It was a tale of two halves for the Bethel Bees as they opened the girls’ basketball season last week hosting Arcanum. The Bees suffered through a rough first half, but after they kicked things into gear in the second half, they couldn’t catch the Trojans as the visitors from Darke County earned a 47-35 victory.

The Bees trailed by 16 points in the third period before Bethel battled back to within five points with over five minutes left but could not finish. Arcanum shutout the Bees the remaining 5:48 of the game to earn the win.

“We came out a little slow tonight,” Bethel coach Corey Steinke said. “Alaina (Hawthorn) got in foul trouble and they went on a run and it hurt us.”

“I give my freshman Kenna Gray a lot of credit, she stepped up when she had to as a freshman. She gave it her all.”

It was an ugly start for both teams, as neither team could put the ball in the net, as it was 2-2 four minutes into the game. Macey Hartman and Kayla O’Daniel gave the Trojans the lead in the opening period before Alaina Hawthorn hit a short jumper in the final seconds to close their deficit to 9-6 after the first period.

Hawthorn picked up her third foul of the first half early in the second period, forcing the Bees to play without her for several minutes. Arcanum reeled off 10 consecutive points to push their lead to 21-8 with 3:47 left in the half before Steinke was forced to put Hawthorn back into the game.

“I was waiting and she was sitting there and said she wasn’t going to do anything stupid and I almost pulled the trigger with over five minutes to go and I couldn’t. With three minutes left, my assistant said it’s now or never so I put her back in.”

The Bethel senior Hawthorn contributed the final four points in the half, but Arcanum used four points from O’Daniel to take a 27-12 lead at the half. In fact, Hawthorn played most of the second half before she fouled out in the fourth period.

Bethel still trailed by 13 after the third period, but in the fourth, they stepped up. Their defense held Arcanum scoreless for the opening three minutes of the final period while the Bees offense got them back in the game at 40-35. While Arcanum couldn’t score in the first three minutes of the quarter, Bethel went silent in the final five minutes and couldn’t recover to take the loss.

The Bees return to action at Bradford tomorrow night, then next Tuesday they travel to Xenia.

Bethel Boys Basketball- The Bethel boys battled Williamsburg on Saturday morning at Southern State as a part of the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic, and earned their first win of the season with a 76-49 victory.

Ryan Rose led Bethel with 27 points, while Kendal James scored 26 and earned player of the game of the tournament. The Bees played without Caleb South, who is out indefinitely with an injury with his return date unknown.

James also was 9-11 from the field, while Rose added five assists, Alex Van Haaren had five points and 12 rebounds, with Jacob Evans scoring nine points and six rebounds.

The Bethel boys return to action Friday night at Mississinawa Valley, then head to Ansonia on Saturday.

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