by Tommy Wells
The Bethel Regional High School Warriors went through a scoring drought in the second and third quarters on Saturday and the Delta Huskies took advantage of it. The Huskies outscored Bethel by a 27-18 clip in the two frames and then held on to claim a 61-51 victory in the championship game of the 2020 Dean Cummins Basketball Tournament.
Bethel finished the three-day tournament with a 2-1 record. The tournament, now in its 14th year, was held on Jan. 16-18 in Delta Junction.
Bethel held its own through much of the first eight minutes of play. Peter Crow capped a solid initial 7:58 of play for the Warriors by driving into the lane and pushing home a short floater that tied the score at 14-14 with 24 seconds left in the frame.
Delta, making its first appearance in the tournament championship game in seven years, caught a break in the closing seconds. The Huskies hit the front end of a two-shot free throw opportunity with 2 seconds left and then, following a turnover, banks in a three-point shot at the buzzer to take a slim 18-14 cushion into the second.
Eli Mortenson carried Bethel offensively in the first. He pumped in nine of his 11 points in the first period. Crow, Jarvis Evans and Hayden Lieb also added points.
The BRHS offense slowed in the second. Bethel managed just nine points in the ensuing frame and went into the half down by 12, at 35-23.
Nelson Evans tallied six of the Warriors’ second-quarter points. He finished the game with a team-high 13.
Delta continued to add to its lead in the third. They posted a 10-9 run in the stanza and took a 45-32 lead into the fourth.
The Warriors breathed new life into their offensive game in the fourth. Sparked by three-pointers by Nelson Evans and Jarvis Evans, Bethel battled its way back to within nine late in the frame.
Jarvis Evans led all BRHS scorers in the fourth by throwing in five of his nine the final stanza.
Jamin Crow also played well for Bethel. He tallied eight in the contest. Lieb and Peter Crow chalked up five apiece.
Bethel opened the tournament with an impressive showing on Thursday. The Warriors routed Galena in the first round by a 73-58 margin. The win sent BRHS into the semifinals to face off against Hutchison, which had downed Glennallen in its opener.
Bethel punched its ticket to the finals with a 71-69 victory over Hutchison on Friday.
Jarvis Evans and Jamin Crow were both named to the all-tournament team.