Bethlehem Press

Friday, March 23, 2018
Press photo by Rob MerchantThe Bethlehem Catholic boys now eye a long run in the state tourney after winning districts. Press photo by Rob MerchantThe Bethlehem Catholic boys now eye a long run in the state tourney after winning districts.

BC uses size, depth to win

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by James bunting Special to the Press in Sports

The Bethlehem Catholic boys basketball team sent a message to the remaining teams in the PIAA’s Class 4A bracket: If you want to compete with the Golden Hawks, you better have size and depth.

Ten players scored in Becahi’s 79-59 win over Lower Moreland in the District 1-11 subregional final at Easton Area Middle School on Saturday, March 3.

Located in Montgomery County and coming out of District 1, Lower Moreland did not have a player taller than 6-foot-2 on its roster. The Hawks’ size advantage was evident from the opening tip as Kyle and Ryan Young controlled rebounds and started fast break opportunities.

Becahi jumped out to a 19-12 advantage in the first quarter behind the strong play of Deandre Gardner. The senior guard scored seven of his ten points in the opening period.

“I just wanted to start the game as aggressive as possible and get my team going,” Gardner said. “I feel like me starting off the game so hot and aggressive kind of paved the way for my teammates to do the same thing.”

The Hawks held a 40-20 advantage at halftime and a 61-40 lead after the third quarter. Lower Moreland cut the lead to 12 in the fourth quarter as a brief period of uneasiness crept into the gym, but ultimately the deficit was too much to overcome.

Becahi’s leading scorers on the evening both came off the bench. Sophomore guard Ryan Santana finished with 16 points and senior Kenny Bell added 13. The duo combined to connect on seven three-pointers.

“Our practices are fierce because of the competitors that we have,” Gardner said. “It’s always a competition. Every practice is like a game for us.”

Justin Paz finished with 12 points and the Young brothers combined for 14 points in limited minutes.

Ryan Young gave the Becahi supporters a scare in the third quarter when his hands slipped off the rim while attempting a dunk. The 6-foot-10 senior landed hard and sat out the rest of the contest, but is expected to be fine for the PIAA playoff opener.

Becahi will play Nanticoke at Liberty High School on Friday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. If the Golden Hawks get past Nanticoke, the third-place finisher in District 2, their next game will be on Tuesday, March 13.