Bethany cagers win, lose at Friends

By Steve Sell
January 14, 2021

WICHITA – Bethany College’s men appeared headed for defeat.

The Swedes trailed Friends 40-28 at halftime on Wednesday at the Garvey Center as they simply couldn’t find the basket. But it was Friends that couldn’t throw it in the ocean in the second half as the Swedes caught and passed the Falcons for a 66-63 victory.

Bethany is still considered one of the most dangerous teams in the KCAC even though it’s now 5-5 in the conference and 6-6 overall. It has among the best talent in the conference and when it’s on, it’s tough to beat.

Dylan Smith led the Swedes with 14 points, one more than Isiah Saenz. The Falcons were led by Devotae Pack, who took game  honors with 16 points.

Saenz had the big shot of the game when he drained a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to tie it at 61. After a turnover by Friends, Smith made what proved to be the game-winner with 21 seconds left and the Swedes’ Jalen Washington closed it out by making three free throws.

The Swedes will try for the season sweep of McPherson College on Saturday when they play the Bulldogs in a 3 p.m. matinee at the Sport Center.

FRIENDS WOMEN 55, BETHANY 45 – This could only be described as “unexpected” as the Falcons had been scuffling while the Swedes are in position to host a KCAC first-round playoff game.

Bethany found itself in a tied game after three quarters, then had a power outage in the final period by scoring just 5 points. The Swedes were just 16 of 51 from the field.

Halei Wortham led Bethany with 13 points. Again, Bethany’s bench didn’t provide much of a punch with only 3 points, which has been an ongoing struggle this season.

The Swedes are now 8-5 in the KCAC and 10-5 overall as their championship aspirations have evaporated. They have a huge revenge game coming up on Saturday when they play at McPherson College, which overcame a 31-10 deficit to win 60-58 in the first meeting.