by Tommy Wells
The Bethel Regional High School Lady Warriors would have made pop star Beyonce proud this past weekend. They did, after all, put their ring on the title they wanted most on Saturday.
The Bartlett Lady Bears were the runners up.
Bethel, backed by double-digit performances from Katie Crow and Courtney Williams, finished off a perfect run through the 2018 Ravn Invitational Basketball Tournament by pounding out a thrilling 60-45 come-from-behind romp over Bartlett in the finals of the three-day tournament. The tournament was held Thursday through Saturday in the BRHS WarriorDome.
A Class 4A power, Bartlett didn’t do Bethel any favors early on. The Lady Bears used a dominating outside game to race to a 16-12 lead in the first eight minutes of play. Bartlett’s Amelia Uhlia and Shemah Visrael both knocked down three-pointers in the first quarter to fuel the Lady Bears’ run.
Dorothy Bukowski, Williams and Crow all managed to push home shots in the opening period to help Bethel stay close. Bukowski led the Lady Warriors’ first-quarter efforts with a pair of shots from the field. Williams and Crow both added another while also contributing a point from the free throw line.
Fiola Dema and the Bethel offense began imposing its will on Bartlett in the second. Dema poured in five of her seven points in the frame and helped Bethel grind out 11 points.
The Lady Warriors trailed by a slim three-point margin, at 26-23, at the half.
Williams and Crow helped Bethel put Bartlett on its heels in the third. Two of the state’s top female players, the BRHS twosome powered a staggering 21-8 third-quarter barrage by combining for 14 points.
Williams, who finished the game with 15 points, knocked down eight points the run, including a three-point shot.
The Lady Warriors who collected points from eight different players in the game, didn’t take their foot off the pedal in the fourth. Bethel garnered points from Deja Jackson, Ariana Smith, Williams, Crow, Madison Smith and Marissa Crow en route to outscoring the Lady Bears by a 16-12 clip in the final eight minutes.
The Lady Warriors kicked off the tournament on Thursday with a 65-23 victory over Houston. They followed that with a 52-39 romp over Galena on Friday.
The BRHS girls will face off with Western Conference rival Barrow this weekend. The two teams are scheduled to play Friday and Saturday in the WarriorDome.