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Bethel Wildcats upended to end campaign

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

CHECOTAH — A poor second quarter was too much for Bethel’s boys to overcome Friday night as they fell 62-50 to Eufaula in the losers’ bracket of a Class 3A area tournament.

After being up 12-7 after one quarter, Bethel was burned 17-4 in the second quarter and trailed 24-16.

“We got off to a hot start but the second quarter did us in,” said Bethel head coach Eric Litherland. “Every time we tried to mount a run in the second half, they had big-time answers.”

John Gordon, a 6-foot sophomore, led Bethel’s scoring with 16, including two of the Wildcats’ four treys.

Wildcat senior Jaylon Gordon, who supplied 14 points, canned all five of his free throws. Bethel was 10-for-10 at the line.

Also scoring in double figures for Bethel was junior Drae Wood with 11, including one trey.

Eufaula held a 41-31 advantage after three quarters.

Eufaula knocked down five shots from beyond the 3-point line.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game because they could shoot the ball,” Litherland said.

Bethel, 9-18 last season, finished this campaign at 19-8.

“It was a good year,” said Litherland. “We won our conference, won a district and only lost one game at home. We also defeated seven ranked teams and had buzzer-beating wins over Dale and Tecumseh.”

Litherland will return his top four scorers next season.

Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.