Boys Basketball: Beecher outlasts Momence
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media February 26, 2014 10:54PM
It came down to long-range shooting and free-throw accuracy Wednesday night for Beecher.
Marshall Landis hit three consecutive three-pointers in the final period and Garrett Short made two free throws in the final minute before grabbing a defensive rebound on the next possession to lead Beecher to a 49-42 semifinal win over Momence in the Class 2A Wilmington Regional.
“We had guys step up under the pressure,’’ Beecher coach Tony Waznonis said. “This was one of the better games Marshall played. Everybody knows he’s our go-to guy.
“When you’re that go-to guy and still able to step up, that’s big.’’
Landis’ final three-pointer gave Beecher (6-20) a 41-36 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
“That’s definitely when I want the ball the most because I feel I can get key baskets,’’ Landis said.
Momence closed to within 41-39 when Short hit two free throws and rebounded the miss at the other end, which led to a transition layup by Dallas Saddler and a 45-39 lead with 30 seconds left.
“Garrett is probably our smartest player. He showed that in this game,’’ Waznonis said.
Landis, a senior guard, finished with a team-high 21 points. Saddler scored eight points and A.J. Jimenez had seven off the bench.
“A.J. did a great job running the point,’’ Waznonis said. “He’s a senior who hasn’t played since seventh grade.’’
Forward Allen Cook led Momence (5-21) with 24 points.
“Allen played his tail off,’’ Momence coach Ben Sikma said. “He did a lot of things and worked really hard. His energy was really good.’’
Beecher will face Reed-Custer in the title game at 7 p.m. Friday.
“We’ve had, record-wise, a disappointing season. We talked about all these things being stepping stones,’’ Waznonis said.
“We lost a lot of games we should have won, but we don’t really let our record bother us,’’ Landis said. “We know we can still win the regional championship.’’