by Tommy Wells
The Bethel Regional High School Lady Warriors held North Pole to just one shot from the field in the first eight minutes of play on Saturday and rolled to an easy 45-23 victory in the fourth-place game at the 2020 Dean Cummins Basketball Tournament in Delta Junction. Bethel went 2-1 in the three-day tournament.
The Lady Warriors set the tone early against North Pole. The BRHS girls forced several turnovers in the opening frame and built a quick 9-2 advantage. The Lady Patriots, after scoring a basket early on, went more than eight minutes before registering their second field goal.
By the time they did, Bethel had all but buried any hope the Lady Patriots had.
Leah Sosa led a balanced scoring attack by BRHS in the first quarter. She led four Lady Warriors’ efforts by tossing up a three-point shot.
The Bethel offense came alive in the second. Sparked by three-pointers from Jaron Mute and Ava Lieb, the Lady Warriors reeled off a staggering 16-7 run in the frame and rolled into the half holding a 25-9 advantage.
Mute and Lieb combined to net 10 of Bethel’s second-quarter points. Audri Goodwine also played well in the frame.
Bethel continued to own the Lady Patriots on the defensive end at the start of the second half. North Pole scored just twice from the field in the first eight minutes of the second half and watched on as Bethel ballooned its lead to 38-13.
Lieb, who was named to the all-tournament team following the conclusion of the tournament, provided the bulk of the Lady Warriors’ offense in the third by scoring eight of her team-high 13 points.
Bethel tipped off the tournament with a tough 56-49 loss to eventual tournament champion Galena.
The Lady Warriors rallied back on Friday. They earned a berth in the consolation finals with a 53-27 victory over Hutchison.
Galena claimed the girls’ team championship by downing Nome-Beltz by a 60-43 clip on Saturday.