By Rob Kiser
Miami Valley Today
PLEASANT HILL — For a veteran Bethel girls basketball team under coach Corey Steinke it was a solid win.
For a young Newton girls basketball team under first-year coach Ryan Fiely, it was another step in the learning curve as the Lady Indians continue to progress.
Bethel led from the outset in CCC girls basketball action Saturday and while Newton made a few runs, the Bees posted a 55-43 victory.
Bethel improved to 6-5 overall and 3-3 in the conference, while Newton dropped to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the conference.
“We go as Kenna (Gray) and Liv (Reittinger) go,” Steinke said. “This is the second game in a row where they have led us in scoring. I thought Lydia (Lowery) and Sam (Wylie) did the job inside on defense and I need to mention Kory King, who had a basket and played well.”
Fiely knew it would be a tough assignment.
“Bethel is a good team,” he said. “We just have to keep working and getting better.”
With Gray scoring 12 points in the opening quarter, Bethel jumped out to a 21-8 lead.
But, Newton was able to come back in the second quarter by getting to the foul line.
The Indians scored 11 of their 20 points in the opening half from the line — on 20 attempts — and when Kailey Heisey hit two, Newton was within 27-20 with 1:44 remaining in the half.
“We did a great job of attacking the basket,” Fiely said.
Steinke was well aware of it.
“That’s what we talked to the girls about at halftime,” he said. “I mean, Newton was 11 for 20 from the line in the first half. You can’t give a team opportunities like that and let them stay in the game.”
But, Bethel finished the half with six straight points.
Gray scored in transition, dished to Wylie for two more points and Karissa Calhoun closed the half’s scoring with a basket to make it 33-20 at the break.
Then, after Newton’s Jaden Stine opened the second half scoring with a basket, Bethel took control of the game with easy baskets in transition.
Reittinger and Lowery both had five points in the third quarter and Gray added four as Bethel opened a 47-27 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
“That’s what we like to do,” Steinke said about the transition game.
And Fiely knew how tough it would be to stop.
“Bethel is really good in transition and hard to stop,” Fiely said. “It got tough out there. And when it got tough, we struggled a little bit.”
But, there was no quit in the Indians.
While the final margin of 55-43 was as close as Newton got, Hughes had eight points in the final quarter as Newton put 16 on the board.
“These girls are always going to play hard,” Fiely said. “There is no quit in them. This was Tori Benedict’s first game since the opening game (of the season) and I thought she fit in well out there.”
Gray led Bethel with 20 points.
Reittinger added 13 and Lowery scored 12.
Hughes led a balanced Newton attack with 11 points.
Kailey Heisey scored nine, all in the first half and Camryn Gleason also scored nine, with seven in the first half.
Stine added seven points.
Newton will be back in action at the Covington Holiday Tournament Friday and Saturday, playing the host Buccs Friday in the opening round.
Bethel is off until Dec. 28 when the Bees travel to Fairlawn.
After a game in which both teams could find things to build on.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at email@example.com.
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