Holy Cross boys basketball runs past Beechwood in district opener

The 35th District is shaping up to be one of the biggest Groups of Death in boys basketball when the postseason begins in March.

With three-time reigning Ninth Region champion Covington Catholic leading the way on paper, two other high-quality contenders met Friday night as Beechwood traveled to the historic gym at Holy Cross to begin the seeding process for the district tournament.

Both teams feel they have the talent to make a long run themselves, and Holmes has some talented players as well, making the 35th one of the deepest in the state.

It was the home team, Holy Cross, drawing first blood Friday night, beating Beechwood 83-65 in the seeding showdown. HC is 7-3 and Beechwood is 10-3.

Holy Cross sophomore Jacob Meyer looks for an opening as St. Henry defeated Holy Cross 58-54 in the 9th Region All

“It’s a big win for the team,” Holy Cross senior Jeremiah Hicks said. “We came out with intensity throughout the game. It was a good win.”

Holy Cross was led by standout Jacob Meyer, one of the top sophomores in the state. He had 32 points, four assists and six rebounds.

Meyer came in averaging 23 points per game while the Indians had four players averaging in double figures and helping the team average 74 points per game.

Hicks posted 11 points and 15 rebounds, helping the Indians outrebound the Tigers by 15. Senior Brandon McClendon had 15 points. Senior Blake Robinson had 10 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Five different Indians scored early as HC took an 11-5 lead. HC limited Beechwood to 42 percent shooting and made 21-of-23 free throws while Beechwood only made 50 percent (9-of-18).

Beechwood guard Scotty Draud [24] attempts a jump shot over Saint Henry guard Jude Bessler in the game between Saint Henry and Beechwood high schools Jan. 14, 2021.

“Defense was key,” Hicks said. “We’ve got the offense to move the ball and the shooters around, good big men in the paint. But defense won the game for us.”

“We have guys who can score,” head coach Brandon Grammer said. “We have balance. Our guys wanted it and you could see that out there.”

Beechwood led 3-2 early, then HC held a constant lead until the teams were tied at 40 early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Cameron Boyd.

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