Swedes garner first KCAC wins by beating Mac

By Steve Sell
December 11, 2015

LINDSBORG — Bethany College’s basketball teams were the only KCAC teams that were winless in conference play heading into Thursday.

They’re not anymore.

County rival McPherson College proved to be the elixir for the Swede teams, as the Bethany women won 79-63 and the men held off a last-second shot by the Bulldogs for a 91-89 victory.

Bethany’s teams are now 1-4 in the KCAC. The Mac women are 2-4 and the men are 1-5.

• BETHANY WOMEN 79, MAC 63 — The Swedes outscored the Bulldogs 47-27 over the middle two quarters to decide the outcome.

Mac had started strong and led 18-15 after a quarter, but the Bulldogs then started to be  plagued by ballhandling woes. Bethany started the third quarter on a 10-2 run and the hole was too deep to climb out of.

Smoky Valley product Kimi Lindshield had a career night off the bench with 20 points and nine rebounds as Mac coach Gordon Reimer said he never saw that coming. Adriane Davis scored 18 points and Tiffani Jackson added 11.

The always reliable Bailey Brown led Mac with 19 points and also grabbed seven rebounds, while making 7 of 8 free throws. Ashton Bruner had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but the other three starters were just 4 of 14 and combined for 13 points.

Mac is now 3-9 overall, the Swedes 4-7. The Bulldogs have the unenviable task of playing at KCAC leader Tabor on Saturday, while Bethany is home to play Sterling.

Mac (63) — Brown 19, Bruner 14, S. Smart 7, G. Smart 5, McClellan 1, Battle 8, Racette 5, Allen 4.

Bethany (79) — A. Davis 18, Jackson 11, D. Davis 9, Chanco 6, O’Connor 3, Lindshield 20, Caballero 7, Stewart 5.

• BETHANY MEN 91, MAC 89 — The Bulldogs had a last-second chance to tie the game, but a follow shot by Jared Haury just missed and the Swedes held on.

The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 3-10 while Bethany is 4-7.

It was a game of wild swings. The Bulldogs were up 45-43 at the half after being down 32-17. They then were up as many as eight in the second half, 54-46.

Bethany, though, charged back and eventually went up nine, 80-71. But another run by Mac got it back into the game, but a key steal and layup by Jerricus Funderburke was the back-breaker.

In the closing moments, Grant Raleigh drove to the basket and missed a shot for Mac, and Haury’s follow rolled off to give Mac another tough-luck loss.

The Bulldogs had no answer for 6-5 forward Gary Jones, who poured in 35 points to lead the Swedes. Larry McLin and Jonathan Gidson scored 15 apiece and Joey Habtemariam added 14.

Chris Crook led Mac with 24 points, while Ramon Martinez scored 19. Raleigh had his best game as a Bulldog with 15  points and Ryan O’Hara scored 10. But again, Martinez and O’Hara both fouled out, which hurt the Bulldogs down the stretch as they had no experienced big players on the floor.

The Bulldogs were 20 of 21 at the line, including 10 of 11 by Crook.

Mac plays Saturday at KCAC leader Tabor, while Bethany is home to take on Sterling.

Mac (89) — Crook 24, Martinez 19, O’Hara 10, Bachura 5, Lakin 2, Raleigh 15, Roberts 5, Wiltfong 5, Parker 2, Haury 2.

Bethany (91) — Jones 35, McLin 15, Habtemariam 14, Larkin 2, Merzwinski 1, Gidson 15, Peterson 3, Cooley 2, Funderburke 2, Sanchez 2.