HENDERSON -- Trailing by nine points with less than a minute to go, the Monarch boys basketball team looked cooked.
A scoring barrage got the Coyotes to within two points, but George Washington had the ball with less than five seconds to play.
But wait. The inbound pass from beneath the Coyotes' basket was stolen by Alex Krason, who fed a streaking Drew Weaver. His jumper from the left of the key rimmed out though, and the Coyotes endured a heartbreaking 60-58 defeat in the Thunderhawks Hoops Fest championship game at Prairie View High.
"I think we showed a lot of character tonight," Coyotes junior Ben Beauchamp said. "I'm really proud of these guys. Alex got a great steal and Drew knocks down that shot nine times out of 10."
George Washington (9-1), which has been receiving votes in the 5A poll, had to wipe out an early 14-point deficit that was largely the product of Beauchamp. The Coyotes sharpshooter hit three early 3-pointers to put Monarch ahead 18-4 late in the first quarter and finished the half with 16 points.
But GW put the clamps on him in the second half, holding him scoreless in the third quarter. Beauchamp finished with 23 points including five 3s.
"It was just a matter of us trying to find a way to keep him off of the ball and keep him off of the 3," Patriots forward Isaac Brown said. "We were trying to get him to drive a little bit more so I could help out my guards a little bit."
Brown finished with a flurry, scoring 10
"He just had a hell of a night," Monarch coach Ken Niven said. "He hit some tough shots. He's a really good player and he played really well tonight. And I thought defensively we did a pretty good job on him. We had a hand in his face."
Monarch reserve Alex Young helped key the late comeback. Although Monarch (5-2) led at the end of each quarter, GW was running away with it 59-50 entering the final minute. But Young delivered two pressure 3s, one with 14 seconds left to make it 59-58.
Monarch fouled Jordon Davis, who made 1 of 2 foul shots to make it 60-58. Then Coyotes' Sam Fredricksmeyer drove the lane in quest of the tying basket, but had the ball knocked off of him and out of bounds.
That set up the crazy final sequence.
"I thought it was good," Niven said of Weaver's shot. "It's a learning experience. We were down 13 one time with 1:16 to play and won by four, so you never give up."
Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21
George Washington 60, Monarch 58
At Prairie View HS
Fredricksmeyer 1 3-6 5, Stewart 1 0-0 2, Krason 3 1-2 8, Lawson 3 2-3 8, Beacuchamp 7 4-6 23, Weaver 0 0-0 0, Young 4 0-0 10, Kirkman 1 0-0 2, Mommaerts 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 10-17 58.
GEORGE WASHINGTON (9-1)
Hudgens 1 0-0 2, Davis 2 1-2 5, Taylor 8 2-2 22, Brown 6 0-1 12, Smith 1 0-0 2, Gordon 4 3-5 12, Preston 0 0-0 0, Ehr 2 0-1 5. Totals 24 6-11 60.
Score by quarters:
Monarch 20 7 11 20 -- 58
George Washington 8 13 16 23 -- 60
3-point field goals -- Monarch (8): Beacuchamp 5, Young 2, Krason; George Washington (6): Taylor 4, Gordon, Ehr. Total fouls Monarch 15, George Washington 15. Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- None.