Tripp’s 52 paces Bethel

Published 10:22 am Thursday, February 18, 2010

ASKEWVILLE – Shane Tripp had a near-perfect night.

The Bethel Christian Academy senior was 18-of-22 from the floor, 2-of-3 from three-point land and 10-of-11 from the charity stripe as he poured in 52 points to lead the Eagles past Bear Grass High School 90-79 during Homecoming festivities Friday night.

Tripp, who added seven rebounds, six steals, two assists and a block, was joined in double figure scoring by Kyle Freeman, who had 18 to go with eight assists. Marky Palmer had eight points and chipped in 11 rebounds.

The contest was close throughout the first quarter, but Bethel pulled away in the second period.

Bear Grass opened the game with six unanswered points, getting a bucket each from Hunter Cowand, Daniel Deegest and Foster Peaks.

The Eagles started to rally when Tripp scored and then Freeman completed a three-point play to close the gap to 6-5. Tripp then hit a triple to push the Eagles ahead 8-6.

The teams battled over the next four minute with the lead changing hands twice in addition to a pair of ties.

Palmer broke a 15-all tie with a hoop at the 42-second mark of the quarter and Tripp followed with another bucket to make it 19-15.

Bear Grass got a triple from Josh Greenhaw with six ticks left on the first quarter clock, however, and closed the Bears’ deficit to one (19-18) at the end of the period.

Tripp opened the second quarter with a triple that was followed by a Tyler O’Dell bucket that made it 24-18 in favor of the home team. Palmer extended the lead by one after a technical foul was charged to the Bears.

O’Dell scored again followed by a Freeman three-pointer and a Tripp bucket that made it 32-17. Freeman added a pair of free throws before Palmer scored at the 4:20 mark to give Bethel a 36-18 edge.

Bear Grass rallied when Deegest hit a pair of free throws and Greenhaw buried a triple to close the deficit to 36-23.

Palmer, however, hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe and added a field goal to make it 39-23 with 2:49 to play in the first half. The Eagles kept that same 16-point edge by the intermission, leading 45-29 heading into the locker room.

Neither team was able to dominate the other in the third quarter and the Eagles came away with a 13-point edge (61-48) heading into the final period of play.

Bethel started the final quarter with Freeman and Tripp hitting back-to-back baskets as they extended the advantage to 65-48. Bear Grass then got a hoop from Deegest, but Adam Cowand and Kevin Johnson had consecutive baskets to push the Bethel lead to 19 (69-50) with 5:32 to play.

Bear Grass was able to get the lead as low as 14 (77-63 with 2:33 to play), but Bethel came back with a pair of free throws by Tripp and a Freeman hoop to lead 81-65.

The Bears again rallied, getting five unanswered points to close within 81-70, but the Eagles pulled away over the final minutes to take the Homecoming night victory.