BETHEL ACRES—Down, but not out. The Bethel basketball squads played host to Elgin, in the winner’s bracket of the Class 4A regional tournament Thursday night and came out on the short end of the sweep. The Lady Owls opened the night with a 51-34 win, before the Owls took down the Wildcats 63-26.
In the opener, the Lady Owls wasted little time in establishing inside dominance. Paige Pendley and Kailah Ballou proved to be too. Ballou scored eight first quarter points while Pendley hit for six, helping Elgin fly to a 16-9 first quarter lead.
The Lady Owls led 25-16 at the half.
Bethel stayed within striking distance in the first half, thanks to a pair of treys by Kelsie Wood and Paige Hubler.
Elgin increased the lead to 37-24 after the third quarter, then blew the game open on a 9-0 run to begin the fourth. Wood ended the run with a bucket at the 4:50 mark, but it was too late.
Wood led Bethel with 10 points, while Kennedy Gregory netted 6. Kirsten Winters and Harley Gregory each added four for the Lady Wildcats.
Ballou led all scorers with 19 and Pendley finished with a dozen. Gabby Cummins scored 13 for the Class 4A third-ranked Lady Owls, with all of her points coming in the second half.
In the boys’ game, Elgin seized control early and never looked back. They took an 18-7 lead after the first quarter and took a 26-15 lead into intermission. Bethel’s Drae Wood tried to keep the Wildcats in it with nine of his team-high 11 points coming in the opening half.
The Owls took over the game in the third and did so on the defensive end. Elgin held Bethel to just six points in the third. The Owls finished the third quarter on a 10-0 run, after a Devin Acklin Wildcat bucket at the 3:42 mark.
Elgin hit four treys in the final quarter to quickly expand the lead.
Holdon Bartosovky and Connor Slater led Elgin with 11 points each. Jayden Parker scored eight for the eighth ranked Owls.
Both Bethel squads will now face elimination Friday, as they enter the consolation bracket of the regional tournament. The Lady Wildcats will play Madill at 6:30 pm before the Wildcats will take on Byng at 8 p.m.. The two games will be played at Bethel High School.