Bethel bounces Faith

Published 2:48 pm Wednesday, January 4, 2012

ASKEWVILLE – Break?  What break?

Despite two and a half weeks since their last game the Bethel Christian Academy Eagles picked up where they left off in December with a 63-44 win over Faith Christian Academy Tuesday night on Bethel’s home floor.

Shane Tripp led a trio of Bethel players in scoring with 20 points. He also had 14 rebounds and six assists.

Kyle Freeman had 15 points and 10 rebounds to go with eight steals  Daniel Fehr also had 10 rebounds to go along with 12 points.

Aaron Lancaster was leading scorer for Faith with a dozen points.

Both teams showed signs of the ‘holiday break doldrums’, but Bethel was able to shake theirs with a hot early lead that they never relinquished and build on it for the 19-point win.

“Only six (players) showed up for a volunteer practice we had yesterday,” chuckled Bethel coach Tommy Tripp, “so it showed tonight.

“Christmas break and all so we were a little sluggish,” he added, “and we didn’t handle the ball as well as we should have but all-in-all it was very good.”

Bethel’s start was very good against the cold-shooting Patriots.  Two quick buckets – a three-pointer from Tripp and a Trey Hoggard layup – got the home team off to a 5-0 lead.

The score was 9-4 when Freeman hit a jump shot and then converted a three-point play after being fouled on a layup.  In between that scoring, Fehr hit a pair of free-throws and Bethel led by seven after the first quarter, 16-9.

FCA warmed up in the second quarter and actually outscored the home team, 14-12, in the frame; but most of that came in the final minute of the quarter.

Prior to that Fehr was finding his range with a pair of short jump shots  Tripp also elevated to get off a scoring jump shot while Joseph Ginn rattled in a baseline layup. Twice Bethel had a lead of 11 points before Faith trimmed it to at 26-17.

They lit it up further and by halftime had whittled Bethel’s lead down to just five points, 28-23.

The third quarter was less than a minute old when Faith had trimmed Bethel’s lead to three points at 30-27.  But Bethel went on a 9-2 run with all nine points scored by Tripp including nailing 5-of-6 free throws.

It gave the Eagles a 10-point lead, 39-29.

After an exchange of buckets including a steal and layup by Freeman, Tripp got the last basket of the quarter to stake Bethel to a lead of a dozen, 47-35, with one quarter left to play.

Bethel opened the final frame with a 9-2 run and doubled their lead from 10 to 20, 58-38.  And all this despite them going cold at the free throw line where they missed three straight one-and-ones.

Coach Tripp then began to clear his bench with the result well in hand. Zach Bazemore made 1-of-2 foul shots and was the only Bethel player off the bench to score in the game.

The starters scored 62 points en route to Bethel’s ninth win of the year against just three losses. Faith’s record fell below .500 to 6-7.

“We didn’t shoot well and number-40 and 23 (Tripp & Freeman) were just too much,” said a disappointed Faith coach John Dixon. “Our guys didn’t match their effort and their better players outplayed my better players, badly.”

“A game like this gets our guys back in the swing of things,” said coach Tripp, “and it gets us ready for conference games much better.

After a home date with Terra Ceia Christian School on Thursday, Bethel opens league play at Gramercy Friday night on the road.