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MLK FREEDOM CLASSIC: Jalen Terry and No. 12 Beecher knock off No. 1 Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, January 20, 2020, 11:50 pm

FERNDALE — The Mr. Basketball battle may have been a draw, but Flint Beecher definitively won the war. 

The side story of the battle between presumptive contenders in the race for the state’s top prep hoops honors, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Lorne Bowman II and Flint Beecher’s Jalen Terry, came out in a dead heat, with both senior guards pouring in 26 points.

But the No. 12-ranked Buccaneers of Beecher knocked off the No. 1 Eaglets of St. Mary’s in emphatic fashion, pulling away in the final minutes of Monday’s nightcap to the Horatio Williams Foundation’s MLK Freedom Classic to make a two-possession game into a 70-61 victory.

Bowman is committed to Wisconsin, while Terry committed to Oregon on Friday. 

Beecher (8-1) led for most of the contest, up 17-10 after one quarter, and 31-29 at the half. A 49-41 deficit for OLSM (8-1) entering the fourth climbed into double digits at one point in the middle of the final quarter, before a zone look and a couple of run-outs brought it back to four points with just under two minutes to play. 

A run-out dunk by Earnest Sanders pushed it back to a six-point lead, 64-58, with 1:21 to go, and the Bucs — who scored 13 of their 21 points in the fourth from the free-throw line — would add three more buckets before St. Mary’s scored again on Bowman’s final 3-pointer in the waning seconds. 

Sanders finished with 16, while Keyon Menefeld had 12 for Beecher. Julian Roper II had 20 points for OLSM.