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Bethel boys surprise Byng

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

BYNG — A lightning-quick start and excellent free-throw shooting down the stretch keyed Bethel’s 48-35 triumph over Byng Thursday night in the first round of the Ada Nissan/Byng Winter Classic.

Bethel scored the game’s first 11 points, then went on a 10-2 run down the stretch to advance to tonight’s 8:30 semifinals against top-seeded Douglass.

“Our coaches challenged the kids after Tuesday night,” Bethel head coach Eric Litherland said. “We had better effort, rebounded well and played better defense. Our assistant coaches had a great game plan.”

Bethel was coming off a 64-33 road loss to Mount St. Mary.

Drae Wood led Bethel’s scoring against Byng with 12 and received good aid from fellow junior Jesse Tucker with 10. Gage Porter chipped in with nine points.

Bethel (4-3) was up 34-25 entering the final eight minutes, then outscored Byng 14-10 the rest of the way, including a 10-of-10 effort at the free-throw line. For the game, Bethel was 11-of-11 at the stripe.

Porter was 4-of-4 in the final quarter.

Byng recently won the Bethel Classic.

“To beat Byng at their tournament, it just doesn’t happen a lot,” Litherland said. “It was a really good team effort.”

Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.