Bethel claims another win

Published 3:46 pm Monday, December 13, 2010

ASKEWVILLE – Rolling along.

The Bethel Christian Academy boys basketball team – winners of three of their last four games, including a pair en route to the championship of their own Eric Baggett Memorial Tournament – made it three wins in their last four with a 91-65 victory over TEACH of Washington here Friday.

Bethel’s Shane Tripp hit for 13 points in the first half then doubled that output in the second frame to lead all scorers with a career-high 39 points.

Teammate Kyle Freeman also hit for double-figures for the Eagles (8-3) as he notched 37 points for his effort, leaving him 23 points shy of 1,000 for his prep career.

“They do very well, team-work, together,” said Interim Bethel Head Coach Tommy Tripp. “They’ve been playing in back yards together for a long time and on the court the same way.

“It was good to see both of them do well tonight,” he added.

Josh Chandler led a trio of TEACH (2-2) players in double-figures with 25.

With the score tied at 6-6 in the opening minutes, Bethel went on a 24-10 run to lead, 30-16, after the first quarter and never looked back. Most of their points came on their fast break offense.

“We got a lot of easy breaks early, then scored the 30 points in the first quarter,” said Tripp, “and that just propelled us right on through the ball game.”

After Tripp sank a pair of free throws to break the early deadlock and give the Eagles an 8-6 lead, he and Freeman made it a track-meet.  The pair scored the next 11 in a row before TEACH collected a three-pointer and Bethel’s David Simmons broke his teammate’s scoring streak with a long jumper that made it 21-11.

Every missed TEACH shot just cued the running start and then – with the pressure defense forcing turnovers – they were easily converted to lay-ups

The ‘Tripp-Freeman Express’ then rattled off six more before Marky Palmer got the last points of the quarter with an arcing three-pointer just before the horn sounded.

The Trailblazers opened the second quarter with a 5 -1 run of their own to cut the deficit to 10 at 31-21.

Tripp got a layup to move the lead back to a dozen, 33-21, but also picked up his third foul less than a minute later and had to sit out the rest of the half.

TEACH then went on a 10-2 run to drop Bethel’s lead below double-figures and get within four at 35-31. The Trailblazers trailed by four again with a minute and a half remaining until the break, 37-33, when Chandler made one of two free throws.

From there Freeman got a layup and Adam Fairless drained a long jump shot to give Bethel the eight-point, 41-33, halftime lead.

Fresh from the break, Bethel became the road-runners once again. They blitzed their way out to a 14-point lead thanks to a 13-4 run and the third quarter was becoming a carbon-copy of the first.

After Bethel missed a pair of free throws, TEACH made their two from the charity stripe and added a jumper and a layup to get as close as they would come for the rest of the night at, 54-43.

Daniel Feher hit a turnaround jump shot in the low post, and Bethel began to turn it up again.  Tripp and Freeman accounted for 10 of the 13 points Bethel scored to close out the quarter and coast into the final eight minutes of the night ahead, 70-51.

Bethel kept up the relentlessness and a 16-to-7 run in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter had them ahead, 86-58, before Coach Tripp called off the dogs and began to clear his bench. Freeman and Tripp got back-to-back lay-ups before the reserves came on.

Bethel got five more points before posting their eighth win.

“We’ve only lost three,” said coach Tripp, commenting on his team’s early-season success, “and all of those were to Lawrence, so I’m pleased. Our guys have done well so far.”