BETHEL – When it appeared that the Tecumseh would catch up to Byng, the Pirates routinely slammed the door and registered a 67-58 win over the Savages Saturday for the championship of the First United Bank Classic at Bethel High School's B.E. Cantrell Fieldhouse.
It was the first loss of the season for Tecumseh, which dropped to 5-1 on the season. Byng improved to 4-2 and has now won four straight since an 0-2 start to the season.
Cale Eaton fired in 22 points and Seth Brecheen had 20 as the Pirates enjoyed a 12-point advantage late in the second quarter (34-22) before settling for a 34-24 halftime advantage.
Eaton drained three 3-point shots in the game and was 11-of-12 from the free-throw line. Brecheen had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds as he converted 6-of-9 shots from the floor.
The loss spoiled a 22-point effort from the Savages' Jacob Green, who was 9-of-19 from the field. Kainan Ryan followed with 10 points and grabbed six rebounds in a losing effort. Emet Longhorn added nine points off a pair of treys while nailing 3-of-4 free throws.
A huge second-quarter run and another in the fourth led to Byng keeping Tecumseh at distance. With the Savages leading 22-21, the Pirates scored 13 straight points in going up 34-22. A Green basket with four seconds to go before halftime broke a five-plus minute dry spell for Tecumseh as Byng settled for the 10-point advantage at the break.
The best quarter of the night for the Savages was the third as they outscored the Pirates, 19-11. Behind by a 41-33 count, Tecumseh went on a 14-7 run through the remainder of the quarter, triggered by back-to-back buckets from Sebastian Baker and Marcus Fuell. Baker later hit another bucket and Ryan connected for a trey and Green had the final five points of the period for the Savages off a close-range basket and a 3-pointer to tie it at 43. But a Trae Lowe basket with 41 seconds to go lifted Byng to the 45-43 edge heading into the fourth.
From there, the Pirates won it from the charity stripe. Besides outscoring Tecumseh by a 22-15 score in the final quarter, Byng was 13-of-16 from the foul line as the Savages were unable to get over the hump.
Fuell and Baker ended up with six points each for Tecumseh as Fuell pulled down seven rebounds and Baker collected four.
Lowe and Collin O'Grady each tallied nine points for the Pirates as Lowe was 5-of-6 from the floor, with one trey, while O'Grady was 4-of-6 with one 3-pointer.
Tecumseh is at home with Harrah Tuesday night.