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Northeast tops Bethel girls

AHOSKIE – Unlike the last matchup between Northeast Academy and Bethel Christian Academy’s varsity girls, it was clear from the beginning who the winner would be in Thursday night’s basketball game.

The game was the first round of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament, held at Ridgecroft School.

During their last meeting, Bethel emerged victorious after overtime, but this time it was Northeast who took the win with a final score of 59-32.

Nevertheless, the Bethel Lady Eagles never gave up and fought hard right up until the end, particularly in the fourth quarter when they rallied to score almost half their total points.

Northeast led 44-19 at the start of the fourth period. They quickly increased that lead by two more when LeAnn Barnes made a basket just 10 seconds into the quarter.

Then Bethel went on their biggest run of the game, scoring seven points straight.

Erin Young got things going with a bucket followed by a foul shot, and then Mindy Miller sank a triple and made a shot from the charity stripe to get her team a bit closer with 46-26.

That was as close as Bethel would get, though, as Northeast only added to their lead from that point on.

Mollie Hargrave chipped in three points over the next minute, and Miller tried to answer with a basket, but Northeast’s Betty Edwards put up a trey, a free throw and a bucket within 30 seconds to increase her team’s lead to 55-28.

Bethel’s Megan Simons made one-of-two foul shots and Miller added two more, but then Danielle Hallman from Northeast earned two free throws to set Bethel back some more at 57-31.

Simons added another foul shot with 13 seconds left to play and Hargrave made a basket for Northeast at the buzzer to finalize the score at 59-32.

&uot;We played one of the best games of the year,&uot; Northeast skipper Joella Brown said after the game.

She continued, &uot;We’ve been working on some things, and they came together tonight. It was a team effort.&uot;

The win put Northeast in the championship game of the tournament, which was played Friday night but results were unavailable as of press time.