Hastings boys take down Titans to close 2019
Hastings junior guard Kirby Beck is hit from all angles as he tries to et to the basket during the second half of the Saxons' I-8 victory over visiting Jackson Lumen Christi Friday. (Photo by Perry Hardin)
What started out as a rough night at the free throw line turned into a good enough night at the line for Hastings junior guard Kirby Beck.
Beck hit his final seven free throws in the fourth quarter to help the Hastings varsity boys' basketball team to its first victory of the season, 47-41 over visiting Interstate-8 Athletic Conference foe Jackson Lumen Christi Friday.
Beck finished with a team-high 19 points after struggling at the foul line early, missing his first five attempts, he was 7-of-12 at the line. Saxon junior center Evan Eastman came up huge on both ends of the floor for the Saxons.
“It was one of those nights,” Hastings head coach Rich Long said. “We had a half day, exam week. We came out as flat and unfocused as I have seen. We had a lot of little turnovers that we usually don't do. We missed lay-ups. I think it was 5-4 in the first quarter we were down. Luckily our defense was solid, we were able to keep them from scoring as well.”
Hastings held a six-point lead throughout much of the second half before starting to extend it a little bit with solid free throw shooting.
Eastman had five blocks on the night. The Saxon defense focused on taking away the Titans' pick-and-roll attack, and when the Titans were forced to drive Eastman was a force in the lane who added another handful of deflected passes and altered shots to his big block total.
Offensively, Eastman led the Saxons in assists as well with three to go along with six total rebounds. He flashed to the high-post against the Titans' trap and distributed the ball well from there when he got the chance.
The Saxons got a team-high 11 rebounds from Carter Hewitt who had 15 points as well. Carter Cappon added seven points, three rebounds and two assists.
Hastings is now 1-2 overall this season and 1-1 in the Interstate-8 Athletic Conference. The Saxons will hit the road to take on Ionia Jan. 7 and then will head to Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit for an I-8 match-up with Harper Creek.