Eagles win Consolation Game
ASKEWVILLE – The Bethel Assembly Christian Academy boy’s basketball team shook off their opening round loss and bounced back to win the consolation game of their Eric Baggett Memorial Tournament.
The two-day event, which ended Saturday, is in its second year and named for the late two-sport Bethel star who died tragically in 2010.
The Eagles downed The Eastern Christian Home School (TEACH), 62-51, behind an explosive 28-point performance from Trey Hoggard who tallied 19 in the first half.
Joining Hoggard in double-figure scoring were Alex Lanier with 12 and Trent Davidson with 10.
Brian Warren led TEACH with 22 points while Avery Bowen had 18.
“They finally started listening to me,” laughed Bethel coach Roy “Buddy” Denton.
“Seriously, a lot of teams we’ve been playing are out of our league and when you play teams like that you get better and better,” he added. “This team is in our league.”
Indeed, Bethel and TEACH will meet again tonight (Tuesday) in Washington in a North Carolina Christian-North Conference regular-season game.
“I told them that if my forwards and center would stay in the paint and shoot nowhere but in the paint or just outside, then we could win the game,” Denton stressed.
Interestingly, the Eagles started the game with good perimeter play. Zach Bazemore and Davidson opening the game by dropping jump shots.
After a quick timeout by TEACH the raining of jumpers continued with Hoggard draining a couple before scoring on a putback layup. The 6’-2” sophomore ended up scoring nine in a row and 11 of the Eagles’ 17 points in the quarter.
Meanwhile, after opening down eight, TEACH recovered to score 10 and trailed by six, 17-11, after the first eight minutes of play.
The Trailblazers slowly crept back into the game in the second quarter and after a Warren jump shot three minutes into the frame the Bethel lead was just one point, 20-19.
But Denton’s boys responded by outscoring TEACH, 14-6, the rest of the half and bulged their way to a nine point, 34-25, lead at halftime. The Eagles did it by spreading the floor and getting easy back door layups.
TEACH trimmed the lead to just three in the opening minutes of half number two and the score stood at 36-33 before Lanier scored a couple of quick layups to push the lead to seven.
But Bethel went cold the next four minutes while TEACH heated up. The ‘Blazers got within one on a steal and layup by Warren.
They were also deadly at the charity stripe, making their first ten foul shots in a row.
Lanier made a free throw for Bethel, but Warren got free on a screen and his three-pointer gave TEACH it’s only lead of the game, 44-43. It looked like the ‘Blazers would lead headed into the fourth quarter but Lanier got a layup just as the horn sounded.
Determined to not be shown up in their own gym and perhaps looking ahead to tonight’s league game, Bethel poured it on in the fourth. The Eagles scored the quarter’s first seven points to lead, 52-44.
The host team also stepped up their defense, limiting TEACH to just seven points in the last eight minutes of play. Down the stretch Bethel salted the game away by going 6-of-9 from the free throw line.
“The Achilles Heel for us has been offensive rebounding,” said TEACH coach, Jason Kirkman. “We just have to work on getting a body on people because down the stretch they were able to just drive by us.
“Maybe the result will be different in Washington on Tuesday,” he added.
Bethel ends their early season non-conference schedule at 2-6, but heads to league play with a win.