By Josh Brown
BRANDT — The magic number continues to shrink for the Bethel boys basketball team.
The Bees improved to 14-2 overall and 10-0 in the Cross County Conference Friday night, defeating Covington 57-34 — leaving only two league games remaining in their quest to clinch a second straight outright title.
Franklin Monroe — the only other team still with a chance to win even a share of the title — sits in second place at 7-1 after surviving against Arcanum Friday night. Any loss by the Jets over their final four CCC games, or any one win by Bethel in its final two, gives the Bees at least a share of the title, with the Bees being able to clinch the outright championship simply by winning its final two CCC games, at Tri-Village Feb. 9 and at home against Newton Feb. 16.
Kendal James led the Bees with 21 points against Covington, Ryan Rose added 14 points and Alex Van Haaren had five points and five blocks to lead the Bees, who got contributions from all over in the game — especially on defense, as they prevented any Bucc players from reaching double figures on the night.
Braden Miller led the Buccs (4-12, 3-5 CCC) with nine points and Brad Wiggins scored eight.
After taking on Oakwood Saturday night, Bethel hosts Carroll in non-league play Tuesday.
West Carrollton 82
WEST CARROLLTON — Tippecanoe had four players in double figures, two of which broke into the 20s, Friday night in an offensive slugfest at West Carrollton, with the Red Devils scoring their highest point total of the season in a 97-82 victory over the Pirates.
Josh Wildermuth had 26 points and six rebounds and Caiden Smith had 25 points to lead the Devils (10-6, 5-4 Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division), who shot a whopping 62.7 percent from the field by going 37 for 59 on the night. Daniel Hagen added 14 points and Cade Gingerich, 12 points five rebounds and four assists, Zach Losey scored nine points and Ben Sauls chipped in eight.
Tippecanoe travels to Sidney Tuesday.
Miami East 57
ANSONIA — Miami East had a solid night on offense Friday night, but the Vikings simply couldn’t slow down Ansonia in a 66-57 Cross County Conference loss on the road.
Will Hudson led the Vikings (7-9, 3-5 CCC) in his first varsity start with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Parker Heim hit four of Miami East’s five 3-pointers on the night and scored another 14 points.
Ansonia, however, hit 14 3s on the night. And with the Vikings leading 43-41 in the third quarter, the Tigers went on a 15-0 run that lasted into the fourth quarter to pull ahead. East got the lead down to five in the game’s final minute, but Ansonia made its free throws late to seal the win.
“This was our highest-scoring game since way back in game No. 3 of the season. We did execute well offensively, but unfortunately we were unable to overcome Ansonia’s 14 3-pointers on the night,” Miami East coach Allen Mack said. “Our offense came to life, but we couldn’t stop the league’s second-highest-scoring team.”
After traveling to Fairlawn Saturday, Miami East will host Tri-Village on Feb. 2.
CARLISLE — Milton-Union dropped its sixth straight in a matchup at Carlisle — a losing streak that also began with a loss to the Indians back on Jan. 5 — as the Bulldogs fell behind 18-3 after one quarter and never recovered in a 69-44 loss Friday night.
A.J. Lovin led the Bulldogs (2-13, 0-8 Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division) with nine points, Aaron Stone added eight points and Daniel Albaugh scored six points.
After traveling to Brookville Saturday, Milton-Union finishes its three-game road trip at Tri-County North Tuesday.
TC North 70,
PLEASANT HILL — Newton started strong but struggled to keep up with Tri-County North Friday night, falling to the visiting Panthers 70-47 in Cross County Conference play.
The Indians (3-11, 1-6 CCC) took a 16-14 lead after the first quarter thanks to three Treg Jackson 3s, but Tri-County North outscored them 14-7 in the second quarter to take a 28-23 lead and never looked back.
Jackson finished with 21 points, hitting four of the Indians’ six 3s on the night, while teammate Ryan Mollette added 14 points.
Other scores: Lehman (5-9, 3-2 NWCC) 57, Ridgemont 46.
* Girls Basketball
GREENVILLE — The Troy girls basketball team’s two-game winning streak came to an end Saturday against Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division rival Greenville as the host Green Wave rallied from an early deficit to claim a 48-34 victory.
Makenna Taylor hit a pair of 3s and led the Trojans with 11 points on the day, Jordan Short added seven points and Tia Bass had six points and seven rebounds. Valena Robinson and Kiyha Adkins each had four points, Laura Borchers scored two and Alaura Holycross, despite being held scoreless, grabbed seven rebounds.
The matchup played out much like the first one back on Dec. 6, 2017, where the Trojans (8-9, 6-5 GWOC American North) took an early lead only to fall 44-37.
Troy led 11-6 after one quarter but simply couldn’t match that offensive output the rest of the game, falling behind 18-17 at the half and 33-23 after three quarters.
The Trojans travel to Bethel Monday and Sidney Wednesday.
Fort Loramie 49,
Miami East 38
FORT LORAMIE — Miami East’s 10-game winning streak came to an end Saturday afternoon in non-league play on the road as the Vikings (14-4) were outscored 30-17 in the second half in a 49-38 loss at Fort Loramie.
Morgan Haney led all scorers with 16 points, Haley Howard scored 13, Camryn Miller scored seven and Kaitlyn Mack chipped in two for the Vikings — but the Redskins got contributions from seven different players in the win.
WEST MILTON — After back-to-back wins, the Milton-Union Bulldogs dropped their third our of their last four games in the span of a week Saturday, falling 43-40 to Southwestern Buckeye League Buckeye Division rival Waynesville.
Kristen Dickison led the Bulldogs (7-10, 5-5 SWBL Buckeye) with 13 points six assists and three steals, Beyonce Bobbitt added 10 points and six rebounds and Olivia Brown added six points and five rebounds as Waynesville built 28-19 lead after the first three quarters and a fourth-quarter rally by the Bulldogs came up short.
Other scores: Troy Christian (15-2) 50, Bethel (7-8) 37. Covington (13-6) 36, Jackson Center 27.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.