Bethel Christian gets off to strong run, holds off New Life Christian
It took Bethel Christian some time to get going, but the Trojans were able to defeat New Life Christian 69-59 Thursday at home.
“We had to keep calm,” Trojans guard Cody Dunk said. “We had a lot of turnovers early on, but later in the game we ran our plays and executed.”
The Warriors (1-9) started strong, with Brock Leonard and Alex Schafer scoring all of the points in an 11-5 start, but the Trojans got their first lead after Gabe Gurley’s inside basket. Connor Williams followed with a steal and layup as time expired to put Bethel Christian (6-7) ahead 17-13 heading into the second. Although New Life Christian tied the game at 20 early, Bethel Christian closed out the first half on a 17-2 run to go up 37-22 at the break.
The Warriors fought back in the third hitting their first four shots to pull within six, but Jeremiah Washington’s slam was the highlight of a 12-1 run to give the Trojans their biggest lead at 49-32. New Life Christian would claw back again, drawing numerous fouls and getting to the line and pulling within 56-49 on Jordan Pittman’s 3-point play with 6:27 remaining.
Ultimately, Bethel Christian would never let the lead dip under seven and ended strong at the line. The Trojans would hit 10 of 17 from the charity stripe, including all four attempts in the final 96 seconds.
“We practice them all the time,” Bethel Christian’s Scott Sanderson said after he hit a pair with 1:08 left to effectively end the game. “We have guys at practice who are making noise for situations like this, so we stayed confident with our shots. We knew what we had to do and got the win tonight.”
The Warriors took 36 free throws, only making 13 in the process.
Bethel Christian coach Bert Potter said he liked the team’s execution offensively, but there’s still work to be done on the other end.
“We stressed consecutive stops and we weren’t as consistent with them as we need to be,” Potter said. “On offense, we executed our plays well out of timeouts and our fast-break sets were great. We just have to carry that onto the defensive end. The mark of a great team is what they do defensively and we’ll get better there.”
Dunk had a game-high 20 points, while Sanderson added 15 and Quan Hamilton provided 12 for Bethel Christian. For New Life Christian, Schafer and Brock Leonard scored 17 each with Mack Leonard adding 11.
BETHEL CHRISTIAN 69, NEW LIFE CHRISTIAN 59
NLC 13 9 18 19 — 59
BCA 17 20 14 18 — 69
NEW LIFE CHRISTIAN — Brock Leonard 17, Alex Schafer 17, Mack Leonard 11, Pittman 9, Gonzalez 5
BETHEL CHRISTIAN — Cody Dunk 20, Scott Sanderson 15, Quan Hamilton 12, Williams 8, Washington 6, Jarrell 6, Gurley 2
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: None.
Three-pointers: NLC — Schafer 4, M. Leonard 2. BCA — Sanderson.