Bethel Christian boys win, girls fall in home opener
Bethel Christian’s Quan Hamilton goes up for two of his game-high 25 points in Monday’s victory over Lee Christian. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News
Bethel Christian showcased plenty of potential in its home opener.
Quan Hamilton scored a game-high 25 points, Cody Dunk and Jeremaih Washington added 16 each, and the Trojans defeated Lee Christian 71-56 Monday to improve to 2-1. The Trojans broke open a close game in the second half, showcasing the team’s athleticism and abilities.
“We’re trying to get in transition every chance we get,” Bethel Christian coach Bert Potter said. “We want to get our athletes in good lanes and finish around the rim. They’re buying in early on and it can take a little while to perfect the system, but it’s getting there.”
Lee Christian (1-3) picked up a trio of 3-pointers from Caleb Reynolds to get out to a 9-4 start, but Bethel Christian would respond, eventually taking a 27-19 lead on a Dunk basket midway through the second quarter. Reynolds’ bucket as time expired in the first half brought the Falcons within 33-30 and the teams would battle for most of the third. The teams would swap leads six times in the frame, with a Zac Hodges free throw putting Lee Christian ahead 45-44 with 1:53 to go in the third.
On the ensuing possession, Washington would score inside and trigger a 9-0 run to end the quarter, punctuated by a Dunk 3-pointer. The Trojans wouldn’t trail again for the remainder of the game.
“We knew we had to crash the boards and play inside to maintain the momentum, and that’s what we did,” Washington said.
Hamilton would close the Falcons out in the fourth with 10 points as Bethel Christian ensured its first game home would be a good one.
“We did our part to control the pace of the game and were able to get the victory,” Hamilton said.
BETHEL CHRISTIAN 71, LEE CHRISITAN 56
LC 17 13 15 11 — 56
BCA 13 20 20 18 — 71
LEE CHRISTIAN — Caleb Reynolds 24, Zac Hodges 22, Canot 6, Martin 4
BETHEL CHRISTIAN — Quan Hamilton 25, Cody Dunk 16, Jeremaih Washington 16, Sutton 9, Sanderson 4, Boyd 1
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: None.
Three-pointers: LC — Reynolds 5, Hodges 3. BCA — Dunk 2.
In the girls’ game, offense was tough to come by but a late three-pointer from Evan Waters gave Lee Christian a 32-29 victory over Bethel Christian.
Neither team shot above 22 percent in the contest, with the Trojans (1-2) taking a 12-9 lead late in the second quarter on a Laura Fulcher 3-pointer. The Falcons (2-2) would strike back with a basket from Erica Dotson as time expired to bring Lee Christian within 12-11 at the half, followed by Marissa Lee’s 3-pointer and another Dotson bucket to start the third.
The Falcons had a 21-16 lead heading into the fourth, but consecutive baskets by Shelby Dilda triggered a 9-0 Trojans run, punctuated by Gabby Sutton’s 3-pointer with 5:05 to play to put Bethel Christian ahead 25-21. Lee and Olivia Fulcher would trade perimeter baskets before Lee Christian closed the game out on an 8-1 run, punctuated by Waters’ 3 with 1:15 to play to provide the final margin.
“It was electrifying,” Waters said. “As the team captain, I wanted to do more part to help the team win and it felt great.”
Bethel Christian had two good looks at tying the game, but both fell short.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game, but we’ll take it,” Lee Christian coach Donna Taylor said. “Our team showed a lot of perseverance and stuck with it the entire game.”
Trojans coach Michelle Williams said there were strong points, but turnovers played too big of a factor as the team lost the ball 26 times.
“We have to protect the ball, which is all it boils down to,” Williams said. “Our defense was pretty good — we were aggressive and able to get steals — but turnovers killed us.”
LEE CHRISITAN 32, BETHEL CHRISTIAN 29
LC 4 7 10 11 — 32
BCA 5 7 4 13 — 29
LEE CHRISTIAN — Evan Waters 12, Marissa Lee 10, Dotson 6, Grace 4
BETHEL CHRISTIAN — Olivia Fulcher 10, L. Fulcher 6, Sutton 5, Harrell 4, Dilda 4
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: None.
Three-pointers: LC — Waters 3, Lee 2. BCA — O. Fulcher 2, L. Fulcher, Sutton.