The Bethel Warriors found themselves with a 2-0 record headed into Saturday evening Championship game of the Powerade Al Howard Tip Off Tournament. The Warriors were matched up against the Knights of Colony High School, a 4A team from the Palmer area.
Bethel jumped out to an early lead that they held for nearly the entire first half hitting five 3-pointer in the half, but Colony would hit a last second shot at the end of the first half to go up by 1 point and the half would end 30-29 in favor of the Knights.
Championship-caliber performances continued from both squads in the third-quarter, and Bethel was able to regain the lead, due in part by Ito Naneng’s second 13-point quarter of the game, as Bethel had a 50-45 lead headed into the final stanza.
Bethel’s youth and bench-player inexperience began to show in the final quarter as Warrior starters got into foul-trouble, and eventually Colony would re-take the lead. Bethel had several costly turnovers and mishandled possessions, not to exclude the fact that both teams were in the bonus. Bethel could cut the Knights’ lead to three points several times as the quarter drew to a close, however, the Warriors were unable to bring the game to a tie on several 3-point shot attempts and eventually the final buzzer would sound with Colony outscoring Bethel 71 to 65.
Bethel’s Ito Naneng led all scorers with 34 points. Bethel’s next competition is after the New Year; the ACS Tournament to be played January 2nd through 4th. KYUK will have live coverage of that event.