Bethel girls win defensive battle with Miami East in overtime

CASSTOWN — In a big Three Rivers Conference showdown dominated by defense, Bethel girls basketball team was able to do enough in overtime for a 34-31 victory over Miami East.

Miami East, Bethel and Covington are all 10-2 in the TRC to share first place, with East traveling to Covington on Thursday.

Bethel improved to 17-2 overall, while East dropped to 13-5.

East, who never led at any point in regulation, got a free throw from Maryn Gross with 2:42 remaining in OT to take a 30-29 lead.

After Bethel got a basket from Karley Moore, Jacqueline Kadel hit one of two free throws with 1:04 remaining to tie the game at 31.

Kerigan Calhoun scored with 51 seconds to go to give Bethel a 33-31 lead.

After a steal by Rhyan Reittinger, Maddie Montgomery hit one of two free throws to put Bethel up 34-31 with 12 seconds to go.

Miami East came down but never got a shot off before the buzzer sounded.

Bethel got two baskets from Moore and a 3-pointer by Calhoun to jump out to a quick 7-0 lead to start the game, before East battled back.

Kyleigh Kirby hit a 3-pointer and Gross scored the final three points of the quarter to pull East within 12-9.

East pulled even at 17 late in the first half on a 3-pointer by Kayly Fetters, before Montgomery hit two free throws and Moore added a basket to Bethel a 21-17 halftime lead.

A free throw by Moore, a putback by Calhoun and two free throws by Reittinger gave Bethel a 26-21 lead in the third quarter, but East again rallied.

Fetters hit two free throws and Gross scored off a steal to get East within 26-25.

Moore then scored what would be Bethel’s final field goal before overtime to take a 28-25 lead after three quarters.

Points were hard to come by in the fourth quarter.

Bethel scored just one point and East scored four points.

Moore would hit one of two free throws with 4:56 remaining for Bethel’s final points of regulation, as the Bees would miss eight straight free throws down the stretch.

With 32 seconds to go, Paxton Hunley hit one of two free throws to make it 29-28 Bethel.

Kirby then hit one of two with 21.4 seconds to go after a Bethel turnover to tie it and force overtime.

Moore had 17 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and three blocked shots for Bethel, while Calhoun added 10 points, six rebounds and four steals.

Leah Heffner pulled down nine rebounds, Maddie Montgomery pulled down five rebounds and Reittinger had five steals.

Gross led East with eight points, while Hunley and Jaqueline Kadel each scored six points.

Fetters pulled down nine rebounds and McKayah Musselman pulled down seven.

Bethel was 11 of 27 from the floor for 41 percent and 10 of 25 from the line for 40 percent.

East was nine of 50 from the floor for 18 percent and 11 of 18 from the line for 61 percent.

East won the battle of the boards 37-36 and had 16 turnovers to Bethel’s 21.