Wildcats prevail on Porter's buzzer beater
BETHEL ACRES — Gage Porter canned a 3-point field goal at the final buzzer to give Bethel a 45-44 triumph over Dale Tuesday night.
When Dale, nursing a 44-42 lead, missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free-throw with 10 seconds remaining, Bethel collared the rebound and called timeout.
“On the inbounds play, Gage came off a double screen with a lift-fake and hit the 3-pointer from the wing,” Bethel coach Eric Litherland said. “We’ve had some tough losses this year but the guys have shown a lot of growth and they have responded.”
The game was tight throughout with Bethel leading 33-30 entering the final eight minutes.
Junior Drae Wood headed Bethel’s scoring with 10, followed by Jaylon Gordon and Porter with nine apiece. Gordon had a vital trey in the final quarter.
Dale senior Trae Thompson recorded a game-leading 20 points. Teammate Cedric Scott finished with nine, including a trey.
Dale was 13 of 18 from the line for 72.2%. Bethel was 6 of 8 for 75%.
“We got good scoring distribution,” Litherland said. “Dale is so tough, so solid. They come at you for 32 minutes.”
Bethel improved to 8-4. Dale is 12-3.
Bethel will play Vanoss at 11:50 a.m. Thursday in the first round of the 2020 Heart of Oklahoma Basketball Tournament in Purcell. Dale will take on Clinton at 5:40 p.m. Thursday in first-round play of the Cashion Tournament.
Dale 57, Bethel 48
Propelled by a 20-9 second-quarter advantage, Dale outlasted the hosts.
Junior Danyn Lang, Dale’s top scorer with 14, recorded three of the victors’ seven 3-point field goals.
Elaine Witt added 11 points while Dale teammates Faith Wright and Jaci McClure aided the cause with nine and eight respectively. McClure notched two treys.
Bethel (7-5) held a 13-7 edge after one quarter.
Parker Stevenson, a Bethel freshman, headed all scorers with 19 points, including two 3-pointers.
Senior teammate Kelsie Wood knocked down three shots from beyond the 3-point line en route to 11 points.
Dale connected on 12 of 17 free throws as Witt led the way at 7 of 7.
Bethel was 8 of 11 at the stripe as Stevenson was 3 of 3 while Kennedy Gregory went 3 of 4.
“We had too many turnovers in the second and third quarters,” Bethel coach Tara Satterfield said. “We cut it to three points in the fourth quarter and had some good looks, but they didn’t fall.”
Bethel‘s girls will also take part in the 2020 Heart of Oklahoma Basketball Tournament. The Lady Wildcats will collide with Sulphur at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
“We got off to a slow start but that was a good win for us,” said Dale coach Eric Smith.
The Lady Pirates (9-5) will engage OCS at 11 a.m. Thursday in opening-round action of the Cashion Tournament. It will be the first matchup of the season between the two squads.
Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.