Sickles High senior guards Marcus Cohen and Bryce Beamer play with drastically different styles. Yet together, they play seamlessly.
Cohen is a 6-foot-3 slasher, who dishes and dunks. Beamer is a 6-foot-6 force, who sets rock-solid picks, jumps out, takes a pass and, as Cohen says, “drills a 3.”
Cohen calls Beamer “my sniper.”
Beamer says Cohen is “my running mate.”
Adds Sickles coach Renaldo Garcia: “Marcus Cohen and Bryce Beamer? I love ’em.”
What’s not to love?
Cohen, who has several Division I-A college offers, has been around Sickles since he was 10, coming to the gym with sister Mariah, who played for the Gryphons through 2013.
“I used to get out there as a little guy and scrimmage with the girls team,” Cohen said. “I used to look around the gym and say, ‘One day I’m going to play for Sickles.’ “
Meantime Beamer, who will attend Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia before making the jump to college, has pretty much had a ball in his hands since he was a baby because sports “are in my family’s blood.”
Beamer’s father, Terry, played college football at Frostburg State in Maryland and had brief stints with the Detroit Lions and New York Giants; Beamer’s mother, Lisa, played college basketball for Virginia Commonwealth and later as a professional in Ireland; Beamer’s sister, Blaire, was a volleyball star for Sickles and now is playing for Lee University in Tennessee.
Bryce played both football and basketball before siding with basketball, which has led him to an obsessive affair with the gym.
“I don’t know where Bryce is right now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in the gym,” Garcia said via phone Monday afternoon hours before practice. “He’s a classic gym rat. He can’t get enough of it. He works and works and works.”
Mostly, Beamer loves to practice shooting, which is part of the reason he leads the 6-1 Gryphons in scoring with 17 points a game.
“There is something awesome about being in there and shooting and shooting,” Beamer said. “There’s a rhythm.”
For Cohen, who averages 15 points and five assists a game, that’s music to his ears.
“(Beamer’s) work and determination gives all of us confidence,” said Cohen, who has started every game for Sickles the past four years, the last three with Beamer after he transferred from Jesuit. “We know (Beamer) will be there for us, giving 100 percent. There is no doubt.”
Ultimately, the goal is for Beamer, Cohen and teammates, including junior forward Bryce Workman, guard Tahj Lalanne, to make a run at a Class 8A state final four appearance.
“We don’t really talk about getting to state or anything like that,” Cohen said. “What we do is focus on who we’re playing next. We just try to keep it to that.”
So far, so good.
“We have confidence in our bond and we’ll be good as long as we stick together,” Beamer said. “We feel the bond is unbreakable.”