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Northeast continues roll

LASKER – Northeast Academy is on a roll.

The varsity boys’ basketball team defeated Bethel Christian Academy 73-53 here Tuesday night and, in the process, claimed their fifth victory in the past six games.

“We came out slow, but we were able to up the tempo,” Northeast Eagles’ skipper John Brown said. “I was surprised because they’re usually wide open too.”

Bethel’s Michael Cseko and Northeast’s Jeremy Parker scored four points each in the early going, but the home team surged ahead on back-to-back buckets from Jud Smith and John Pope.

Stephen Miller countered for Bethel, but another Pope hoop and a Jay Baugham basket pushed Northeast ahead 11-6.

Bethel closed to within two on a Cseko bucket midway through the second quarter, but the home team closed out the first half on a 10-2 run that gave them a 26-16 edge at the intermission.

Josh Jenkins, Parker and Baugham all had scores during the spurt.

Pope kept things going for Northeast with his three-pointer that opened the third quarter.

Josh Caldwell of Bethel then sandwiched a couple of hoops around a Parker bucket to close the gap to 31-20.

Northeast had consecutive hoops from Pope, Jenkins and Smith to push their advantage to 37-20 midway through the quarter.

Miller hit 1-of-2 at the charity stripe, but Parker came back with back-to-back baskets to push Northeast’s lead to 20 (41-21).

Thanks to late-quarter hoops from Pope and Parker, that advantage ballooned to 14 (50-26) by the end of the third quarter.

After Cseko scored back-to-back hoops for Bethel to open the fourth quarter, Northeast had four straight hoops, two coming from Smith and one each from Pope and Baugham to take a 58-30 lead.

From there, Northeast cruised to victory.

Brown said he was pleased to see his team playing well over the past six games and credited the turnaround to getting Baugham healthy and shot selection.

“It’s helped us to get Jay Baugham a little healthier and, as a team, we have been showing better patience in getting shots,” he said.

Baugham was one of five Northeast players in double figures. Pope led the way with 15 points while Jenkins and Parker contributed 13 each. Smith had 12 points and Baugham chipped in 10 points.

“Northeast played a very good game tonight,” Bethel coach Joe Mizelle said.

Caldwell led Bethel with 20 points and Cseko had 19 points.

Northeast did suffer two injuries in the contest as Hall Edwards went down to a broken leg and Cody Fleetwood had a broken nose.

Northeast is now 7-8 overall while Bethel dropped to 10-5.

Northeast (73): John Pope n 15, Josh Jenkins n 13, Jeremy Parker n 13, Jud Smith n 12, Jay Baugham n 10, Logan Wheeler n 4, Jeff White n 2, Brandon Futrell n 2, Cody Fleetwood n 2

Bethel (53): Josh Caldwell n 20, Michael Cseko n 19, Marky Palmer n 4, Stephen Miller n 3, Shannon Hoggard n 3, Zach Walter n 2, Jacob Tayloe – 2