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BACA reaches finals

ASKEWVILLE – The boys basketball team at Bethel Assembly Christian Academy was looking to make sure that Victory Christian School did not finish this tournament as back-to-back winners.

Unfortunately for Coach Joe Mizelle and his Eagles, early foul trouble spelled doom in the title match.

On Friday night Bethel was paired against the James River Panthers.

Bethel had started the season with four wins and one loss, behind the exceptional play of senior Trey Denton.

After a 30-point performance by Denton and a barrage of three pointers by junior’s Josh Askew and Larry Caldwell, the Bethel team found themselves up one more in the win column, defeating the Panthers 86 – 57.

As is usually the case with this team, Caldwell continued to push the ball aggressively the entire game and sophomore Stephen Miller continued his dominating interior play.

Mizelle’s team however finished with five players in double figures, as four starters and the aforementioned Askew, all scored ten or more points against a James River team that got behind early and never caught up.

On Saturday Bethel found itself facing the defending tournament champions from Victory Christian School.

The game looked from the outset to be a match up that would pit two of the area’s better players against each other in Bethel’s Trey Denton, and Victory’s David Cratty.

The match-up never really materialized as Denton picked up his third foul early in the second quarter and spent much of the half relegated to the bench.

With Caldwell single-handedly breaking down the Victory defense, Bethel managed to keep the game close with their star player on the bench and were down at the half 36-24.

With Denton saddled with foul trouble, junior Jonathan Hoggard, and Miller became the targets for the slashing Caldwell.

Miller, who finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, was unstoppable in the paint on the offensive end and Hoggard’s defensive play was superb down the stretch.

Josh Freeman, who led the team with five steals and also contributed seven points, cut the lead to four points with a three pointer with one minute left in the game.

In the end it was all Cratty as the Victory guard who would end up being named the tournament MVP withstood Caldwell’s best efforts and 22 points to score 20 points of his own and lead Victory to a 65- 56 win against the host team.

Denton finished the game with nine points and 10 rebounds just missing a double-double in despite being in foul trouble most of the game.

Caldwell and Miller were both named to the All-Tournament team. Gramercy defeated James River 65 – 46 in the boys’ consolation game.