It was a rough start that set the Bethel girls’ basketball team deep into a 15-point deficit in the opening period in their tournament opener, and they could never get the lead.

Although they had their chances.

Bethel lost to Middletown Madison 52-46 on Saturday at Franklin Monroe in the Division Three sectionals to end their season. Alaina Hawthorn led the way for the Bees with 10 points.

While the Bees did use a huge comeback to nearly pull off the amazing comeback, they were doomed at the free throw line going 13-31 for the game.

Madison dominated the first eight minutes, as they bolted out to a quick 6-0 lead, and after Kayla Grable finally broke through for the Bees with a shot at the rim, the Mohawks dominated the final five minutes of the first quarter, taking a 17-2 lead into the second period.

Bethel started their comeback with four quick points to open the second period as Becky Schweiterman and Hawthorn scored, and the Bees held Madison scoreless the first three minutes of the second period. Hawthorn scored again with 4:32 left in the half to get their deficit into single digits, but the Mohawks finished the second quarter with a 7-2 run over the final four minutes, and enjoyed a 27-13 lead at the half.

Bethel fought back in the third period to trail by 11 points heading to the fourth period, and the Bees used a scrappy fourth period to get back into the game.

With Madison leading 49-36, Bethel ran off nine straight points as Madison struggled at the free throw line late, while the Bees battled back. Schweiterman and Hawthorn each scored to close their deficit to 49-45 with 40 seconds left.

Madison freshman point guard Kenzi Saunders led all scorers with 23 points.

Tippecanoe - It was an easy sectional tournament opener for the Red Devils, as they defeated Graham 67-29 last week. They played last night in the second round against 6-14 Urbana, and a win would send them into the sectional championship game this Saturday at noon at Tecumseh High School.

Tecumseh - The Arrows won their sectional tournament opener last week, defeating Miamisburg 58-44 to advance to tonight’s second round game.

Corinne Thomas led the Arrows with 21 points, while Allison Berner added 13 and Presley Griffitts had 11 for Tecumseh.

The Arrows are back in action tonight at Vandalia Butler, 7:30 against Fairmont. The opening game that evening at 6 p.m. is Centerville vs Beavercreek.