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Bethel tested by Ahoskie Christian

AHOSKIE – The Warriors wouldn’t go away.

Bethel Christian Academy claimed their second win this season over Ahoskie Christian School Thursday night, but not before the Warriors gave them all they wanted.

Bethel led 12-11 after one quarter and pushed the advantage to 27-16 at the intermission. The lead was all the way up to 14 (40-26) by the end of the third quarter, but Ahoskie rallied in the final period to close within nine before Bethel secured the 64-53 victory.

The game started slowly on the offensive end with the two teams combining to score just 11 points in the opening four minutes.

Ahoskie led 4-3 before Josh Freeman and Josh Caldwell had back-to-back hoops to push the Eagles ahead 7-4. They maintained a one-point lead after one quarter.

Michael Cseko, the game’s leading scorer with 23 points, started the second period with a hoop that was followed by a Shannon Hoggard free throw.

After Cseko scored again, Ahoskie’s Jalen Cooley buried a three-pointer to get his team within 17-14 with 5:36 to play.

The Eagles responded with a pair of buckets by Josh Freeman and a triple from Cseko as well as a hoop by Zach Walter to take a 26-14 lead. They led 27-16 at the half.

Ahoskie started the third quarter with a hoop from Stanton Plaunty, but Bethel went on a 12-0 run to take a comfortable 39-18 advantage.

Omari Mitchell interrupted the run with a bucket for Ahoskie at the 4:08 mark, but Bethel got hoops from Cseko and Caldwell to go back into a 43-20 lead. They led 50-26 after three quarters.

The Warriors started the fourth quarter on a 7-3 run with Cooley getting things going by a pair of free throws and a three-pointer. Tripp Plaunty added the other hoop as Ahoskie got within 53-33.

Plaunty then scored again to start a 9-0 Ahoskie run. Mitchell scored five points during the spurt while Plaunty had the other four.

After Caldwell scored for the Eagles, Ahoskie scored seven unanswered to get within 58-49. Cooley, Stanton Plaunty and Tripp Plaunty all had scores during the spurt.

Bethel senior Stephen Miller ended the threat, however, when he hit back-to-back bucket to give the Eagles a 62-49 lead with just over a minute to play.

Tripp Plaunty scored consecutive hoops to close the gap back to nine, but Cseko scored to help the Eagles secure the victory.

Cseko led all scorers with 23 points while Freeman turned in a double-double for the Eagles with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Ahoskie was led by 15 from Tripp Plaunty, 14 from Cooley and 13 from Mitchell. Stanton Plaunty added 11 points.

Bethel (64): Michael Cseko – 23, Josh Caldwell – 17, Josh Freeman – 11, Stephen Miller – 8, Zach Walter – 2, Jacob Tayloe – 1, Jim Perry – 1, Shannon Hoggard – 1

Ahoskie (55): Tripp Plaunty – 15, Jalen Cooley – 14, Omari Mitchell – 13, Stanton Plaunty – 11, Bruce Lassiter – 2