By Jake Thompson
BROWNSBURG — The Bethesda Christian girls’ basketball team went into Tuesday night’s opening sectional game with aspirations of delivering the program’s first postseason win. Unfortunately, the Patriots must wait another season before trying again to make history.
University handed Bethesda its first loss of the season four games in on Nov. 27 and also gave the Patriots their last loss, 47-24.
“I think we just started lacking any confidence to make a bucket and that carried over into our defense,” Bethesda coach Wayne Leichty said. “We were losing track of their players and everything just rolled down the hill and snowballed from there.”
Bethesda hung with the Trailblazers through the first quarter, trailing 8-7 heading into the second period. However, the Patriots only scored two field goals and that was a harbinger of things to come.
University opened up a 22-14 halftime lead and Bethesda was fortunate to make five free throws because the Patriots only hit one basket from the floor.
Leichty said he was comfortable with the halftime score and where the Patriots were at, but the third quarter would be Bethesda’s undoing.
“It was pretty devastating,” Leichty said of the Patriots’ third quarter performance.
University outscored Bethesda 18-2 in the third after the Patriots shot just 1 of 12 from the floor and didn’t get to the free throw line. By the time the fourth period started University had the game well in hand, leading 40-16.
One bright spot on the night was the fourth quarter play of Kendra Okey as the senior dropped in eight of her team-high 10 points.
“Kendra finished her strongest game of the year there for us,” Leichty said. “Her offense came alive there in the fourth.”
Patriots freshman Morgan Reffeitt had a solid night as she tallied seven points along with six blocks and six rebounds. Bethesda’s Carly Baker scored three points while Hannah Joiner and Lydia Trapp each recorded two.
Although the Patriots did not achieve a sectional win, they did come out of the season with a winning record, finishing 12-9. That finish gave the Patriots its first winning season.
“That was definitely the highlight,” Leichty said. “That’s the best out of the four years we’ve been going here. We thought we had a chance with this sectional but that didn’t pan out as well. We lost some of our fundamentals as the season wore on.”
Leichty hopes the girls will play and practice through the offseason to improve on what was built this year. He went on to state that if the girls did put forth that extra effort the Patriots “would be in the same boat as this year.”
Bethesda graduates Baker, Okey and Cassie Mitchell and while all three were integral parts of what the Patriots did this year, Bethesda returns a solid sophomore and freshman class that played significant minutes over the course of this season.