As the teams exited the floor at halftime, Bethel coach Mark Mays and his squad could feel the momentum. They had just turned a late 6-point deficit into a two point halftime lead against one of the league favorites from Arcanum.
Even with just over four minutes left in the third period, the Bees only trailed by five, only to see Arcanum go on a 15-2 run to end the third quarter and cruised in the fourth to a 74-55 win over the Bees.
“We got beat by the three,” Bethel coach Mark Mays said. “We thought we could press them and get some turnovers, but they got hot from the outside and we couldn’t sustain it.”
“Our effort tonight was awesome, we worked really hard.”
Arcanum jumped out to a fast 9-2 lead in the opening four minutes of the game before the Bees started to settle in.
Trailing by seven, Kayla Grable hit a pair of free throws, and Alaina Hawthorne scored on three consecutive trips to the rim to cut the deficit to one.
“She is a go-to player, she just doesn’t realize it yet,” Mays said of Hawthorne. “If she develops that outside shot, she will have something good
Bethel took their first lead on a short jumper from Morgan Chase, and they maintained the lead for the rest of the first period to take an 18-15 lead heading to the second.
Stevie Johnting, who has signed with Cedarville, hit four consecutive free throws early in the second along with one of six three’s from McKenzie Sharritts to give the Trojans the lead, which they help for most of the second period. Another three and two free throws from Sharritts sent the Trojans in front 29-23 with 1:16 left in the half, and it appeared that the host Arcanum squad would start to pull away.
But the Bees battled back behind four points from Hawthorne, along with scores from Delaney Hardert and Crase, and the Bees led 31-29 at the break.
Arcanum came out in the third period and rode the shoulders of Johnting, considered the area’s top player in Division Three heading into the season. She scored 25 on the night, including 12 in the third period as Arcanum led 60-43 heading to the fourth.
In addition to Johnting’s 25, Sharritts added 22 for the Trojans. Bethel was led by Hawthorne with 14, Becky Sweiterman added 12 and Crase had eight.
The Bees return home tomorrow night hosting Bradford at 7 p.m.