Lady Eagles finish second

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 26, 2007

JACKSONVILLE – Bethel Christian Academy garnered a second-place finish in the North Carolina Christian Athletic Conference state tournament here this weekend.

The Lady Eagles defeated Liberty Christian and Riverside Christian Academy before falling to eventual champion Gramercy Christian School.

In the opening game of the tournament, Bethel got a pair of double-doubles. Mindy Miller scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Kelli Hoggard recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Their effort helped the Lady Eagles grab a 53-32 victory. BCA grabbed a 16-5 lead after one quarter and led 26-14 at the intermission.

Bethel Athletic Director Edith Williford, subbing for the ailing Paul Ange, was able to play the entire roster and saw seven players score.

Erin Young had nine points for Bethel while Kayla Overton and Megan Simons scored six points each. Jamee Mizelle added four points and Landis Marsh had two points.

Marci Gonzalez led Liberty with 16 points.

On day two of the tournament, Bethel pastor, the Rev. Buddy Denton, stepped onto the sidelines for Bethel. He served as the school’s head girl’s coach a season ago and quickly led the Bethel team to a 36-24 victory over Riverside.

Miller was phenomenal on the afternoon, pouring in 21 points for Bethel. Overton added nine points while Martina Hill, Young and Marsh scored two each.

Jerri Locklear led Riverside with 15 points.

In the state title game, Bethel took a 2-0 lead thanks to a hoop from Hoggard, but never got their offense going. After staying close through the opening six minutes, thanks to Hoggard’s six points, the Lady Eagles fell behind 13-6 by the end of the first quarter.

Gramercy continued to pull away, taking a 23-13 lead at the half and then grabbing a huge 41-17 lead after three quarters.

Miller was injured in the second half of the contest and left with seven points. She did not return to the lineup and her status for this weekend’s two-state tournament with South Carolina was not known as of press time.

Hoggard led the Lady Eagles offensively with eight points while Miller had seven and Overton four. Young had Bethel’s other two points.