BETHEL — The Bethel Wildcats shot 64.9 percent from the floor while scoring 41 second-half points in rolling to a 65-48 victory over the Byng Pirates Tuesday night at the B.E. Cantrell Fieldhouse.

Bethel (1-1) placed four players in double figures, led by Jace Johnson’s game-high 23 points, as the Wildcats outscored the Pirates 15-7 in the second quarter in cruising to a 24-17 halftime advantage.

In girls game, Bethel started the sweep with a 47-34 victory over the visiting Lady Pirates.


Bethel 65, Byng 48

The Wildcats, leading 44-37 early in the fourth, then went on a 12-0 tear to take control of the game and put it away.

“It wasn’t a good performance , but you’ve got to give Bethel credit. They shot the ball extremely well,” said Byng head coach Trent Miller. “They got in a zone, packed it in and slowed it down a bit. Our offensive efficiency was better the second half, but we couldn’t get any stops. I don’t think we did a good job of guarding them.”

Byng (1-2) placed three players in double digits as 5-8 senior guard Jared Walker and 6-6 senior center Caleb Timmons led the way with 12 points apiece while Glen Mitchell, a 6-1 senior guard, added 10, including a pair of slam dunks. Walker was 4-of-10 overall, but 4-of-7 from 3-point territory. Timmons also collected three steals.

But it wasn’t enough to offset a Wildcat attack that saw all five of their starters shoot better than 50 percent. Johnson was 6-of-10. Trey Sears, who finished with 13 points, was 5-of-7, including a pair of treys, and Robert Neville connected on 6-of-8 attempts and ended up with 12 points. Cale Jackson, on the strength of 4-of-7 conversions, finished with 10.

The Pirates were far from horrible from the floor (45.7 percent) and even hit 4-of-9 long-range tries (44,.4 percent), but had six more turnovers than the hosts, 17-11, and were out-rebounded by a slim 21-18 margin.

Byng had the slim one-point edge after one quarter when Mitchell banked in a shot at the buzzer. The Pirates’ last lead was 13-11 on Walker’s third 3-pointer of the night. But Bethel responded with a 7-0 run to take the advantage for good as Sears, scored, drew the foul and nailed the ensuing free throw for an old-fashioned 3-point play and a 14-13 Wildcat edge. Jackson and reserve Kyle Woods then converted back-to-back shots to make it 18-13 with 4:58 left before halftime.

Two Mitchell dunks, one late in the second quarter and one to start the third, trimmed the Bethel advantage to five. But the Wildcats’ offensive execu execution was superb in eventually pulling away from Byng.

Nathan Turtle had a team-leading seven rebounds to go with his six points for the Pirates while Dakota Abbott and reserve Denicko Greenhoward tacked on four points each.


Bethel 47, Byng 34

The Lady Wildcats, using a solid transition game, hit 8-of-9 field-goal attempts in the third quarter alone to snatch a 37-25 advantage, while holding the Lady Pirates to just four baskets during that stretch.

Kinsey Freeman, Jordan Byersand reserve Kayla Brown tossed in 10 points apiece to fuel Bethel, which shot 51.4 percent for the game and improved to 2-0. Freeman scored eight of her points in the third period on perfect 4-of-4 shooting. Byers had eight of her 10 in the first half and finished with a game-leading seven rebounds.

Cila Dunigan topped Byng (0-3) with a game-high 12 points as she nailed 3-of-6 field-goal tries, including one 3-pointer, and was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line to go along with a team-leading five boards.

Meleia Gray added six points off the bench for the Lady Pirates and Sydney Loggins chipped in five, including one trey.

Byng shot just 34.3 percent from the field for the game and committed four more turnovers than the hosts, 16-12. The Lady Pirates did out-rebound Bethel by a 25-20 margin.

On the strength of a 6-0 run in the final 4:16, Byng enjoyed a 10-8 lead after one quarter and had a 14-12 advantage with 5:22 to go before intermission.

However, the Lady Wildcats went on a 9-3 run the rest of the half to take a 21-17 advantage. At the break.  In fact, Reba Sliger’s jumper off the glass to give the Lady Pirates a 12-10 edge early in the second was Byng’s only field goal of the quarter.

Leading 23-19 early in the third, Bethel went on a 10-0 spurt to take charge of the contest as Freeman scored six of her team’s 10 points during that stretch.

Both Byng teams return to action Friday as they host Lone Grove. The girls game tips off at 6:30 p.m. with boys action to follow.

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