— Will Aldam (@AldamWill) January 15, 2020
STRATFORD — The Bethel girls’ basketball team showed off its strong defense while taking advantage of 16 Bunnell fouls in a 43-33 SWC upset Tuesday night.
Maranda Nyborg led the Bethel charge with 13 points following her recent achievement of collecting 1,000 career points Saturday. Camryn Quinn contributed seven points on the Bethel side as well.
Bethel (5-4) has now won consecutive games for the first time this season after splitting its previous eight games.
Bunnell (7-3) is still off to a strong start despite the loss, but has now dropped two of its last three contests.
The Bethel defense was lights out, allowing 10 or fewer points in each quarter.
“I think we are learning,” Bethel coach Anderson Rawlins said. “We are a young team, we are learning how to play. Every game we get a little bit better. This was a tough game and it is going to help us get to where we want to get be later on in the future.”
Bunnell finished the game with 16 fouls which led to 29 Bethel free throw attempts, 15 of which were converted.
“That is our style of game,” Bunnell coach Francisco Salazar said. “We are going to pressure you; we don’t have the height so we are scrappers. Usually we don’t get the fouls, but today they got called. It is what it is, that is our game plan. Our philosophy is to trap, steal and make layups because we don’t have the 6-3 girl down low for easy points.”
With a 10-9 lead after the first quarter, Bunnell was only able to muster five points before half. Three of those points came from free throws as Bethel was able to separate for a 22-15 lead.
“I personally think that we beat ourselves,” Salazar said. “We rushed the shots in the second quarter, we had the shots but they weren’t going in. It was one and out, one and out and you can’t win like that so we talked about it at halftime and we sort of improved on it. We made a little run for it and then every time we cut it close we got in over our heads again. It is a young team so we have to learn from that but they didn’t quit and they kept fighting, I’m very proud of them.”
Bunnell held Bethel to just five point in the third quarter but struggled to score itself, only cutting three points into the deficit for 27-23 Bethel lead.
Bethel proceeded to go on an 11-1 run behind seven free throws.
“I think all the girls played well,” Rawlins said. “I think in the fourth quarter there defensively they played as a team. When we play as a team, without a shot clock I think it is really hard for teams to score against us and it’s great, we love it.”
The scoring run proved to be enough for Bethel, which coasted in the final minutes to the victory.