BROWNSBURG — The Bethesda Patriots boys’ basketball team and first-year coach Justin Cook continue to try and find their way together. For spurts last night, the Patriots played very well against visiting Fall Creek Academy.
Unfortunately for Bethesda, those runs were not sustained long enough and the Engineers went home with a 67-53 victory. Cook believes if the Patriots can buy into the team basketball concept, like Bethesda did when going on its runs, the sky is the limit.
“We saw what happens when we will commit and sell out to team basketball, playing for each other, playing our guts out, getting on the floor,” Cook said. “And we saw what happens when we don’t do that.”
A slow first quarter by both squads led to a 10-9 Bethesda lead after one.
But that all changed as the tempo increased after Fall Creek Academy’s James Caldwell hit back-to-back 3–pointers to begin the second quarter. Bethesda’s Malik Roper hit the Patriots’ first shot at the 5:37 mark of the period, just under five minutes from the team’s last basket.
Roper was the only Patriot to score in that quarter besides a late 3-pointer from Patrick McCurry.
Fall Creek Academy’s full-court press and stifling 2-3 zone kept Bethesda unbalanced offensively, forcing the Patriots to search for shots.
The Engineers went on a tear in the second quarter, putting up 21 points on 9 of 14 shooting while going 3 of 5 from behind the arc.
Bethesda shot well when it got attempts off, going 4 of 7.
Also a problem all game for the Patriots was their play in the paint. The Engineers drove the lane, scoring at will and outrebounded Bethesda for the game, 32-15.
“We just didn’t go to war,” Cook said. “We came out soft like tender church boys and then we wonder why we don’t get rebounds. We don’t go to war in the paint. When we do we will be able to go somewhere.”