Bethel ladies place 3rd

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 6, 2005

ASKEWVILLE – The Bethel Christian Academy girls finished in third place at the BACA Tip-Off Tournament by defeating the James River Christian Academy Lady Panthers 42-19 on Saturday.

Playing without starting center Kelli Hoggard and junior Brittany Hoggard, who were both out due to illness for both days of the tournament, the Lady Eagles were counting on junior Kayla Overton and sophomore Mindy Miller to pick up the slack.

On Friday night against Victory Christian School, Overton led the Lady Eagles with 14 points, while Miller finished with 12 as Bethel missed a host of open shots and lost by a score of 40-28.

Miller and Overton both got into foul trouble midway through the fourth quarter, and that lessened the team’s ability to pressure the ball. Not having their starting center Kelli Hoggard was clearly a setback for the Bethel girls as they struggled to get offensive rebounds for second chance shots.

On Saturday, the Bethel team played the team from James River, who had fallen to Gramercy Christian School the night before.

Seventh grader Kelly Gudger, forced to start for the second consecutive night due to the roster depletion, helped Miller push the tempo on both sides of the ball as the Lady Eagles swarmed the James River team for four quarters en route to a convincing 42-19 victory.

How good was the seventh grader’s defense you might wonder? Well, when Gudger fouled out late in the game, the James River squad immediately went on a 9-1 run, helping to ensure that they would score in double figures for the game.

Overton again paced the Bethel squad with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Miller scored 11 points and grabbed 13 boards.

Sophomore Julia Cullipher was another player who benefited from the extra minutes on the floor as she was a force in the paint finishing with six points, seven rebounds including several key defensive rebounds.

Gudger and sophomore Jamee Mizelle each added four rebounds, to go with Martina Hill’s five and Karen Brown’s three, as Bethel was able to get on the offensive boards and get the second chance looks they sorely needed the previous game.

Assistant coach Michelle Copeland, who coached the Lady Eagles against Victory Christian on Friday, said &uot;Losing three seniors from last year’s squad makes us a much younger team.&uot;

Head Coach Buddy Denton, back in town for Saturday’s trophy round game, reiterated that point adding, &uot;Right now we are a young, team who are probably going to play middle of the pack basketball until our girls get a little more experience. We do not have any seniors on our team and only one junior, Kayla Overton is playing for us this weekend&uot;.

The Gramercy Christian School Lady Warriors won this weekend’s tournament, defeating Victory Christian School 47-18 in the championship game, as tournament MVP Patty Crooker finished with 18 points.

Junior Kayla Overton who averaged nearly 18 points per game for the tournament was named to the All-Tournament team.