit held the 39-34 lead. Budke scored two more free throws that put Beloit back up by five and at the end of the third quarter the score was 41-36 in their favor.
Palen landed a two point field goal for the first points of the fourth quarter that gave Beloit a seven point lead 43-36. Girardscored four unanswered points and they were only behind by one. Smith connected on a couple of free throws for Beloit and at the 4:43 mark the Trojans were ahead 45-42. Girard made a three point basket and with 3:01 showing Beloit called a time out with the game tied up 45-45. Girard scored the next two points for the 47-45 lead with 1:20 remaining in the ball game.The Trojans defense only allowed Girard eight points in the quarter but on the offensive end of the court their shots were just not falling.Girard won the game by four points 49-45.
Carson Cox led the team scoring with 20 points of which 18 came from behind the paint. Vincent Palen scored 9 points; Hudson Smith, Tate Thompson 4 points each Hudson Gray and Hayden Budke 3 points each Bryce Mason 2.
" Our kids have a lot to be proud of," said Eilert. " They had a tremendous year and got to play in the game they have always dreamed of. It's been a great season."