BETHEL - The Bethel Wildcats jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they defeated Community Christian 68-43 in the season opener Tuesday.

After a 9-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, Peyton Dees who scored 11 of his 15 points in the half, helped his team to a 29-12 lead going into halftime. Coach Shawn Blankenship said he was pleased with his effort through the first two quarters.

“We're a young team so we are going to be inconsistent at times,” Blankenship said. “Defensively, I thought we played hard the whole first half. Offensively, we were sporadic but you expect that from a young team.”

With the lead at half, Blankenship challenged his team to go out and put together a complete game.

“I told them if we want to be good, we need to maintain in the second half and don't relax because we're up,” Blankenship said.

Even though Community Christian picked up the pace in the second half, they were outscored 39-31 by the Wildcats.

“We probably weren't as solid in the second half,” Blankenship said. “That is something we will fight. We had already built a lead, they were pressing and the pace was up and down. I thought we relaxed a little on defense in the second half, but overall I was pleased with what we did.”

In the final minutes of the game, Blankenship was able to get his bench some quality minutes.

“It's nice we got to play everyone on the roster,” Blankenship said. “At the end, I felt like our guys executed and found the open guy, and I appreciated that.”

Ethan Fry led all scorers with 22 points. Dees contributed 15. Despite early foul trouble, Ben Pfeiff added 11 points and 8 rebounds. Anthony Franklin filled the stat sheet with 5 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.

Grant Hawkins led Community Christian with 16 points.

On Friday, the Wildcats (1-0) will travel to Dale to face the Pirates (4-0). Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.

You can reach Adam at (405) 214-3940.