TEACH erases double-digit deficit to defeat Bethel

Published 12:54 am Wednesday, February 26, 2014




The TEACH boys basketball team escaped with a victory in the final game of the season Tuesday, overcoming a half-time deficit to knock off Bethel Assembly Christian Academy, 62-52.

“It’s a big win,” said head coach Jason Kirkman. “Bethel is a team we have always gone back-and-forth with. They beat us, we beat them, and you never know who is going to win. When we limit teams to one shot and we rebound, we can get out and run the floor.”

It was a tale of two halves for the Trailblazers on Tuesday. Lackadaisical defensive play allowed the Eagles to drop 16 points in the first eight minutes. While the TEACH offense remained poised, the defense struggled to rebound the basketball and contain Bethel’s consistent perimeter shooting. Kirkman had seen enough.

“I called a timeout and asked them if they wanted to play because if they didn’t want to play defense, they could get on the bench,” Kirkman said. “They stepped up and played well after that.”

Off the bench, Holden Dixon provided his team with solid defensive play in the paint, and while Bethel hit its outside shots early, the Eagles failed to drive the lane.

“Holden Dixon is one of our best defensive players,” Kirkman said. “When he gets his hands in the passing lanes, we can get up and run. We played really well together tonight.”

Down 31-24 at the break, TEACH played rejuvenated and uncompromising basketball over the final 16 minutes. Instead of settling for outside shots, the guard tandem of Brian Warren and Avery Bowden controlled the tempo, working the ball to Raquan Jeffires down low.

As Jeffires corralled offensive rebounds and earned second-chance opportunities, Warren supplemented by driving the lane and challenging the Eagles forwards.

Faced with a double-digit deficit heading into the final quarter, the Trailblazers came alive on both ends of the floor, holding Bethel to just five points, while scoring 25 of their own.

Bowden finished with a game-high 19 points.

The win capped off a tumultuous and inconsistent season of winning and losing for a young team without senior leadership. Next season, TEACH will return all of its players and look to make a run.

“They’re a great group of kids,” Kirkman said. “Even if we didn’t win the game, they’re a great group of kids. They’re respectful, and that goes back to the families. The crowd we had here, they travel, they come to watch us, and it’s always fun.”