INDIANAPOLIS — Despite one of its strongest offensive outputs of the season, Bethesda Christian fell to host Lutheran 74-54 Friday night.
“I was very pleased (with the effort),” Bethesda Christian coach Justin Cook said. “We talk about wars and breaking the game down into those four-minute segments. Every other third quarter this season, we have gotten smashed. That was not the case tonight. The resolve, mentally, to keep battling for the full 32 minutes was a big step in the right direction tonight and hopefully that continues next week into sectionals.”
The Patriots (2-18) fell into a large hole to start the game, as Lutheran (9-10) began on a 24-8 run on its Senior Night. However, Bethesda scored the final four points of the period and cut the deficit to 12.
“It’s always kind of different and emotional to go with some different lineups to get the seniors in there,” said Lutheran coach Tom Finchum. “Some of the seniors, especially one that doesn’t get to play much, did well, so that was awesome.”
The Patriots started the second quarter on a 7-3 run. Though Bethesda fought back, it still faced a 40-22 deficit going into halftime.
The Patriots came out of the locker room strong, beginning the second half on an 8-5 spurt, and were only outscored 21-15 in the period.
In addition, they outscored the Saints 17-13 in the fourth quarter, but the advantage was too much to overcome.
Jake Mlagan led the way for Bethesda with 24 points and six rebounds. Andre Stone scored 15 points, while Andrew Warrick chipped in 11.
“I was pleased offensively, as 54 points for us is a lot,” Cook said. “We talk about looking to get some other guys to be assertive on offense. (Mlagan) can score, but he is not selfish with the ball. He passes it well. When (Warrick) can step up and find his shot, Jake will get it to him, and Andre (Stone) the same way. Those guys hitting shots is really important to our success.”
Malcom Donley scored 14 points to lead Lutheran, while Cole Ballard contributed 11 and Antonio Toscano had 10.
Bethesda will battle International (6-15) at University on Wednesday in the sectional opener.
“(To prepare) we will get all of the tape that we can, study it, and figure out how to give it to the kids in a bite-sized chunk,” Cook said. “We are looking forward to it on Wednesday.”