It was business as usual last week for the Bethel boys’ basketball team, as the Bees remained perfect in the Cross Country Conference with a pair of conference wins against Bradford and Arcanum.
The 6-1 Bees opened the week with a 90-42 win over Bradford, in a game where the Bees were in control the entire night.
“I still don’t think we played well in the first half with 11 turnovers, and weren’t totally focuses early,” Bethel coach Brett Kopp. “Our initial goal is to win the CCC (they are not 5-0), and we will do anything we can to keep that goal. The kids refocused at the half and got after it at both ends of the floor.”
“Bradford is doing a great job, we just had more athletes and we proved it throughout the game.”
Bethel was up by six after the opening period, only to outscore the Railroaders 54-24 over the next two quarters.
“When we lost to Fairmont it was because we didn’t keep them in front of us,” Kopp said. “Bradford was getting to the rim. Once we focused on things, we got after them on both ends of the floor. We sealed the game in the second quarter.”
Caleb South led the Bees with 24 points in two and a half quarters, and Kopp said he continues to amaze.
“He created defensive turnovers and we capitalized in transition. He does that well.”
Ryan Rose added 15, Jesse Nickell 14 and Kendal James 12.
“You have a kid like James who had natural ability and smoothness of the game,” Kopp said. “He will be special by the time he is a senior. In the open floor he is just as tough to guard as Caleb.”
*Also last week, the Bees defeated Arcanum 80-43.
“We started off a lot better,” Kopp added. The Bees were up 16-7 after the first quarter and Kopp still was wanting his team to pick up the intensity against the Trojans.
“We still had too many breakdowns, they are well coached and they were position to get rebounds but we needed to do a better job on the defensive end,” Kopp said. “We have a lot of guys who can score and had 11 of 13 score last night. We have the experience but Arcanum is young but will be tough in a couple of years.”
Bethel led 40-18 at the half.
Rose led the Bees with 19, while South added 17 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. James added 10 points.
“Ian Anderson and Tyler Terry are still diving after balls in the middle of the third quarter, and going after rebounds,” Kopp said. “That is what I like to see out of them, they work so hard all the time.”
“This group will lay it on the line for each other and play hard as they can. It is a trickledown effect.”
With the 5-0 start in the CCC, Kopp knows his team is focused and the team is not worrying about the post season, rather keeping on track.
“We are 5-0 in the CCC and you tell the kids the goal, but we are not worrying about a district run right now, we want to win CCC for Bethel, for the first time in seven years. The goal is important for them every day, if you don’t come work hard in practice you will lose minutes. If they get complacent they will lose their spot.”
Bethel returns to action Friday night hosting Yellow Springs.