After winning three games last week, the Bethlehem Christian Academy girls basketball team couldn’t quite make it four in a row Tuesday.
But even after a 52-34 home loss to Holy Spirit Prep in a GISA Region 1-AAA contest, Lady Knights coach Karen Parker said her team has some momentum going.
“The girls came to play tonight,” said Parker, whose team managed just 17 points in its first meeting with Holy Spirit, the No. 2 team in the region, earlier this season. “I feel great heading toward the end of the year. The girls are playing with a lot of intensity and aggressiveness.”
Olivia Morgan led the Lady Knights (5-8, 1-4) in scoring Tuesday with 15 points, following up a 15-point, 13-rebound performance against Covenant Christian in a 53-21 non-region victory Saturday.
“She has really come alive,” Parker said of the sophomore.
The Lady Knights also notched their first region victory of the year Friday at home with a 39-31 triumph over archrival Loganville Christian.
Bailey Brown scored 15 points, including 11 in the first half. Using her speed, defense and sharp shooting ability, Brown helped fuel a second-quarter run that put BCA up 22-13 at halftime.
She also was a huge factor on defense with a pair of steals in the third quarter, which saw the Lady Lions score just 3 points and the Lady Knights put the game out of reach.
“There was a lot of intensity out there tonight,” Parker said after Friday’s. “I think the girls sensed this was a big game and we needed to go out and get a win. I thought we did a much better job all around.”
But the rivalry game was also chippy as both teams were whistled for several fouls.
“There was a little bit of pushing and shoving in there and that happens sometimes,” Parker said. “Our girls have got to learn to funnel that frustration in different ways.
“We had too many turnovers and bad shots and some of that was a result of those frustrations.”
Boys drop pair
of region games
In the boys game Tuesday, BCA turned heads early, going bucket for bucket with Holy Spirit in the first half.
But the Cougars clamped down hard in the second half, overwhelming the Knights en route to an easy 79-31 win.
“We played hard and played really well and executed the first half,” BCA coach Mike Elmankabady said. “But they started pressing us in the second half. They’re an athletic and long team and we couldn’t even get into our half-court offense without committing a turnover. When you face a team like that, you don’t want to put them in a position for easy buckets in transition.
The Knights (4-9, 0-5) also handily defeated Covenant Christian on Saturday, 59-36, but weren’t as successful as the girls against Loganville Christian.
In an equally contentious battle, BCA fell victim to several quick runs by Loganville Christian in a 70-56 loss despite Drew Peevy’s 26-point effort. It was a tough blow for the Knights, who drpped a pair of 52-point blowouts to the Lions a year ago and were hoping to exact revenge.
Things looked promising early as Peevy knocked down three 3-pointers in the first quarter, the third of which cut LCA’s lead to 13-11. But the Lions answered back with a 7-0 run to go up 20-11.
Then after Peevy cut the lead back to three points late in the second quarter, the Lions got a steal and converted on back-to-back three-point plays to boost the cushion back up to 9 at the break.
KJ Chambers led LCA with 18 points on the night.
“We knew this was going to be a high-scoring game and were hoping it would be back and forth and we’d have a chance to be in it at the end,” Elmankabady said afterward. “What it comes down to is we just did not do a good enough job on the glass. They got too many rebounds and too many second chances. They definitely had a size advantage on us but there are ways you can play around that by doing a better job of boxing out and playing solid defense.
“Our guys know what we have to do to win games like that. It’s just having the will to go out there and do it.”
Both BCA teams return to action Thursday with region matchups at Trinity Christian, Sharpsburg. The girls will tip off at 6 p.m. with the boys to follow.