SANFORD – Flu reared its ugly head last week hitting the Clare boys’ basketball team hard. The Pioneers were forced to postpone their game with Beaverton last Friday when a number of their players became ill. The stage had been set for a showdown that would probably decide the 2020 Jack Pine Conference championship. Beaverton defeated Meridian on Wednesday to move a full game ahead of the Mustangs. Clare “held serve,” with a victory over Pinconning. The Beavers sit atop the conference at 8-1 with Clare one game behind at 7-2. 

Wednesday’s win over Meridian had to be sweet for the Beavers. Meridian handed Beaverton its only two conference losses last season and neither game was particularly close. The Mustangs won by a total of 47 points in the two contests. While the Beavers were able to exact some revenge earlier on their home court, the win last week was at Meridian, a very tough place to play over the past several years.

The game was close with several lead changes throughout. The Mustangs held a 17-12 first quarter advantage and a 23-22 lead at halftime. They carried that lead into the fourth quarter. The Beavers outscored Meridian 13-5 in the fourth to take the 49-45 win. Trent Reed led Beaverton with 15 points. Jarrett Inscho added 14 and Brayde Keeley had 10. Greg White scored 15 points, and Cam Metzger 10 for Meridian.

This week is going to be a busy one for the Beavers. They host Midland Dow tonight and Pinconning on Friday before their makeup game with Clare Saturday night. All three games start at 7:30 p.m.

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