The Bethel-Tate Lady Tigers tipped off the 2015-2016 campaign with a tough home contest last Friday against the Little Miami Lady Panthers.
Bethel took an early 7-2 lead after the first quarter and expaned on it a tad to lead 18-12 at the half. However, the Panthers marched back into the game in the third quarter, out-scoring Bethel 16-12 to set up a decisive fourth and final frame. The Lady Tigers survived 31 second half points from Little Miami to open the season with a 46-43 victory.
Victories don’t come with style points and they all go in the win column regardless of how they looked. Bethel head coach Dave Fallis said this victory was not necessarily one of the more attractive ones.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Fallis said. “We pulled out the win. Our execution was where we’d expect it to be at this point in the season but the effort was top-notch. We were getting on the floor, going after balls and we played with a lot of intensity. It was a close game against a very talented team.”
Freshman Kaitlyn Simpkins led the Panthers’ offensive attack, tallying 14 points on 6 of 13 shooting. Teammate Alecia Kemp hauled in 12 rebounds for Little Miami, which prompted Fallis to note neither team shot particularly well from the floor.
“Both teams shot 29 percent from the field,” Fallis said. “You could tell it was the first game of the season. We got out-rebounded 47 to 33. They had a couple of big post players, we didn’t box out well and we gave them a lot of post rebounds. We need to quickly fix that before we play Georgetown.”
The Lady Tigers had a pair of players finish with double-digit rebounds. Morgan Reinhart and Alyssa Demaris racked up 10 and 11, respectively, though neither finished in double-digit points. Senior Allison Parks led Bethel with 15 points, including one three-pointer. Senior Julia Jenike shot just 2-17 from the field, but finished with 12 points thanks to a much-better percentage from the free throw line. The senior hit eight of her 11 free-throw attempts.
Bethel as a team hit 15 of their 20 attempts. Fallis was happy with the execution at the charity stripe, which he chalked up to an aggression on the court.
“That was just straight-line drives to the rim, attacking the basket,” Fallis said. “We shot 15 of 20 from the free-throw line, and 75 percent from the stripe in your first game is not too bad in my book. We need to continue to attack the rim and get to the free throw line.”
The Lady Tigers didn’t have nearly as much depth as Little Miami, but they were able to come together as a team to pull out the victory.
They played 14 or 15 kids, we played a rotation of seven and we got pressed the entire game,” Fallis said. “We learned a lot about ourselves and the girls found a way to pick up the first win of the season.”
A trip to Georgetown to face the Lady G-Men now awaits the Lady Tigers. The two Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference foes square off Monday, November 30 at 6 p.m.