County basketball rivals meet Thursday

By Steve Sell
December 03, 2014

Now they count.

McPherson College and Bethany College begin the KCAC portion of their basketball schedules Thursday and, ironically, they’re matched against each other at Lindsborg’s Hahn Gym.

The women tip off at 6 p.m., with the men at 8. Both games will be aired on 96.7 KBBE-FM with Nick Gosnell on the call.

The women’s game matches two teams that are starving for a victory. The Mac women were 1-9 in games leading up to conference play, while Bethany was 1-7.

The Bulldogs have had some time off, which coach Gordon Reimer is hoping will be beneficial. His team played a lot of games in a short time and while he was thankful it gained some experience, it left precious few days for practice to work out some of the kinks.

Bethany has struggled despite the presence of Adriane Davis, who is averaging 20.5 points a game. Royce Shields has been a nice complement at 14.4.

In the men’s game, the Bulldogs will enter as a decided underdog. They have lost five in a row to drop to 3-7 and haven’t shot better than 36 percent in their last three games.

Bethany is the surprise team of the KCAC so far, as it’s 5-2 and the only conference team nationally ranked as it checked in Tuesday at No. 24. 

The Swedes have perhaps the KCAC’s most impressive win of the year as they knocked off NAIA Division I powerhouse St. Gregory’s, with that game being Bethany coach Clair Oleen’s 500th victory at the school.

The Swede men, like the women, have one of the most prolific scorers in the country in Cody Harris, who averages 20.6 points a game.