Eagles fall on Homecoming Night

Published 4:44 pm Monday, January 31, 2011

ASKEWVILLE – Homecoming didn’t go as planned.

Bethel Christian Academy squared off with Coastal Christian here Friday night in what was supposed to be a Homecoming celebration for the Eagles.

The visiting Centurions, however, had different plans as they put four players in double figures and rolled to a 72-58 victory.

Shane Tripp led the Bethel offensive attack with 26 points. The junior forward completed the double-double with 11 rebounds while adding four assists and a pair of steals.

Ricardo Jones paced Coastal with 19 points while Nick Chase added 18, Miles Butler had 14 and Canaan Clemons had 11.

The game started well for the Eagles with Tripp sandwiching buckets around a Butler hoop to give Bethel and early 4-2 lead.

That was it for the first quarter highlights, however, as the Centurions rolled off six straight – two from Jones and one from Chase – to surge ahead 8-4 and never lost the lead again.

Tripp stopped the spurt with a field goal, but Chase had two free throws and Clemons added a bucket to make it 12-6 in favor of Coastal.

Senior Marky Palmer added two free throws to close in within four (12-8), but a Clemons hoop made it 14-8 after one quarter.

Clemons scored to open the second quarter, but Kyle Freeman had a bucket for the Eagles and Tripp added two free throws as they closed within 16-12.

Back-to-back buckets by Chase and Butler pushed Coastal ahead by eight and then, after a Freeman free throw, Chase had a hoop that made it 22-13.

Tripp stopped the run with two free throws, but Dylan Smith answered with a three-pointer that was followed by a Jones hoop as Coastal led 27-15.

Kevin Johnson started a 9-2 run for the Eagles with his next hoop. He was followed by a basket from Tripp, a hoop from Daniel Feher and a Feher free throw as the Eagles got within 29-24 late in the first half.

Coastal, however, outscored Bethel 5-1 over the final minute of the second quarter to take a 34-25 lead into the intermission.

Bethel came out of the locker room hot, scoring eight of the first 12 points to close the gap back to five (38-33). Freeman, Palmer, Tripp and Feher all had scores during the stretch.

Coastal, however, roared back with Chase burying a three-pointer that started a 9-2 spurt for the Centurions as the visitors went ahead by a dozen (47-35) for the second time in the contest.

Palmer stopped the run, but an 8-0 spurt immediately following that hoop staked the Centurions to a 55-37 lead.

Feher hit 3-of-4 from the line before a Jones hoop. Freeman and Johnson then had back-to-back buckets to close the gap to 57-44.

Clemons added one free throw, but Tripp scored from the floor to help the Eagles get within 58-46 at the end of the third quarter.

Despite basically playing the Centurions even in the fourth quarter, the Eagles couldn’t really cut into the lead and suffered the 14-point setback.

In addition to Tripp’s 26, the Eagles got nine each from Feher and Freeman. Feher added a game-high 16 rebounds while Freeman had four boards, two assists and two steals.

Palmer had eight points while Johnson added four and David Simmons had two.

The Eagles dropped to 16-6 with the loss while Coastal improved to 12-7. Bethel will be back in action tonight (Tuesday) when they host Pungo Christian Academy in a non-conference contest.