Weeks don’t get much bigger than the week the Bethany woman’s basketball team had.
The Swedes took down perennial KCAC power, Tabor, earlier this week in a thriller. Bethany then had to follow that performance up with a trip to the Gleason Center which houses the No. 16 ranked team in the land, Sterling, who hadn’t lost at home all year.
Bethany used its defense and crucial offensive makes to down Sterling, 78-68 on Saturday evening.
BC threw a hay-maker right out of the gate. The Swedes won the opening tip and within the first 10 seconds of the game, made a three pointer by Halei Wortham. That propelled BC to a 20-8 lead early on, which Bethany then led 25-16 after one.
The Warriors would have numerous rallies inside of them on Saturday, though. Sterling controlled the second quarter and tied the game at 34-34 in the final minute of the half. However, with the shot clock winding down, Kelsi Mueller converted a huge floater to put Bethany ahead 36-34 at halftime.
The third quarter went similar to that of the first for Bethany. The Swedes would hold Sterling, who has the best offense in the league, to just 12 points in the period. Meanwhile, BC’s Lauren Welsch heated up offensively with several three pointers leading Bethany to its largest lead of the game, 55-40, before ultimately taking a 60-46 lead in to the final quarter.
Sterling (13-5, 10-2 KCAC) would try to mount a rally in the final quarter, but went only 1-19 from three for the game and didn’t have enough fire power to overtake the powerful Bethany defense. Kylah Comley and Jessica Carrillo teamed up to lead the Warriors with 16 points, each. Alexis Theus added in 12.
Bethany (12-5, 9-3 KCAC) won in the Gleason Center for the first time since 2006 on Saturday. The win moves the Swedes to one-game back of first place. Bethany sank 12 three pointers on the game and were led by a season-best 22 points from Welsch. Wortham tallied in 13 points, Hannah Ferguson scored 11 and Autumn Garrett had 10 points in the Swedes victory.
The win was the sixth in-a-row for Bethany on the year.
They travel to county-rival McPherson this Wednesday.
BETHANY MEN 92, Sterling 83
The Swedes put together perhaps its best first half of the year on Saturday night at the Gleason Center in Sterling racing out to a 50-34 lead.
The KCAC’s leading scorer, Justin Jones, piled in 18 first half points to catapult Bethany at Sterling. Meanwhile, Sterling struggled from behind the arch against the tough Bethany defense.
Bethany ballooned the lead to 19 early on in the second half, but due to sloppy play that included turnovers and numerous fouls, Sterling was able to cut in to the lead. Two separate times, the Warriors trimmed the lead to four points.
Each time, Bethany was able grow the lead back to double-digits, however.
Sterling (4-13, 2-10 KCAC) shot 37 free-throws in the game, however, went just 5-21 from three. Jemiah Windom-Haynes led all scorers with 32 points on 14-18 shooting from the line. Lucas Briar once again hit double-figures with 15 points and Isaac Ostrosky scored 14 in the loss.
Bethany (7-9, 4-8 KCAC) was for the most part, efficient offensively on Saturday as the Swedes shot 48% from the floor for the game. BC also made crucial free-throws down the stretch, going 17-24 from the line for the game. Jones scored 22 points to lead Bethany. Ray Miller was huge off of the bench with 19, Isiah Saenz had 14, Baptist Chazelas tallied in 12 points and Shammond Ivory added 10.
The win was the second-straight for Bethany in league play and the Swedes have now won three of its last four dating back to before the Christmas Break.
Bethany faces McPherson next in the McPherson County Rivalry on Wednesday evening. That games starts at 6 p.m. and can be heard on Salina radio station, 95.5 The Rock.