Bethel Christian falls to Wayne Christian in boys, girls basketball
Winners of three of their last four games, the Bethel Christian Trojans hoped to extend their winning ways against the rival Wayne Christian Eagles on Tuesday night. The game started off as a tight match between two athletic teams. But a disastrous third quarter doomed the Trojans. Wayne Christian took the non-conference match, 79-55
“I really felt like we matched up well with them,” Bethel coach Bert Potter said. “We had some good minutes early on. We played with them pretty event. Our zone defense slid well against them. The offense was shooting ok, but we still hung in with them. It just all came unglued later on.”
BCA struck first with a basket by Jeremiah Washington, but Wayne Christian responded with a monster slam dunk by Jamal King. Jaylon Wallace would drain two three pointers for the Eagles while Connor Williams would sink one in for the Trojans. King would nail another three pointer for WCA while making a great defensive block to save two points. The Eagles would lead after the first quarter ended, 23-16.
“We got into foul trouble with some of our best players early,” Eagles coach Victor Young said. “Our bench guys came in and gave us great minutes. They were phenomenal. They gave us a lead to hold onto at halftime and that was big for us.”
Scoring was hard to come by to start off the second quarter. BCA began the second on a 7-0 run to tie the game up. It would be almost three and a half minutes before the Eagles would score. WCA would pick up speed as the first half was waning. At the same time, the Trojans began to miss most of their shots. Wayne Christian would lead 37-33 at the half.
The third quarter started off where the last one left off for Bethel. The Eagles started the second half on a 14-0 run. It was four minutes before the Trojans could muster a point. Every shot they missed, WCA was there to grab the rebound and transition it into a basket.
“I told the starters that we had to take care of business right away in the first two minutes,” said Young. “If we did that, I had a feeling we could put it away. If not, they could come back to get us. Our guys responded well to that challenged and played hard.”
The more points the Eagles tacked on, the more that BCA would rush their shots or their passes. Jaydon Young would nail a pair of three pointers to help extend Wayne Christian’s lead. Young would also cap off the strong period with a alley-oop slam. WCA went on a 25-6 run in the third quarter to extend their lead to 62-39.
“The first four minutes of the period, we got stagnant,” Potter said. “We weren’t fatigued. I called a timeout and told them to talk more. I think we stopped communicating. We tried to switch up our defenses a few times, but we just failed to stop them. At the same time, they switched up their defenses and we were unable to get anything really going. They got their juices up after hitting some big shots and they just went away with it. They have some really good players on that team and you can’t let them play you like that.”
King kicked off the fourth with a pair of treys for WCA. The Eagles kept piling up points; extending their already significant lead. Young would punctuate the game with another big slam dunk with three minutes to go.
Quan Hamilton would lead the Trojans with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Josh Sutton would score 10 points while Zach Boyd would add eight points and eight rebounds.
King was the game’s top scorer with 20 points and seven rebounds. Young gave the Eagles 17 points while Addison Johnson scored 12 and Jamari Waters had 10.
EAGLES: King 20, Young 17, Johnson 12, Waters 10, Wallace 9, Bentley 7, Brenner 4.
TROJANS: Hamilton 11, Sutton 10, Boyd 8, Dunk 7, Truett 5, Williams 5, Washington 4, Warren 3, Gurley 2.
The Bethel Christian girls basketball team was looking to turn things around after dropping three straight games. On Tuesday night, they hosted the Wayne Christian Eagles. The defense of the Eagles was too much for BCA. Wayne Christian would steal the ball 33 times, grab 27 rebounds, and go 21-41 from the free throw line en route to a 58-23 victory.
“Our defense was clearly the key tonight,” Eagles coach Michael Richards said. “We played a 1-3-1 defensive front. We clogged the passing lanes and jumped on them. We did well in the transitions on our fast breaks. The girls did very well tonight.”
The Trojans struck first with a long three pointer by Laura Fulcher. The score remained tight, early in the game, but the Eagles were able to pull away at the end of the first to carry a 13-8 lead. But from the middle of the first quarter and on into the second, BCA repeatedly turned the ball over. The constant turnovers allowed Wayne Christian to go on a 17 point run split between the two quarters and left the Trojans scoreless through the first four minutes of the second. WCA would hold a commanding 35-11 lead at halftime.
“This game was tough. The turnovers killed us,” coach Michelle Williams said. “We have to do a better job protecting the ball. They were able to trap us when we tried to pass and we coughed up the ball a lot. But, we are a very inexperienced team. We do not have single senior on our team. So, we are going to have grow pains like this.”
Shelby Dilda’s basket was the first and only score for the first three minutes of the third quarter. While WCA struggled to hit their shots, they controlled the tempo and pace of the game and continued to be very strong defensively. The Eagles would be up 43-17 at the end of the third and just continue to dominate throughout the final frame.
Fulcher was the top scorer for Bethel with 10 points. “Laura is a hustler,” Coach Williams said. “She is going to be a good player. She is a sophomore, but she is taking a leadership role on this team.”
For WCA, Abi Harrleson was the top scorer, scoring 17 points. Hayley Verme added 11 points with eight rebounds and eight steals.
EAGLES: Harrleston 17, H Verme 11, Baldwin 8, Jackson 7, B Verme 7, Waters 4, Bauer 2, Martin 1
TROJANS: Fulcher 10, Dilda 5, Harrell 4, Lanning 2, Sutton 2, Banks 1