Swedes' defense burned for 102 by Spires

By Steve Sell
February 20, 2015

LINDSBORG — Apparently the Bethany College men suffered from a Tabor hangover.

Their KCAC championship hopes evaporated last Saturday with a loss to Tabor and the Swedes compounded their woes on Thursday

In a battle for second place in the KCAC, the Swedes were outgunned 102-90 by Saint Mary on Senior Night at Hahn Gym, though the final score wasn’t a true indication of the Spires’ dominance as they were up as many as 23.

It all went wrong for the Swedes from the start, as super sub Jonathan Gidson was ruled out before the game with a concussion and once the game got going, leading scorer Cody Harris was plagued by foul trouble. 

Then, of course, the Spires have Grant Greenberg, a probable first-team All-American. The Swedes, who have been near the bottom of the KCAC in team defense all season, were burned for 34 points and he was complemented by Jordan Thomas with 24.

Gary Jones scored 26 for the Swedes, who were down 50-41 at the half and the lead mushroomed in the second half before a late Bethany burst. Nathan Coleman added 21 and Devin Smith scored 16, but no other Swede hit for double figures.

“Saint Mary played very aggressive offensively with a lot of penetrations that created a lot of offense for them,” Bethany coach Clair Oleen said. “They did a good job of taking advantage of our defensive breakdowns. Offensively we did not accomplish the things we set out to do. We also had numerous breakdowns in our spacing, which made us our own worst enemy."

Bethany is assured of third place in the KCAC as it’s now 11-6. It will host a first-round playoff game next week and if form holds true, would play Saint Mary in Leavenworth in the semifinals.

The Swedes, 19-9 overall, play Saturday at Sterling to wrap up the regular season.

Bethany (90) — McLin 8, Harris 9, Coleman 21, Smith 16, Peterson 5, Jones 26, Cooley 2, Holanda 3.

Saint Mary (102) — Mondaine 8, Hicks 1, Thomas 24, Young 11, Greenberg 34, Griffin 5, Medley 2, Clark 13, McKay 4.

• SAINT MARY WOMEN 52, BETHANY 51 — Bethany led much of the game, but Rachel Emde’s free throw with 1.3 seconds left gave the Spires the victory and they clinched a spot in the postseason tournament.

Bethany is now 2-15 in the KCAC and assured of last place. Even if it ties with McPherson College, the Bulldogs hold the tiebreaker.

Adriane Davis led Bethany with 13 points and Royce Shields scored 10. Shanice Palmer tallied 19 to lead Saint Mary.

The Swedes, 3-26 overall, wrap up Saturday at Sterling.

Bethany (51) — Davis 13, Shields 10, Norton 5, Chacon 8, Aheneku 2, Jackson 2, Burnett 7, O’Connor 4.

Saint Mary (52) — Emide 15, Dixon 5, Palmer 19, Switzer 6, Marusek 3, Hinkle 1, Frantz 3.