TECUMSEH— The Bethel basketball squads invaded Tecumseh, Tuesday night, and came away with the sweep over the Savages and Lady Savages. The Lady Wildcats started things off with a 42-28 win before the Wildcats capped the night with a 68-58 victory.
In the girls game, the two squads went toe-to-toe for three quarters. Bethel led 12-8 after the first quarter and had a strong outing from Kirsten Winters. Winters scored seven first-quarter points, included a long-distance trey.
Bethel increased the lead to 20-10 with 4:01 left in the half on a free throw by Keagan Engle, but Tecumseh finished the half on a 7-2 run, cutting the deficit to 22-17. Kilee Jones hit a trey to spur the run.
The third quarter was a defensive slugfest. Bethel scored just five points and won the battle. Tecumseh was held to just two free throws by Addison Day. Bethel took a 27-19 lead into the fourth quarter.
Things got real interesting in the final quarter.
Tecumseh began chipping away at the Lady Wildcats’ lead when Jones hit another trey to start the quarter. That cut the lead to 27-22 and after a technical was called on the Bethel bench, Courtney Namsell sank the two freebies and Taylor Walker got a bucket on the possession after the “T” to make it a 27-26 contest.
Tecumseh finally got over the hump when Jones sank two more free throws at the 4:23 mark, giving the Lady Savages the lead at 28-27.
Bethel found composure and comfort at the free-throw line and finished the game on a 15-0 run. The Lady Wildcats hit 13 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter to earn the road win. Kelsie Wood hit 7-of-8 from the line in the quarter and finished with 14 points. Winter also finished with 14 for Bethel.
Jones led Tecumseh with eight points and Day had seven.
In the nightcap, the Wildcats went on an 18-4 tear midway through the second quarter to get some much-needed breathing room. Room they would need throughout the remainder of the contest.
The first quarter ended with Bethel up 10-7, thanks in part to two treys by Anthony Franklin. Tecumseh's Zathan Bowman scored all seven first-quarter points for the home team.
Bethel was up 15-9 when it took off midway through the quarter. Freshman Drae Wood sparked the run with six of the 19 points, including four made free throws.
The Wildcats were on fire from the line the entire night, going 24-of-26 in the hostile environment.
“We shot the ball really well from the free-throw line,” said Bethel head coach Bryan Jennings. “We did a lot of good things tonight.”
The Wildcats took a 36-23 into the half and increased the lead by two more points after the third quarter, leading 48-33. Tecumseh cut the lead to 41-31 on a Ryan Fullbright bucket with 3:42 left in the quarter, but Bethel had an answer, ending the quarter on a 7-2 run. Fullbright scored six of his 10 points in the quarter.
Bethel, as they did all night, answered everything Tecumseh threw at them. The Savages got the lead into single digits, 52-43, at the 4:30 mark on a Kameron Permetter lay-up, but that was a s close as they would come.
The Wildcats continued to attack late in the fourth quarter, keeping Tecumseh at a safe distance. Bethel hit 9 out of 10 free throws in the fourth to seal the deal.
Bethel's Ben Pfeiff led all scorers with 21 points. Frankiln finished with a dozen while Jaylon Gordon and Wood finished with 10 apiece.
Bowman and Permetter led Tecumseh with 15 points each.
The Wildcats will travel to Okemah on Friday night and the Tecumseh squads will head to Jones.