Beecher claims third Class C title in four years with 78-52 win over NorthPointe Christian
EAST LANSING – Somebody should have shouted, "Fire in the hole" to warn of the pending detonation.
Flint Beecher blasted Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian 78-52 Saturday at the Breslin Center in East Lansing to claim its third Class C state championship in four years.
The Bucs were steamrolling from the opening tip. NorthPointe was making its first appearance in the state finals (and the final four for that matter) in 2015.
Beecher got out to a fast 21-5 lead and went ahead 28-9 after the first quarter. Five straight points by Bucs senior shooting guard Sam Toins in the closing 45 seconds of the second quarter (a triple and a pull-up jumper) placed Beecher on top 45-21 at the half.
When NorthPointe trimmed its deficit to 17 points in the third (56-39), Beecher flurried to end the quarter. Junior forward Aquavius Burks’ three-point play and senior swingman Cedric Moten’s put-back hoop right before the third-quarter horn gave the Bucs a 61-41 advantage. Two more buckets by Moten tipped off the game’s final frame and it was smooth sailing to the crown for Beecher from that point on.
Moten finished with a game-high 24 points. His fellow senior captain, Toins, added 17. Burks registered a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
“We wanted to throw the first punch, set the tempo early, bring pressure and get out and run,” Beecher coach Mike Williams said. “Our shots were falling from the get-go and things just flowed for us the rest of the way.”
Beecher wrapped up the 2015 campaign with a 26-1 record. The Bucs only loss was to Detroit Henry Ford 54-51. Henry Ford played for a state championship in Class B on Saturday.
Last year, Beecher was bounced from the tournament in the quarterfinals.
“We don’t take anything for granted after what happened last season,” Toins said. “I had to go out there today and lead my team and leave my legacy, all the seniors had to.”
NorthPointe concluded the season with a 21-6 overall mark. Kual Nhial, a senior forward, highlighted the Mustangs stat sheet Saturday tallying 16 points and 10 boards.
Mustangs coach Jared Redell was quick to praise Beecher in the postgame press conference.
“They’re the gold standard for Class C basketball and you saw why today,” he said. “We got down early and couldn’t get back in it. If we were going to compete in this game we were going to have to make shots. We were 30 percent from the field, that did us in, that’s just not going to get it done.”