By Josh Brown
BRANDT — Bethel boys basketball coach Brett Kopp knows what his Bees will face the rest of the season.
“We know we’re going to get everyone’s best shot,” he said. “We got Miami East’s best shot Friday night. We got National Trail’s best shot tonight.”
The rest of the Cross County Conference is running out of shots to take, though.
Defending CCC champion Bethel improved to 13-2 overall and 9-0 in the league Tuesday night, turning a slim two-point lead after the first quarter into a convincing 66-49 victory over visiting National Trail and leaving three more conference games to play.
The Bees, already the only team without a loss in CCC play, had four players in double figures against the Blazers. Ryan Rose led the way with 23 points, Kendal James added 19 points, five rebounds and three assists, Alex Van Haaren had 12 points, 23 rebounds and seven blocks, Caleb South had 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Jacob Evans had one point, five rebounds and three assists.
“We’re more than just Caleb and Ryan,” Kopp said. “Alex Van Haaren had 23 rebounds tonight, Kendal James can do things like that — we’re hard to guard. We had some lulls with execution and some dumb turnovers, but when we’re focused, we’re hard to beat.”
The Blazers stayed within striking distance early, trailing only 17-15 after the first quarter. But Bethel built a 31-23 lead by halftime and led 42-33 going into the fourth quarter, where it outscored National Trail 24-16 to put the game away.
Bethel hosts Covington Friday.
Miami East 42
COVINGTON — Three Buccaneers reached double figures Tuesday night as Covington (4-12, 3-3 Cross County Conference) jumped out in front of Miami East and held on for a 50-42 victory.
Braden Miller and Bradley Wiggins both hit three 3s, with Miller leading the Buccs with 15 points and Wiggins scoring 11. Zach Parrett added 10 points as Covington leapt out to a 22-10 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.
The Buccs were challenged, though, as the Vikings hit five 3s as a team and cut the lead to 31-25 at the half and 37-34 going into the fourth quarter. But Covington was able to make plays down the stretch to seal the win.
Will Hudson led Miami East (7-8, 3-4 CCC) with 11 points, Brendon Bertsch scored nine, Parker Heim added eight and Austin Kearns scored seven.
Both teams are on the road Friday night, with Covington taking on CCC leader Bethel and Miami East traveling to Ansonia.
TIPP CITY — Tippecanoe (9-6, 4-4 Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division) put up a fight against a talented Trotwood team Tuesday night, but the Rams
Cade Gingerich led the Red Devils with 20 points, Caiden Smith added 15 and Dan Hagen scored 10 as Tippecanoe trailed by only two after one at 17-15 but was outscored 21-14 in the second quarter to fall behind 38-29 at the half and never recovered.
Tippecanoe travels to West Carrollton Friday.
Other scores: Piqua (6-8, 3-4 GWOC American North) 52, Fairborn 51. Lehman (4-8) 76, Houston 66. Mississinawa Valley 52, Bradford (1-13, 0-7 CCC) 42.
* Girls Basketball
PLEASANT HILL — Tatum McBride and the Newton girls basketball team bounced back from a tough loss at Covington over the weekend Tuesday night, shutting their opponents out in the second quarter and routing Northwestern 59-28.
McBride scored a game-high 31 points to lead the Indians (10-5), either scoring or having an assist on all 26 of Newton’s first-half points as the Indians grabbed a 26-11 edge at the break and never looked back.
McBride, who was held to only 11 points in Saturday’s loss at Covington, added seven points and five rebounds Tuesday night. She currently averaged almost 22 points, six rebounds and five assists per game.
“Her turnover-to-assist ratio is two to one — which I think is outstanding, considering she handles the ball at least 80 percent of the time,” Newton coach Steve Fisher said. “Teams have been giving her so much respect and scheming defensively. I have no doubt she is the best player in the CCC.
“I’ve been in this conference since 1997 when I was at Bethel, and I have seen no one scheme for any other player like they do her — and I had Matt Witt all four years.”
The Indians travel to Arcanum Thursday.
SPRINGFIELD — Northeastern’s Hayley Suchland scored a game-high 42 points, but Bethel was able to put together a team effort to collect a 62-61 victory Tuesday night.
Kenna Gray and Klaudia Lowery each scored 17 points for the Bees (5-7), who won on back-to-back nights after beating Piqua on Monday.
Bethel travels to National Trail Thursday.
Other scores: Troy Christian (13-2) 52, Greenon 34.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.