Bethel Christian sweeps Faith Christian, break out of slumps
Bethel Christian’s Scott Sanderson prepares to shoot in free throw in Thursday’s win against Faith Christian. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
Bethel Christian broke out of its slump in a big way Thursday.
The Trojans defeated Faith Christian 75-63 at home to pick up a second straight win after a stretch of five losses in six games. Bethel Christian (8-9) turned a close game into a rout in the second half, utilizing great perimeter shooting after establishing the inside.
“Most of our conference opponents have gone into an even or add front zone, but tonight we were able to get into the seams of the zone or reverse before the defense could adjust,” Trojans coach Bert Potter said. “Faith Christian played well, and at the half I asked the players to get out and contest shots. We started the second half with five straight stops and started to get the lead to double figures.”
The first quarter alone had eight lead changes and three ties. The Conquerors (4-11) ended the first on a Joe Hallack 3-point play to go up 22-19, but Jeremiah Washington started the second with a 3-pointer to start a 7-0 run for the Trojans. Carson Harris hit 3-pointers to tie it twice for Faith Christian, the latest at 32 with 3:18 to play in the second, but Quan Hamilton would get a 3-point play to help Bethel Christian eventually take a 37-34 halftime advantage.
Hamilton scored 14 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, attacking the Conquerors inside.
“I was just playing with intensity, staying under control and doing it for the love of the game,” Hamilton said.
Cody Dunk would start the third quarter with a 3-pointer for Bethel Christian, who hit six from beyond the arc in the second half. After the Trojans’ 6-0 run, Cal Reese hit a 3-pointer for Faith Christian, but the Trojans broke the game open with a 15-2 spurt, including eight points from Scott Sanderson.
Sanderson would score 17 points in the second half, including four 3-pointers.
“I was getting open shots and taking them,” Sanderson said. “Quan was a big factor in it — we would throw it into him, I’d find a spot, he’d pass it out and I the last thing I would hear from him is ‘shoot it.’”
Sanderson finished with 20 points and Dunk added 18. For Faith Christian, Luke Miller scored 13 and Harris had 11.
In the girls’ game, Bethel Christian ended a 12-game slide with a 32-22 victory over Faith Christian. The Trojans (2-13) trailed for just 12 seconds throughout the contest and despite shooting 24 percent from the field, the team held the Conquerors (3-8) to 17 percent while forcing 29 turnovers.
“We pressured the ball more tonight and were able to get steals, which led to some good scoring opportunities,” Bethel Christian coach Michelle Williams said. “We also did a better job of rebounding the ball.”
After giving up the first basket, Bethel Christian held Faith Christian scoreless for nearly eight minutes in the midst of a 9-0 run. The Trojans would take a 14-7 lead into halftime, then extend it to 12 late in the third on a Kimberly Speelman free throw. The Conquerors would get within 22-14 with 6:05 to play on an Emma Meador basket, but Laura Lee Fulcher would take over, scoring nine points in the frame for the Trojans to help snap the losing streak.
“I think we just moved the ball around better and I was able to make some shots,” Fulcher said.
Fulcher would be the game’s only double-digit scorer with 13.