Swede men stay in first-place tie

By Steve Sell
January 11, 2015

LINDSBORG — It’s becoming a familiar theme — the Bethany College Swede basketball teams split Saturday.

The men won 88-82 over Friends at Hahn Gymnasium, while the Swede women were defeated, 75-44.

When the smoke cleared Saturday night, the Bethany men found themselves tied for the KCAC lead with Tabor, both teams with 5-1 records. Friends had been in the first-place tie, along with Saint Mary, but both lost.

Bethany and Tabor meet on Thursday in Hillsboro, which will leave one of the teams alone at the top.

The Swedes have gone against their former defensive mantra of “Hard 40” by simply outscoring teams. They fended off every Friends rally after leading by 10 points at halftime.

“When we strung together defensive stops, we were able to go on runs and get double-digit leads,” Bethany coach Clair Oleen said.  “Then we would give some offensive boards and Friends would get right back into it. Certainly there are things we will work on and continue to get better at. These guys continue to share the ball well and make some great plays with great passing and cutting. This team again showed a lot of resolve and toughness down the stretch to get the job done."

Five Swedes scored in double figures, led by Jonathan Gidson’s 22 off the bench. Cody Harris scored 19, Larry McLin 14 (along with 10 assists), Nathan Coleman (13) and Brandon Huskey (12).

Brandon Johnson and Toby Baxter scored 24 and 21, respectively for the Swedes.

Bethany (88) — Huskey 12, McLin 14, Harris 19, Coleman 13, Smith 8, Gidson 22.

Friends (82) — Scott 4, Anderson 8, Johnson 24, Williams 7, Baxter 21, Singhateh 14, Rowe 4.

• FRIENDS WOMEN 75, BETHANY 44 — Struggling Bethany played a terrific first half, trailing KCAC-co leader and nationally ranked Friends just 30-25, but the Falcons stepped up the heat in the second half on the defensive end.

Bethany is now 0-6 in the KCAC and 1-17 overall. Adriane Davis scored 16 points on 16 shots.

"We played the best half of basketball we have played all year, even though we finished the first half down by five points," Bethany coach Brett Morehouse said. "We were active on both ends and for the most part we executed the game plan, which was to slow the game down and value each and every possession.”

Mykel Boyd came off the bench to lead the Falcons with 17 points. Friends is 5-1 in the KCAC , 13-5 overall and ranked No. 12 in the nation.

The Swedes play Thursday at Hillsboro against Tabor.

Bethany (44) — Ahaneku 1, Davis 16, Shields 9, Shetlar 4, Stewart 2, Cleveland 5, Norton 2, Davis 5.

Friends (75) — McMullen 7, Ptacek 13, Mollere 14, Justice 5, Sanders 7, Atherton 2, Boyd 17, Hines 5, Quiroz 3, Harris 2.