Bethel’s basketball teams endured defeats in their first games at the 3A state tournament today. They both go on to play Friday for a chance to earn a fourth-place finish in the 3A championship on Saturday.
The girls were first on the court Thursday morning, facing the Valdez Buccaneers. Bethel scored 30 points to Valdez’s 40. Warrior coach Eric Jung predicts that Friday's match with Galena at 9:30 a.m. will be much closer.
“We’ve played them a couple times,” he explained. "They’re really a good match-up for us. Should be a fun game.”
Coach Jung hopes that the Warrior girls will advance to the final battle for fourth place on Saturday.
The Bethel Warrior boys took the court right after the girls on Thursday. In the beginning the game with Monroe Christian looked like it might be close, except that Coach Dave Cronk’s Warriors were having a hard time finding the basket.
“We got a lot of shots close to the basket like we really wanted to. Just weren’t making them. We were under 25 percent shooting in the first half, so it’s kind of tough.”
The Monroe Christian Rams ran away with Thursday’s game and there was no coming back. During the first four minutes of the second half, Bethel’s Warriors failed to score a point while the Rams shot six baskets in a row, four of them 3-pointers, before Bethel fans got a chance to cheer when Warrior Avery Hoffman fired in a 3-pointer. The Bethel boys did a little better in the final period, but it was not enough. The game ended with the Warriors behind the Rams by 32 points. The score read 60 points for Monroe Christian to 28 for Bethel.
The boys’ second game will start at 11:00 a.m. on Friday right after the girls’ game at 9:30 a.m. KYUK will bring you both matches live.