Bethel boys, girls split on homecoming night
On Friday night, the 6-9 Bethel Trojans faced the Hilltop Christian Chargers. Playing in front of a large crowd for homecoming, the Trojans jumped out strong and didn’t look back, winning 71-61.
“We came out with no energy to start this game off,” Hilltop coach Ethan Gaynor said. “We made it competitive the rest of the way. Their defensive pressure got us off our game early on. We’re a young team and aren’t used to that. We fought back, but wasn’t able to climb all the way back.”
This game also had a lot of meaning to senior Jeremiah Washington. Besides it being the team's Homecoming game, he was inspired to play hard for his father, who had had a heart attack the night before and was unable to attend. Washington would lead the Trojans with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks.
“This was a good night. I really wanted to do this for my dad,” Washington said. “We played hard. We executed well. We all played hard. I gotta shout out to Quan (Hamilton) for playing his heart out tonight.”
Hamilton would also have a double-double in the game with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
“We executed really well in our zone offense tonight,” Trojans coach Bert Potter said. “We had a very strong first half. We got a little lackadaisical in the second half and that happens sometimes when we get up by 20 points. But our pressure got them off their game for a long time and led to our big win. We attacked the seams of the zone all night. We moved the ball well and stretched the defensive zone well.”
The Trojans got off to a hot 11-0 start, keyed by a pair of three-pointers by Washington. The Trojans were able to build up a huge 23-5 lead to kick this game off.
It took almost three minutes for BCA to score in the second. A timeout by Coach Potter helped to settle the Trojans down and Scott Sanderson would hit his second three pointer of the game at the buzzer to end the half to lift Bethel to a 34-20 lead. Sanderson would score 11 points in the game.
Coming back from the half, Bethel stayed dominant. Washington and Hamilton put on a defensive show, grabbing a combined 21 rebounds and six blocks between the two of them. Meanwhile, Cody Dunk exploded for four steals and five points in the third. The Trojans would hold a 57-34 lead at the end of the third quarter.
“We wanted to come out strong for our homecoming,” Hamilton said. “We played with a lot of intensity the whole game through. We put forth a great effort tonight.”
“This was a big game for us, especially our seniors,” Dunk, who scored nine and had 10 rebounds, said. “We executed everything we practiced this week. We moved the ball well and had a lot of great defensive stops.”
HILLTOP: Williams 20, Barefoot 12, Sanders 12, Stevens 10, Fredley 4, Hardison 3.
BETHEL: Washington 22, Hamilton 21, Sanderson 11, Dunk 9, Warren 4, Boyd 2, Williams 2
In the girls’ game, Bethel Christian was trying to right the ship on Friday night after losing 10 in a row. Unfortunately, with a large crowd present for Homecoming, the Trojans fell in a non-conference game to Hilltop Christian Academy, 45-10.
“We are a young team,” said BCA coach Michelle Williams. “We have just one senior. Half of the team are freshmen. I’m looking to our future and it is going to be bright. Right now, this is a learning experience for these girls, gaining valuable playing time.”
After falling behind 11-0, Victoria Harrell was finally able to put Bethel on the board with 25 seconds left in the first. Bethel’s defense tightened up in the second, however, the Trojans were not able to score either. Despite successfully slowing down the Chargers’ offense, limiting them to just two free throws in the first four half of the second quarter, Bethel Christian trailed 25-2 at halftime.
The Chargers went on a tear to open up the third quarter. Isabel Colop would score 10 of her 16 points to help Hilltop on their run. Bethel would be down 42-8 at the end of the third and while BCA would hold the Chargers to only three points in the final frame, but could not mount any sort of offensive rally.
“Turnovers lead to points, but we will have to go through that as we learn to play together, “ said Williams. “We just need to keep making shots. That’s all we can do. That’s been our issue all season. We need those shots to go down. A lot went in and then came out. The girls don’t give up. They don’t quit. We just need more experience so we can grow as a team.
Harrell and Laura Fulcher would lead the Trojans with four points each. Shelby Dilda would score the other two points for Bethel. Olivia Fulcher and Paige Cannon would share the team lead of five rebounds each.
HILLTOP: Colop 16, Manriquez 8, Alonso 7, Jernigan 5, Manzaro 4, Rogers 2, Smith 2, Hamilton 1
BETHEL: Harrell 4, L. Fulcher 4, Dilda 2