CASSTOWN — It was a defensive battle for two quarters.
But, a second Bethel run in the second half was too much for Miami East to overcome as the Bees came away with a 44-35 victory in CCC action Thursday night.
Bethel improved to 10-5 overall and 6-4 in the CCC, while Miami East dropped to 8-9 overall and 7-3 in the CCC.
“I thought Miami East had the perfect scheme against us in the first half,” Bethel coach Corey Steinke said about the game being tied at 15 at halftime. “We were missing 3-pointers and we were not attacking the basket.”
Miami East coach Bruce Vanover wasn’t disappointed with his defense.
“But, they shut us down too in the first half,” he said. “We knew the first three minutes of the second half were going to big. And it ended up being big for Bethel.”
The Bees two leading scorers Liz Reittinger and Kenna Gray had been quiet for a half. But, both hit 3-pointers to open the second half and Rhyan Rettinger added a basket to make it 23-15.
“We challenged them at halftime,” Steinke said. “I think those 3-pointers were the key. That is what opened things up for us.”
But, Miami East would come flying back, with back-to-back 3-pointers by Paxton Hunley and Lauren Wright give East a 28-25 lead with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter.
It would then be Bethel’s turn again, scoring 11 straight points to take a 36-28 lead with 5:28 to go.
A Sam Wiley basket and two Lydia Lowery free throws put Bethel up 29-28 after three quarters.
Bethel opened the fourth quarter with baskets by Skylar Johnson and Liv Reittinger and a Natalie Moorman 3-pointer.
“Natalie (Moorman) had a great game,” Steinke said. “She is as good a ball handler and defensive player as there is.”
Miami East pulled back within four twice — on 3-point plays by Megan McDowell and Rori Hunley.
The Vikings were within 39-35 when Reittinger grabbed a rebound and scored on a putback and Bethel would add the final three points of the night.
“That was a huge basket by Liv (Reittinger),” Steinke said. “We were only up four points at the time.”
Vanover said the Vikings just have to get better.
“There is still a second season,” he said. “That is what we are playing for, to get better for the second season. The bottom line is we just did not score enough points tonight.”
Moorman led Bethel with 13 points and Liv Reittinger scored 12.
Wright hit four 3-point field goals to lead Miami East with 12 points.
Miami East will host Trotwood Saturday.
Bethel will be busy.
The Bees play Newton Saturday, Kenton Ridge Monday and travel to Riverside Tuesday.