It has been a long time since Bethel has defeated Miami East in girls’ basketball. That string of losses about came to an end last week, as the Bees were one minute from possibly upsetting one of the league favorites before the Vikings’ Haley Howard hit three of four free throws in the final 30 seconds, giving Miami East a 36-32 win over the Bees in front of a good crowd on the road in Casstown.

“I think they played the most complete game since I have been here,” Bethel coach Mark Mays said. “The turnovers were down, our shooting percentages were up and we ran our offenses. We knew we needed to be patient with the ball to beat a team like Miami East.”

Bethel came out strong behind Becky Schweiterman and Alaina Hawthorn as they had the game tied at four midway through the first period. Hawthorn hit two free throws with 2:47 left in the first quarter, to give the Bees a 6-4 lead.

The Bees offense went silent for nearly the remainder of the period, as Bailey and Camryn Miller each hit threes and Kaitlyn Mack scored from midrange, giving the Vikings a 12-6 lead. Bethel didn’t score a field goal in the final 4:10 of the opening quarter, and five minutes into the second, but the Vikings could only put together a 17-7 lead.

Over the final three minutes of the half the Bees offense went to work as Hawthorn scored on a three-point play, while Delaney Hardert hit a free throw and Morgan Crase popped in a 10-footer and the Bees only trailed 17-13 at the half.

Miami East controlled most of the third period, holding the Bees to only one field goal over the first five minutes, as they maintained a 23-15 lead. Bethel tried to get back into the game when Schweiterman scored a pair of buckets to close their deficit to four points as they tried to get to the fourth period with the momentum. Bailey Miller hit what turned out to be a big three for the Vikings with nine seconds left, giving them a 26-19 lead heading to the fourth period.

Bethel battled back in the fourth when Schweiterman scored seven points in the first five minutes, tying the game at 28. Hawthorn also tied the game at 30 but both times, the Vikings responded. Howard connected on her clutch free throws in the closing seconds to preserve the win for the Vikings.

Schweiterman led the Bees with 14 points.

Bethel Boys Basketball - Bethel lost to Roger Bacon 74-54 at the Flyin to the Hoop tournament at Fairmont last week, but bounced back with a 52-41 win over Miami East, to keep their league record unbeaten.

Caleb South led the Bees with 25 points. Bethel is now 12-2 overall and 9-0 in CCC play.

The Bees return to play Friday night at Covington, then go to Carroll next Tuesday.