Bethel squads take different routes to wins
CHECOTAH — In Class 3A do-or-die scenarios, Bethel’s squads took vastly different paths to area tournament victories Thursday night.
Bethel’s girls remained alive with a 33-32 decision over Vian while Bethel’s boys were never challenged in a 65-41 runaway of Vian.
Both Bethel squads need two more area triumphs to move on to next week’s state tournament.
Bethel 33, Vian 32
On a night when its offense sputtered, Bethel’s defense was rock solid.
Trailing 33-32, Vian gained possession with 45 seconds remaining and opted to milk the clock for a final shot. Vian actually ended up getting three shots, under intense defensive pressure, in the final six seconds but none dropped.
“That was the longest six seconds of my life,” said Bethel coach Tara Satterfield. “Offensively, we played timid. We did play well defensively.”
Bethel (17-9) will try to avoid elimination again today at 1:30 against Eufaula, a Thursday victor over Valliant.
Bethel outscored Vian 9-4 in the final quarter. Kennedy Gregory, who shared Bethel scoring honors with Parker Stevenson at 12, hit a field goal with 1:45 to play to finalize the scoring.
Stevenson canned two 3-point field goals. Paige Hubler had one trey.
No other Bethel player had more than four points.
Vian concluded the season at 15-12.
Of the matchup with Eufaula, Satterfield said, “They are well-rounded with good post players and guards who can shoot. And they are well-coached.”
Bethel 65, Vian 41
Coach Eric Litherland emptied his bench and 10 players scored as the Wildcats moved to 19-7.
Bethel will square off against Eufaula at 3 p.m. today. The Ironheads remained alive with a 47-35 victory over Tishomingo.
For Bethel, John Gordon pumped in 16 points and Jesse Tucker added 13. Tucker deposited two 2-point field goals.
Bethel held a 28-12 halftime advantage and upped that count to 52-26 after three quarters.
The unranked Wildcats have knocked off seven ranked squads this season.
Of Eufaula, Litherland said, “They have some kids that can really shoot it. We will have to defend and rebound. When we’ve done that, we’ve usually won. We’re in a win-and-advance mode.”
Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.