BETHEL – The Lady Wildcats had a back and forth game but pulled it off down the stretch to earn a 54-42 win over Southeast in the consolation semifinals of the Area 4 regional tournament at Bethel Saturday night.
The Lady Wildcats started pulling ahead towards the end of the second quarter with a 3-pointer by Kelsie Wood to start a 9-2 run capped on a bucket and two free throws from Kirsten Winters to close out the half with a 29-20 lead.
The game was back and forth in the first half until Wood started the second quarter with her second trey of the game to give the Lady Wildcats a 12-9 lead.
The Bethel girls nailed five 3-pointers in the first half. Coach Tara Satterfield told them they needed to be more aggressive on offense and not be afraid to take shots like they were the in Friday's loss to Broken Bow.
“I thought we shot the ball with a lot more confidence tonight,” she said.
The Lady Spartans shut down Bethel's 3-point attack in the third and went on a 15-8 run to shorten the Lady Wildcats' lead to 37-35 going to the fourth.
Southeasts Tay Blow went to the line for a chance to tie with 5:37 remaining but missed both shots for Bethel to retain the lead. Harley Gregory made a basket to start a 5-0 run capped on a mid-range jumper by Winters to lead 44-37 with 4:10. Southeast used a timeout to reassess the situation at that time but it did little good as Bethel rallied 7-1 for the win.
Winters buckets and 5-8 free throws down the stretch helped secure the win and teach the girls what they need to do in tightly contested games.
“We're learning, we're maturing, I'm seeing a lot of growth, which is good,” Satterfield said.
Winters led all scorers with 19 points and Wood had 11. Kennedy Gregory completed the game with seven points and Paige Hubler had six.
Amari Thompson led Southeast with 12 points and Zykia Flower contributed 10.
Bethel advances to play Pauls Valley Monday at 1 p.m. in the consolation final for a spot at the area tournament.
Satterfield liked how her girls handled the press against Southeast and hopes the increase in confidence will help come Monday.
“We took care of the ball for the most part against the press, which is good because it will give us confidence for when we face Pauls Valley,” she said.