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Bethel edges Northeast in OT

ASKEWVILLE – Four quarters were not enough.

When Northeast Academy’s varsity girls’ basketball team paid a visit to Bethel Christian Academy Tuesday night, it took an extra session before the home team came away with a 51-46 victory.

Northeast led 41-40 with 20 seconds left in the game when Head Coach Buddy Denton called a timeout. After setting up the play, Erin Young was fouled on her attempt and walked to the line and hit both free throws to push BCA to a one-point advantage.

On the other end, LeAnn Barnes was fouled and hit one free throw to tie the game and send it to the extra period.

In overtime, there were only two baskets made, with the other points coming at the free throw line.

With Northeast ahead by two, Bethel’s Charitee Dunlow hit that hoop to tie the game. Moments later, senior Mindy Miller and Barnes each exchanged a pair of free throws.

Miller scored with just over a minute left and then added three free throws in the final 40 seconds to preserve the victory.

“I think our girls needed this one,” Denton said after the contest. “We’ve been playing a tough schedule and honestly, haven’t been playing well either.

“In the fourth quarter, I thought we played as well as we could have,” he added. “I’m really proud of them.”

Bethel led throughout the first half, building as much as a 15-8 lead after a Kelli Hoggard field goal late in the quarter.

Miller started the second period with a three-pointer that gave Bethel an 18-10 advantage, but Northeast chipped away thanks to free throws from Betty Edwards and Molly Hargrave.

The visiting team got back within four (23-19) at the intermission.

The third quarter was dominated by Northeast with the Eagles scoring 11 of the first 13 points of the quarter.

Callie Burgess started the scoring with a bucket and Edwards continued it with a field goal and free throw which she quickly followed with a three-pointer.

After the spurt, Northeast led 30-25.

“I told them at the half we were getting beat to the ball and we needed to hustle and concentrate on what we were doing,” Northeast Head Coach Joella Brown said. “We did that, but we had too many turnovers and too many missed free throws and easy shots.”

Bethel got back to within one (30-29) by the end of the third quarter thanks to a bucket by Dunlow and free throws from Miller and Megan Simons.

The fourth quarter went back-and-forth with Bethel taking the lead on a Young hoop, but Northeast storming back thanks to free throws from Edwards, Danielle Hallman and Barnes to take a 39-33 lead.

Bethel came back to cut the lead to one thanks to a hoop from Simons and free throws by Miller.

In all, the game saw 80 free throw attempts between the two squads. Northeast attempted 50 free throws and made just 24 while Bethel shot only slightly better at 15-of-30.

“We had some bright spots, but then we would go down and shoot ourselves in the foot,” Brown said. “It’s only our second game, so hopefully, we’ll improve.”

Northeast is 1-1 after the contest and will be at home on Friday when they host Lawrence Academy.

Bethel improved to 2-3 for the season and will play at 5:30 p.m. Friday when they host Tabernacle in the first round of the Bethel Tip-off Tournament.