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BCA girls, LA boys victorious

MERRY HILL – Junior varsity basketball games kicked off the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament Monday night for the first time in the history of the event.

In the junior varsity girl’s contest here, Bethel Christian Academy advanced to Friday’s championships with a 26-13 win over Lawrence while the Warrior boys topped Bethel 54-48 to earn a finals appearance.

In the tourney’s opener at Lawrence, Jessica Howerton scored 12 points to lead Bethel to a victory over the Lady Warriors. She was aided by six points from Kelsey Conner and five from Kristin Adams. Lawrence was led by Hallie Corbett with seven points.

Bethel jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Conner scored the first hoop and Howerton added the next two hoops for the Warriors then Alyssa Fairless had a free throw to make it 7-0.

Corbett scored from the free throw line to get Lawrence on the board as the quarter closed. She then had a field goal to open the second quarter, giving the Warriors their first score from the floor to make it 7-3.

Howerton then hit a hoop for the Lady Eagles followed by a bucket from Hayden Thompson that got Lawrence back to within four. From there, it was all Bethel as the Lady Eagles had eight unanswered points thanks to four points from Conner and two each from Howerton and Kristen Adams to take a 17-5 lead.

Corbett then hit two free throws for Lawrence to cut their deficit to 17-7 at the half.

Bethel opened the third quarter with a bucket from Adams, but Corbett quickly responded.

Bethel got a free throw from Adams and a hoop from Howerton to go ahead 22-9. Lawrence got a hoop from Heather Hughes to make it 22-11 after three quarters.

The Lady Eagles scored back-to-back hoops in the fourth quarter (one each from Howerton and Danielle Wiley) to go ahead 26-11 and went on to victory.

In the jayvee boy’s game, Shane Tripp scored 23 points to pace Lawrence to a 54-48 victory over Bethel Christian Academy.

The contest was close throughout the first half with Lawrence holding a 17-15 lead after one quarter thanks to a three-pointer from Tripp at the buzzer. Scott Dunlow hit a field goal for the Warriors as time expired in the second period to give Lawrence 29-27.

That Dunlow hoop capped an 8-0 run for the Warriors that saw them rally from a six-point deficit to a two-point lead.

Dunlow added another bucket to start the second half, but Bethel got consecutive hoops from Kyle Freeman, who led them with 23 points, to close to within one (32-31).

The contest remained close through the next few minutes with Bethel finally surging ahead 36-35 after a Marky Palmer hoop and a Freeman bucket. Lawrence, however, got back-to-back-to-back baskets from Mason Hughes, Tripp and Dunlow to go ahead 41-36 late in the third quarter.

Lawrence led 43-39 after three periods.

After Tripp opened the fourth quarter with a hoop, Palmer scored for Bethel to close the gap back to four (45-41).

Trip and Hughes then each scored from the floor and converted a free throw to make it 51-41 with 2:31 to play.

Bethel close the gap to six thanks to late free throws from Freeman and Kevin Johnson, but couldn’t get closer.

The Warriors got nine points each from Dunlow and Hughes to go along with the 23 from Tripp. Luke Leary added eight points while Taylor Thompson had four and Hunter Askew one.

Palmer had 12 for Bethel and Johnson had seven. Feher added six points.