Late in a year where not much has gone the way of the Bethlehem Christian Academy boys basketball team, Knights coach Mike Elmankabady said the trick is keeping his team motivated and buying into the chance their fortunes could turn.
That likely won’t be a problem Thursday as the Knights close out their regular season at Dominion Christian in a GISA Region 1-AAA contest.
In the teams’ first meeting on Jan. 27 at BCA, Dominion overcame a 13-point second-half deficit to win 55-51.
The winner of the game will be the fifth seed in next week’s region tournament while the loser will be the sixth seed.
“Our guys took that one pretty personally,” Elmankabady said of the blown lead and loss against Dominion last month. “We’ve got three days this week to practice and prepare. So hopefully we’ll be well rested and prepared come Thursday.”
BCA’s latest outing was a 65-39 lead at rival Loganville Christian. The Lions used an aggressive and pressing defense early to jump out to a quick 16-2 lead and kept rolling from there.
The Knights (4-15, 0-9 region) cut the lead down to single digits in the second quarter, but got into foul trouble as all five of their starters had at least two fouls before the half.
“We made mistake after mistake and things kept compounding on us,” Elmankabady said. “We felt like we were in there and competing and then you look up at the scoreboard and we were somehow out of it. Our guys fought hard. They just outclassed us.”
The Knights will open the region tournament at Loganville Christian on Tuesday against either LCA or Trinity Christian, Sharpsburg. That game will be played at either 7 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. With a win in the first round of the six-team tournament, the Knights would clinch a state playoff berth.
“That’s the beauty of tournament basketball,” Elmankabady said. “You just throw the records all out and win and you’re in. That’s what we have to be aiming for now.”
The BCA Lady Knights defeated Loganville Christian and are 7-12 overall and 3-6 in the region heading into Thursday’s game.
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