By Jake Thompson
BROWNSBURG — After losing by 22 points to Faith Christian midway through the season, the Bethesda Christian girls’ basketball team hoped for a different result last night. What the Patriots received instead was a worse outcome than the first outing with a 55-17 loss to the visiting Eagles.
Bethesda coach Wayne Leichty thought the first defeat may have been on the Patriots’ minds as they took the court.
“I tried to get the message across pregame with a quote that basically went ‘If you look at them with awe, you’ll never be able to compete with them,’” he said. “It showed and never got to their heads. We were hoping for a better outcome with more execution. We lacked intensity.”
Bethesda never led the entire game and tied it once at 2-2 early in the first quarter. By the end of the first period the Eagles had jumped out to a healthy 14-2 lead.
Faith Christian’s 2-3 trap defense caused havoc all night for the Patriots who committed 32 turnovers.
Bethesda trailed 31-6 by the half, scoring two baskets in the second period with both before the five minute mark.
“As the score was going up, you could see the morale going down,” Leichty said.
The Eagles continued to harass the Bethesda ball handlers, creating easy baskets in transition and at the end of three quarters led, 49-9.
Faith Christian coach Lynn Heusinger sat his starters for the fourth and backed off on the aggressive defense.
Bethesda scored seven points in the fourth as senior Cassie Mitchell had two baskets.
It was not the way Leichty envisioned senior night going for Mitchell, Kendra Okey and Carly Baker. Bethesda honored the trio at halftime.
“(I) wanted to see them go out on a strong note and it just didn’t happen,” Leichty said. “I have always loved their effort. Cassie hustles around the court, Kendra sticks with it and never quits and Carly has been a huge asset for us this year. All three are good leaders and have done a great job the whole year.”
With one game remaining against Seton Catholic Feb. 2 before the Patriot’s Feb. 5 sectional opener against University, Leichty hopes the girls can shake off this game and move forward into the postseason.
University (3-15) handed Bethesda (11-8) its first defeat of the season, a 42-20 loss on Nov. 27.
“We have to move on from this and forget about it,” Leichty said. “We have to take a good look at things we didn’t do tonight. We have to remember what we did do well and try to improve on those.”