Bethel boys advance

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 21, 2007

AHOSKIE – If it hadn’t been for leading scorer and star senior Josh Jenkins from Northeast Academy, it might have been a runaway game for the Bethel Christian Academy boys’ basketball team.

But Jenkins racked up 16 points during the last 11 minutes of play for Northeast during Thursday night’s first round of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament, getting his team back in the game.

Northeast fell 61-55 to Bethel, but not without a fight.

Jenkins came alive with three minutes left to play in the third quarter with his team trailing 43-24, putting up a basket and making his free throw on the foul to make it 43-27.

Bethel’s Michael Cseko interrupted with a basket, but John Pope quickly answered with a triple, followed by another Jenkins basket and one from teammate Judd Smith to get Northeast within 45-34 at the end of the third period.

Jenkins poured in three consecutive buckets at the start of the fourth quarter, officially making his team a threat by getting them within five at 45-40.

Cseko and Northeast’s Jay Baughan exchanged triples, but then Cseko added another to put Bethel ahead further with 51-43.

Brandon Futrell of Northeast made a basket but it was answered by one from Bethel’s Josh Freeman.

Jenkins then contributed another bucket and a foul shot to get Northeast back within five again at 53-48.

Zack Walter of Bethel made one-of-two shots from the charity stripe, but Futrell then swooshed in a triple to put Northeast down by just three (54-51) with two minutes left in the game.

Stephen Miller made both of his foul shots to put Bethel back up by five, then Jenkins made both of his to again get Northeast within three (56-53).

They couldn’t get any closer than that, though, as Freeman and Jenkins exchanged buckets to maintain Bethel’s three-point lead with 15 seconds to play.

Cseko added three-of-four foul shots over the next few seconds to give Bethel the six-point win at 61-55.

The win put Bethel in Friday night’s championship game against Lawrence Academy, but results were unavailable as of press time.