Long night for Bethany cagers

By Steve Sell
February 22, 2015

LINDSBORG — Bethany College’s men are stumbling heading into the KCAC Postseason Tournament.

The Swedes finished the regular season Saturday with their third straight loss, 66-59 to Sterling. However, they are still the No. 3 seed and host these same Warriors at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The lack of depth is catching up with the Swedes. With super sub Jonathan Gidson still out, Bethany’s bench has gotten short and is producing little.

The Swedes could never get anything going on Sterling’s Senior Day. Normally a team that averages 85 points a game, they couldn’t get to 60, though they were tied at the half 27-27.

Gary Jones led the Swedes with 13 points, Nathan Coleman scored 12 and Larry McLin 11. Cody Harris, the barometer of the Swedes’ success or failure, battled foul trouble and scored only seven points.

“We had far too many defensive mistakes, which are really magnified in a low-possession game,” Bethany coach Clair Oleen said. “The absolute key stretch is when we were up by eight points at the 14-minute mark and then proceed to commit turnovers on about four straight possessions without even getting a shot attempt. We all stand together as a team as we head into the postseason and we know what we need to do.” 

Rolando Gardner led Sterling with 18 points.

The Swedes closed 11-7 in the KCAC, losing four of their last six. They are 19-10 overall. Sterling was 9-9 in the KCAC and is 14-15 overall.

Bethany (59) — Jones 13, Coleman 12, McLin 11, Smith 8, Harris 7, Holanda 6, Peterson 2.

Sterling (66) — Gardner 18, Stacker 11, Thompson 6, Swank 3, Eubanks 8, Givens 7, Oyatayo 5, Ray 4, Smith 2, Starks 2.

• STERLING WOMEN 66, BETHANY 56 — The nightmare season couldn’t get over fast enough for the Swedes, who finished last in the KCAC at 2-16 and were 3-27 overall.

“It was a disappointing way to end the season, but I do believe we started playing our best basketball at the end,” Bethany coach Brett Morehouse said. “We lose three very important seniors, all of whom played different, but no less significant roles.”

Royce Shields, in her final game, went out in style with 28 points and nine rebounds. Adriane Davis added 18, but the rest of the Swedes were quiet.

Hailey Davis (20, 10) and Smoky Valley grad Lori Dauer (16, 10) had double-doubles for the Warriors. Allie Faul tallied 18, making five 3-pointers.

Bethany (66) — Davis 16, Shields 28, Shetlar 2, Chanco 9, Cleveland 3, Jackson 4, Davis 2, O’Connor 2.

Sterling (76) — Faul 18, Stagner 5, Davis 20, Dauer 16, Greer 5, Strobel 4, Gasper 4, Sullen 4.