Bethel was hoping to get to the Christmas weekend with a win over the Newton Indians last week, but the Indians pulled away in the fourth quarter, opening up a three point lead and defeated the Bees 53-40 in Cross County Conference girls’ basketball action last Thursday.

Delaney Hardert led the way for the Bees with a team high 13 points, while Klaudia Lowery and Morgan Crase each added seven and Alaina Hawthorn scored six.

Tatum McBride led all scorers with 15 points for Newton, with a big second half to lead the Indians to the win.

“We made turnovers at the most inopportune times tonight,” Bethel coach Mark Mays said. “We would start to make a little bit of a run and they would get the turnover and go down and score.”

“One part of the game that the Bees could not capitalize on was when the Newton standout point guard McBride picked up her third foul midway through the second quarter and went to the bench for the remainder of the half. Bethel trailed by five when she went to the bench, and still trailed 26-21 at the half.

“That was a plus for us when she went to the bench, but we couldn’t take care of things when she we out,” Mays said. “That is where we should have gained ground on them and we didn’t.”

“I told the girls that I was proud of how they pushed through things tonight,” said Newton coach Steve Fisher, who coached Bethel to a boys’ state championship back in the early 2000s. “They pushed through the double teaming and the pressure and some of our role players stepped up and made some baskets.”

Newton led early 6-0 before Bethel finally got on the board at the 3:41 mark of the first quarter when Hardert scored in the paint. The Bees put together a 8-0 run capped by another score from Hardert to take an 8-6 lead with two minutes left in the opening period. She scored eight points in the opening period.

Newton took the lead for good when McBride hit a three from the left corner early in the second period which started a 9-0 run for the Indians.

The two teams exchanged baskets in the third period before the Indians opened things up the early part of the fourth. With Newton leading 36-33, they went on a 7-0 run to extend their lead to ten with 4:28 left and they never looked back.

“We are at the crossroads right now as far as our team goes,” Mays said. “We haven’t crossed over to the next level just yet, but I think we are close. Newton is a good team and we hung with them. We don’t know what we are fully capable of doing, because we have not been there yet.”

Bethel returns to action tomorrow night traveling to CCC-leading Tri-Village for a 7 p.m. game.