Bethesda Academy defeats Beaufort Academy 58-37 to move closer to region title

By Jeff Moeller/Special to Prep Sports Report | February 10, 2024

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All season long, Bethesda Academy has seen their share of zone defenses. 

So, when Beaufort Academy opened up in man-to-man defense against them Friday night, Bethesda Academy quickly needed to adjust. The Braves also needed to bounce back quickly after a 73-66 victory over First Preparatory Christian Academy the previous evening. 

It didn’t take long before the Blazers did. 

In a must-win situation in the first step to capture the top spot in the AA Class 2A region, Bethesda Academy eventually put away Beaufort Academy 58-37. With the victory, the Blazers (17-5, 11-1) need to win at Cross Monday to take the region title. 

Ashton Wright, who had 41 points the previous night, paced Bethesda with 22 points, and Jacari McKay added 17, as the Blazers  took control of the game with an 8-0 run over the final 2:50 of the opening half to take a 24-15 halftime advantage.  

Bethesda began the game a bit sluggish on both sides of the ball, and the Braves missed their share of shots inside the paint. 

Bethesda head coach Clyde Wormsley was confident his team could make a smooth transition. 

“We haven’t really seen a man (defense) in four or five games,” said Wormley. “We picked it up in the second quarter, and we settled down defensively. We rebounded the ball well.” 

Wormley emphasized the Blazers’ transition game as the key. 

“Our biggest thing was getting the transition game going,” he stressed. “That was the difference in the game. We did not have to walk it down and execute against their defense.” 

The Blazers kept their momentum in the opening minutes of the third quarter, building a 15-point lead with a 34-19 bulge on Ryan King’s jumper with 4:10 remaining in the stanza.  

Beaufort Academy (8-13) crept back into the game, taking advantage of Bethesda being the bonus with more than five team fouls. The Eagles closed to within 34-25, but the Blazers rallied and took advantage of an Eagles’ player technical foul and closed the quarter with a 6-0 run for a 40-25 cushion. 

Bethesda ballooned the lead to 46-26 on McKay’s layup with just over five minutes remaining in the game to seal the game. 

McKay acknowledged the team’s defensive play and transition offense, but he also saw another factor. 

“This was a team effort,” he said. “We have been playing like a team. A lot of team play us zone, and we try to get them out of it. We know we just have to keep battling.” 

Wright saw Thursday night’s game  as a primer for the postseason. The Blazers travel to Hilton Head Prep Saturday for a late-afternoon tilt. 

“The previous night got us working and ready for the playoffs,” said Wright. “We lost to Hilton Head Prep earlier, and we want to get that back. We have been back up and we have a winning streak going.” 

Wormley cited the team’s Christmas tournament at Colleton Prep as the critical juncture of the season. 

“We found a rhythm there as a team,” noted Wormley. “We found a way to win games there. We won the tournament, and they found their confidence there. 

“Now, we just have to keep it going.” 


  1 2 3 4 Final  
Beaufort Academy 9 6 10 12 37  
Bethesda Academy 9 15 16 18 58  

BEAUFORT ACADEMY (38) Ezequiel Gonzalez 20, Ediel Gonzalez 8, Porter 4, Newton 3, Paulk 1, Smith 1. 


BETHESDA ACADEMY (58) Ashton Wright 22, Jacari McKay 17, Green 5, Israel Wright 4, Reynolds 4, Jackson 4, King 2. 



February 9, 2024



Johnson 72, Groves 54

Long Co. 38 Liberty Co 27

Savannah Country Day 48, Beach 41

St. Vincent's at Savannah Christian (NSR)


Brantley County 58, Windsor Forest 44


Bryan County 60, Southeast Bulloch 21



Alleluia Community 40, Habersham School 37


Memorial Day School 1, Islands 0

New Hampstead 41, Savannah High 28




Burke Co. 46, Benedictine 44


Beach 56, Savannah Country Day 51

Johnson 72, Groves 54

Long Co. 60, Liberty Co 46


Windsor Forest 63, Brantley County 57


Bryan County 64, Southeast Bulloch 47


Savannah Classical at Emanual County (NSR)


Habersham School 76, Alleluia Community 45


Bethesda 58, Beaufort Academy 37


Islands 58, Memorial Day School 41

New Hampstead 41, Savannah High 28


PHOTO Credit: Prep Sports Report

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