By Josh Brown
and Rob Kiser
BRANDT — The Bethel boys basketball team is off to a solid start this season.
Caleb South — who hit the 1,000-point career mark in the season opener — led the way with 33 points and the Bees outscored Northeastern 42-21 in the second half to put away an 87-52 victory Tuesday.
Four Bees reached double digits on the night — in addition to South, Jesse Nickell scored 13 points, Tyler Terry added 12 and Ryan Rose chipped in 11. Ian Anderson and Kendal James each scored seven and Nate Rimkus and Christian White each scored two.
Casey Hayes led Northeastern with 21 points as the Bees led by 10 after one quarter at 24-14 then built a 45-31 lead by halftime before putting the game out of reach for good in the second half.
“That’s two good wins against teams that are much improved from last year,” Bethel coach Brett Kopp said. “Casey Hayes is going to be all-league and all-district for them (Northeastern) this year, and he was tough to guard early. But we started guarding a little better in the second half, and that helped us defensively.
“Offensively, we did what we want to do — we created some turnovers and pushed the ball up the floor. We’re pretty good when we get out in transition and can finish around the rim. We’ve still got a lot of things to work on offensively and defensively, but we’re headed in the right direction.”
Bethel hosts Mississinawa Valley Friday in its Cross County Conference opener.
TIPP CITY — The Tippecanoe Red Devils dropped their season opener, falling 60-46 to Versailles in non-conference action Tuesday at home.
Zach Bonifas led the Devils (0-1) with 14 points, while Josh Wildermuth and Cade Gingerich each had 12 points.
A.J. Ahrens led Versailles with 14 points.
Tippecanoe travels to Sidney Friday night to open Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division play.
PLEASANT HILL — The Russia Raiders clamped down defensively on Newton’s guards and rolled to a 67-43 victory over the Indians in non-league boys basketball action Tuesday night on the road.
The Raiders (2-1) led 19-12 after a quarter and increased the lead to 33-19 at the half. Outscoring the Indians (1-1) by 10 points in the third quarter opened it up.
Ryan Mollette led a balanced Newton attack with 10 points.
Jack Dapore hit four 3s and had 14 points and Cole Tebbe added 12 for a Raider team that had excellent balance. Five more players had six or more points.
Other scores: Riverside 43, Bradford 35.
* Girls Basketball
COVINGTON — Sammi Whiteman scored a game-high 21 points and the Covington girls basketball team held off a second-half Arcanum run to hold on for a 42-39 victory Tuesday night at home.
Lexie Long added eight points, Lordan Crowell scored six and Lauren Christian added five as the Buccaneers (5-1, 3-0 Cross County Conference) held a 25-9 lead at halftime. but Arcanum fought back, outscoring Covington 12-1 in the third quarter to close the gap, but the Buccs were able to get enough offense in the fourth to put away the win.
Covington hosts Newton Tuesday in a boys-girls doubleheader.
Anna 43, ME 30
ANNA — Anna only led by three after three quarters at 33-30, but then held Miami East without a point in the fourth quarter to win 43-30 in non-league girls basketball action Tuesday at Anna.
Miami East had lead 19-11 after one quarter and 24-22 at halftime.
Camryn Miller led Miami East with nine points and Bailey Miller added seven.
Miami East travels to Twin Valley South Thursday.
VERSAILLES — Versailles wrestling coach A.J. Bey likes where his team is — but knows there is plenty of wrestling to do this season.
Covington coach Tom Barbee hopes it will be a spark for his team.
In a matchup of what is typically two of the strongest Division III schools in the area, the Tigers posted an impressive 62-6 win over the Buccs — winning 10 of 11 matches wrestled, along with three forfeit wins.
Covington was coming off a perfect 8-0 record over the weekend.
“We didn’t really get tested, and Versailles has been working hard,” Barbee said. “They came out after us tonight.”
There were four matches that went right to the wire on the night — and Versailles won all four of those.
Nick Monnier (113) had a 7-5 overtime win over Dolan Young, Tanner Bey (145) had a 3-1 overtime win over Keringten Martin, Steven Mangen (132) won a 2-1 decision over Riley Richards and Tyler Gigandet (160) was able to erase a 3-0 deficit against Deron White and win 6-5.
“I was proud of the way our guys gutted out those matches,” Bey said. “We talked about getting in condition first and wrestling second at the start of the season and I think that has showed.”
Barbee was equally disappointed in those matches.
“That was the difference right there,” he said. “We were just out there to wrestle and not lose the match and they were out there going for the win. They were aggressive and that was the difference.”
Josh Sowers picked up Covington’s win at (152), pinning Derek Cavin in 5:56.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.