By Jake Thompson
BROWNSBURG — Despite some sloppy play by both teams, the Bethesda Christian girls’ basketball team remained undefeated at 4-0 with a 31-29 defeat of Indianapolis International (0-3) Monday night.
“That does feel great and the girls are just hustling and moving,” Bethesda coach Wayne Leichty said of the Patriot’s record. “But I could tell that with three games straight in three days and we came back with one day off that they were spent. They fought through it and got it done.”
That sluggish residue lingered throughout the first half as the two teams combined for nearly 41 turnovers and the contest was a virtual standstill in the first two periods.
Bethesda scored the first and second field goals of the game at the 5:09 and 3:49 marks of the first quarter, respectively. But the Patriots only hit five free throws for the remainder of the half. The Gryphons were not much better as they tallied eight points and led 10-9 at the break.
Leichty has preached fundamentals since coming back to the program he revived several years ago. But with tired legs and a defense the Patriots had not seen before, Bethesda turned it over 22 times in the first half.
“They threw a 1-2-2 zone at us that we had a hard time adjusting with and where our space needed to be,” Leichty said. “We tried to run our standard offense we were familiar with but couldn’t defeat that 1-2-2.”
Bethesda came out with a new game plan and renewed energy after the break and was led by freshman Morgan Reffeitt’s 15 second-half points. Reffeitt led all players with a game-high 16 points.
“She is one of our freshmen and I kind of saw this coming,” Leichty said. “She came out big for us. By keeping her mentally focused she will be a great asset for this team.”
Also aiding the strong second half effort was Cassie Mitchell, who played hard on both ends of the floor. Mitchell caused havoc all night for the Gryphons offense, disrupting their flow and passing lanes.
“She’s our speed and our quickness,” Leichty said. “(Mitchell) is all out hustle and does it every game. She was spent tonight, but she leaves it all on the floor. I put her on a team’s best offensive player because she irritates people with her aggressive style.”
Between the defensive pressure from Mitchell and Bethesda’s defense and Reffeitt’s play in the middle, things began to click for the Patriots.
Leading 19-16 heading to the fourth, Bethesda began to hit its stride.
The Gryphons closed the gap and tied it at 23-23 with 3:27 remaining but two consecutive baskets from Reffeitt down low extended the Patriots’’ lead once again.
With 6.3 seconds left, Indianapolis International closed to within one of the Patriots, but like she did all second half, Reffeitt came through, this time from the free throw line to seal the win.
“The biggest thing was she was 6 of 7 from the line with two big ones at the end,” Leichty said. “What else can you ask of a freshman?”
Emily Haden and Carly Baker each had four points for the Patriots and Hannah Joiner totaled three.
Bethesda takes a holiday break before taking its undefeated record at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 27 to University High School (0-4).