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Lady Eagles win by forfeit

ASKEWVILLE – It was a strange finish.

With time still remaining on the third quarter clock, Jacksonville Christian School’s varsity girls walked off the court. The Lady Conquerors were trailing Bethel Christian Academy 27-24 in the third place game of the North Carolina Christian Athletic Conference state tournament when the game suddenly ended.

At issue was an injury to a Jacksonville player which caused the Lady Conquerors to conclude they would not continue in the contest, despite still being very much alive in the game as they trailed by just three points. Instead of finishing, they accepted fourth place after the forfeit.

The game started well for Bethel as the Lady Eagles scored the first seven points of the contest. Elizabeth Farmer had the first bucket followed by a hoop from Landis March, a free throw from Megan Simons and a basket off the hands of Danielle Wiley.

Jacksonville finally got on the board with a hoop from Jennifer Jackson, but Farmer responded with a triple that put Bethel ahead 10-2. A pair of late free throws by Sarah Dodson closed Jacksonville to within 10-4 after one quarter.

While the Lady Conquerors continued trying to close the gap, Bethel was getting offense from Kelsie Conner, who had a hoop and a free throw to push the Lady Eagles ahead 13-6.

Jacksonville closed within 16-12, but a hoop from Marsh helped Bethel hold an 18-13 edge heading into the halftime locker room.

The Lady Conquerors scored the first eight points of the third quarter to surge ahead 20-18 with Jamie Hoggard adding the two free throws that gave them the lead.

Bethel responded with three straight points from Simons, their lone senior, as they took the lead 23-22. Farmer added to the lead with a pair of free throws before Jackson added a hoop for JCA.

A free throw each by Conner and Autumn Ginn gave Bethel a 27-24 lead when the game ended.

The Lady Eagles finished the season 11-17 overall and third in the NCCAC. They graduate just one senior and return four starters next season.