Stevenson's 40 points fuel Lady Wildcats over Harrah

Brian Johnson
Bethel's Parker Stevenson fires off a shot against visiting Harrah Monday night. Stevenson poured in 40 points and hustled for 10 rebounds as the Lady Wildcats beat Harrah, 65-54.

BETHEL ACRES – Coach Tara Satterfield challenged her Bethel Lady Wildcats Monday night to play like they may not be able to get back on the basketball floor again.

COVID-19 forced the postponement of Bethel's home and season opener last Friday, but the Lady Wildcats, behind sophomore Parker Stevenson's whopping 40 points, made the most of their 2020-2021 debut Monday and posted an impressive 65-54 victory over the Harrah Lady Panthers at the B.E. Cantrell Fieldhouse.

“It was really exciting. We were on pins and needles and finally excited to kick it (the season) off. You never know if and when you will get a call about a postponement or cancellation,” said Satterfield. “I told the kids to play like it is your last game and it could very well be.”

Stevenson's 40 points came off 11-of-18 shooting from the floor and 15-of-17 free throws as she also knocked down three 3-point shots while totaling 10 rebounds for a double-double. She also recorded a steal.

“We're young. In the first half, particularly the first quarter, we were really nervous. We only had one player, Parker Stevenson, who had ever started,” Satterfield said.

Payton Meiler added 10 points, including three treys, to go with three rebounds and Adyson Adamek chipped in eight points, a game-leading 12 boards (five on the offensive end) and three steals for Bethel (1-0).

The Lady Wildcats were down 31-29 at the half, but opened the second half with a 17-0 run to take control of the game. Bethel outscored the Lady Panthers 19-5 in the quarter as Harrah was just 1-of-9 from the field while committing four turnovers in that period alone.

“In the third quarter, we really played good defense. That was big,” said Satterfield. “Payton Meiler hit three 3s in crucial spots and Adamek's offensive rebounds led to a few buckets. I'm proud of our young kids.”

The Lady Wildcats also received four points from Brooklyn Duff and three from Bella Thomas off the bench.

Bethel's 17-0 surge was highlighted by eight points from Stevenson – an old-fashioned 3-point play, a steal which led to layup and a 3-point bank shot. Meiler had seven of her points during that stretch off a pair of treys and a free shot. Adamek's follow-shot triggered the uprising at the outset of the third quarter.

The Lady Wildcats ended up with a 12-point cushion at the end of three periods, 48-36, and actually pushed their advantage to 16 points (54-38) with 5:07 to go off a Stevenson bucket. They held a 15-point lead with 2:26 remaining after two Stevenson free shots.

Ketaya Sparks paced the Lady Panthers with 14 points while Lauren Lisby and Malia Jordan chipped in 12 apiece. Jordan drained three 3-point shots while Lisby and Sparks converted two apiece.

Bethel had a 34-24 rebounding advantage.

The Lady Wildcats shot 55.3% from the floor, but were only 65.4% from the foul line. They overcame 16 turnovers. Harrah shot only 34.6% from the field and 58.9% from the line while committing 11 miscues.

Bethel's scheduled game at Sulphur Tuesday night was postponed. The Lady Wildcats are set to host the First United Bank Classic, beginning Thursday. Bethel will battle Perkins-Tryon at 6:45 p.m. Other first-round girls games include McLoud against Byng at 9 a.m.; Chandler opposite Bridge Creek at 12:15 p.m. and Tecumseh against Prague at 3:30 p.m.