BETHEL — Coming off a tough three-game stretch that saw the team drop matches to Lynchburg, Glen Este and Augusta (KY), the Western Brown Broncos hit the court in Bethel Friday night against the Tigers looking for a victory.
After shaking off a sluggish start to the game, the Broncos were able to ride a 12-0 streak in the fourth quarter to a 45-40 victory over the Tigers.
Neither team played particularly well on offense in the first quarter. The Tigers and Broncos combined to score just 14 points in the quarter, with Bethel holding on to a slim 9-5 lead.
Western Brown head coach Greg Foster said the reasons behind his team’s struggles were fairly simple: turnovers and shot selection.
“Not taking care of the ball, not getting very good shots,” Foster said. “Bethel played really good defense.”
The Tigers jumped in front 15-8 midway through the second quarter, but the Broncos rallied late to tie the game at 18 with less than a minute and a half remaining. Bethel would hit a three-point shot with 48 seconds left in the half, giving the squad a 21-18 lead at the break.
Joe Sams picked up a pair of quick fouls in the quarter for the Broncos, forcing Foster to turn to Timmy Harvey off the bench. Harvey picked up five quick points for the Broncos in the quarter, which caused Foster to praise the Broncos’ junior forward.
“He’s starting to really know his role,” Foster said. “He’s a team player, really good attitude. When his number’s called, he’s always ready to go.”
In the third quarter, the Tigers again jumped out front, this time taking a nine-point lead at 32-23. Western Brown battled back, scoring the final eight points of the quarter to cut the Bethel lead to 32-31.
Another long Bronco run sealed the game in the fourth. Western Brown trailed 36-33 with 5:56 remaining. The Broncos then scored the next 12 points, taking a 45-36 lead. The Tigers would score two baskets with less than 12 seconds remaining, but could draw no closer.
Western Brown’s defense was key to the team’s success, according to Foster.
“Playing defense,” Foster said. “If we play good defense, then we play good offense. If we don’t…our defense is what makes or breaks us.”
Chaiten Tomlin tallied 15 points to lead the Broncos while Sams chipped in 12. Tommy Bingamon scored six points in the fourth quarter for the Tigers, giving him 11 in the game. Trenton Weeks led the Tigers with 13.
Bethel-Tate returns to action against Batavia on Tuesday, Jan. 19. The Broncos return to the court for a road contest against the Georgetown G-Men that same night in a game Foster knows will be a battle.
“It’s Georgetown,” Foster said. “They’re always ready to play.”
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Other scores from around the area:
Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference
Norwood 50, Williamsburg 37
Blanchester 62, Batavia 55
Amelia 73, Clermont Northeastern 41
Goshen at Georgetown (late)
Southern Hills Athletic League
Eastern 61, Fairfield Leesburg 49
Fayetteville 60, Ripley 43
West Union 71, Whiteoak 69
North Adams 56, Lynchburg-Clay 52