In a 51-45 loss to 6-0 Perkins-Tryon, a top ten team in 4A, Bethel learned that they are improving every game and they can play with anyone.

Winning is more fun, but you can learn a lot in a loss.

In a 51-45 loss to 6-0 Perkins-Tryon, a top ten team in 4A, Bethel learned that they are improving every game and they can play with anyone.

"I played players tonight who haven't had as much playing time," Coach Tara Satterfield said. "I am proud of the kids. They played their guts out and showed a lot of heart."

The Lady Wildcats jumped to an early lead when Kennedy Gregory scored inside and Kelsie Wood hit two straight threes to give Bethel a 10-4 lead.

But Perkins-Tryon is a team that features three players over six-feet tall. They got on track and captured a 12-10 lead after the first quarter.

After PTHS extended the lead to 15-10, Bethel rallied to take the lead on a Keagan Engle free throw, another basket by Gregory and a three by Paige Hubler.

The teams went into their halftime locker rooms tied at 20-20.

After the break, Perkins-Tryon was forcing a lot of action and getting away with some physical play. Satterfield received a technical foul from a referee when she was fighting for her players and those free throws and a three-pointer on the next possession gave Perkins a 29-22 lead.

But the Bethel student section wasn't ready to give up on the Lady Wildcats and the energy they brought at that point helped push the team on the floor.

Gregory - who finished with 15 points - scored to keep the crow going and Laney O'Rourke hit a layup to cut into the Lady Demon lead.

But Kirsten Winters really got the crowd going when she hit a catch and shoot three-pointer at the third quarter buzzer to tie the game at 29-29.

"The student section was amazing. It makes things exciting when these kids react like that," Satterfield said. "That's something we are trying to get back here is the excitement with Bethel basketball."

The fourth quarter saw the momentum swing back and forth throughout.

Gregory even hit a three to keep Bethel close.

"She (Gregory) has come a long way. She is hard to stop, period," Satterfield said. "She is so strong. We stop her sometimes by not getting her the ball enough. I didn't know how she would do against their three six-footers. She impressed me."

Satterfield said she was happy with her team and hopes this tournament will be something they can build on going forward.

"I have seen a lot of growth in this team," Satterfield said. "They expect to win. They don't just hope to win. That's huge. That mindset is so important."

Wood had eight points for the Lady Wildcats. Winters and Brooke Shaw each had 6.

Bethel is back in action at home against Tecumseh Tuesday night.