Bethel outlasts Northeast

Published 10:09 am Friday, November 18, 2011

AHOSKIE – In what was the best game of the 2011 tournament thus far, Bethel Christian Academy edged Northeast Academy here Thursday night.

The two teams squared off in the Consolation Game of the Lt. Nick Brantley Scholarship Tournament held on the campus of Ridgecroft School and BCA claimed a 79-72 victory to finish third in the event.

Bethel Senior Shane Tripp led all scorers with 31 points, but classmate Kyle Freeman was on his heels with 29. Daniel Feher chipped in 11 points.

Northeast was paced by 19 from Ryan Williams while Avery Hargrove added 16, Brad Johnson had 14 and Logan Simonowich added 13 points.

It was Feher who scored the game’s first two points on a field goal just 32 seconds into the contest. For Bethel, however, it was the last score for more than two minutes.

In that time, Northeast rolled off eight straight as Hargrove hit back-to-back buckets while Johnson and Simonovich also scored from the floor.

Tripp stopped the spurt with a free throw, but Will Glover responded with a hoop for Northeast that pushed the lead to 10-3 with 5:04 to play in the first period.

The run-and-gun offensive showcase had just begun, however, as Tripp scored five straight points only to be answered by a Williams triple which kept NEA ahead 13-8.

Tripp then scored three points the old-fashioned way before a Feher bucket tied the game at 13-all with two and a half minutes to play in the period.

Northeast surged back, however, as Williams scored from behind the arc and Johnson had a bucket answered by hoops from Freeman and Tripp to give Northeast an 18-17 advantage.

David Simmons then scored for BCA with 1:02 to go in the quarter, but Cody Hurdle had four unanswered for Northeast in the final 34 seconds of the quarter to give his team a 22-19 lead after one quarter.

The second quarter continued the offensive showcase with Northeast scoring 19 points answered by 24 from Bethel.

Williams started the period out for Northeast with a pair of triples that were sandwiched around a Tripp free throw. He then scored a field goal and another three-pointer as NEA built a 33-20 lead with 6:03 to play in the half.

Bethel started their comeback with a three-pointer by Freeman and a pair of free throws by Tripp. Freeman then scored five straight for the Eagles before Simonowich answered to push the lead back to 10 (37-27).

A Freeman three-pointer with 4:03 to play made it 37-30, but Hargrove and Simonovich hit back-to-back buckets to give Northeast a 41-30 edge.

Unfortunately for NEA, they wouldn’t score over the final 2:48 of the half and Bethel rolled off 13 unanswered points. Joseph Ginn started the run with a hoop followed by a three-point play from Feher. Tripp and Freeman each hit two free throws before the former scored the final four points of the half and sent Bethel into the locker room with a 43-41 edge.

The third quarter saw the offensive showcase slow only a little as Northeast roared back to take the lead. Late in the period, Bethel still had a two-point edge, but Simonowich hit a triple and two free throws followed by a Glover hoop.

Tripp scored with nine seconds left, but Northeast led 63-60 after three quarters.

NEA still led by three with five minutes to play, but Bethel rolled off eight straight points to take the lead. Tripp started the run with a free throw followed by Freeman rolling off seven straight on his own to give Bethel a 75-70 lead.

Northeast got a pair of free throws from Hargrove, but Bethel sealed the win at the free throw line.

The teams were honored at the closing ceremonies of the tournament, which is sponsored jointly by United Country Joe Murray Realty and the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald.