After giving up a season high 81 points at Lebanon in their last game, the Patriots topped themselves in a way they certainly did not want to.
Bethesda Christian struggled all night long to stop visiting Heritage Christian, giving up 82 points in an 82-60 loss in the final home game of the season.
“They were more prepared, they played harder, and they wanted it more,” said Bethesda coach Darin Grice. “They shot 50 percent from the field and better than 50 percent from the three point line. That is a reflection of our defense and their ability to get the ball where it needed to be. We’re pretty disappointed with our defensive effort.”
The defensive numbers were not good for the Patriots on this night. Five different Eagles scored at least 13 points and Heritage Christian regularly got to the foul line when they weren’t scoring. The Eagles hit 16-of-23 free throws while Bethesda was only 6-of-14.
Both teams were ready to run in this one. Each team played at a fast pace throughout and early on it looked like Bethesda Christian would have some success. The Patriots trailed just 17-14 after one period, but held its only lead of the game at 7-6 for just eight seconds.
It was the middle two quarters that allowed Heritage Christian to pull away. Nick Hoover scored 10 of his 17 points in the second quarter as the visitors scored 51 points over the middle two quarters. He was helped by Anthony Warrum, who had 17 points off the bench for Heritage Christian
“We don’t use ball fakes like we should and we do a lot of telegraphing,” said Grice of his team’s inability to keep pace with the Eagles. “We’re honestly not that difficult to play against right now. We have to work on becoming more difficult and those are simple things like ball fakes, pass fakes, and other keys to success.”
Heritage Christian pushed its lead to 43-31 by halftime and used a big third quarter to extend the lead. The Eagles consistently attacked the paint and caused turnovers to create more offensive opportunities. Bethesda Christian finished the night with 18 turnovers and trailed 68-44 after three quarters.
The Patriots’ biggest struggle offensively on the night was that it could not sustain runs while stopping the Eagle attack. Bethesda Christian never had a run more than five straight points, while the visitors had little trouble putting together small runs of 5-7 points.
There were a few positives on this night for the Patriots, however. Skylar Kelso led all scorers with 23 points and he connected on four three pointers. Sophomore George Wion also had a solid night with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
“He did some good things,” said Grice of Wion’s play. “We expect a lot out of him and sometimes we forget he is just a sophomore and has only been playing basketball for about two years. In reality he is doing very well for his experience but he is young and still made some mistakes too.”
Bethesda Christian will finish the regular season by visiting Indianapolis Lutheran and International later this week.