LAKEWOOD, Colo. — In a basketball game in Colorado that matched teams from Kansas just 15 miles apart, Bethany College’s men outlasted Central Christian College 89-85 in overtime on Friday in the first round of the Colorado Christian Classic.
The game ebbed and flowed, with the Tigers leading by as many as eight, 55-47, in the second half, but 40 minutes didn’t settle anything as the teams were tied at 75-all.
The Tigers also were ahead in the overtime session, but Bethany made four straight free throws down the stretch to secure the intracounty contest.
“This was a good team win in which all 11 guys in uniform contributed,” Bethany coach Clair Oleen said. “They stayed together through the tough possessions. We won our seventh straight rebounding battle though we gave up too many offensive rebounds in the second half and we had far too many turnovers. We are growing together as a team as we overcome adversity.”
Jonathan Gidson for Bethany and Alonzo Stafford for Central had amazing performances.
Gidson poured in 33 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while Stafford exploded for 29 points and a whopping 17 rebounds.
Gary Jones added 20 points for Bethany and Larry McLin scored 10. Michael Gholston was the only other Tiger in double digits with 24.
Stafford and Gholston combined to make 20 of 36 shots, but the rest of the Tigers were just 12 of 42.
Free throws were a key as the Swedes shot 48, making 35, while Central made only 26 visits to the stripe, making 16.
Central plays Bethel College today, while Bethany goes up against Colorado Christian.
Bethany (89) — McLin 10, Gidson 33, Habtemariam 7, Jones 20, Merzwinkski 4, Cooley 7, Funderburke 6, Sanchez 2.
Central (85) — Gholston 24, Stafford 29, Warren 2, Nwosuh 8, Clayborn 3, Jackson 7, Burton 4, Robbins 8.