The Bethany Swedes jumped out to a 15-1 lead Wednesday night at the Freeman Center in York, NE, and never looked back en route to a 76-42 win. The 34 point margin of victory was Bethany’s largest in league play since February 18, 2006.
Bethany clamped down defensively and held York to only four field goals in the first half. The Swedes led 36-22 at the break. Over half of Bethany’s first half points came from the bench, including six from Hailey Mayfield. She finished the contest as one of four players in double figures, with 11 points, and 5 rebounds.
Bethany quickly built a 20-plus point lead in the early minutes of the second half. The Swedes used a 20-8 3rd quarter to build a 56-30 cushion heading into the 4th.
Lauren Welsch, the KCAC Offensive Player of the Week, finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. Cassidy Enns and Marissa Pope also scored in double figures with 11, and 10 respectively.
Bethany held York to 23% shooting for the night, and forced 20 Panthers turnovers. Meanwhile, Bethany shot 41% overall, 76% from the foul line, and out-rebounded York 47-45.
Bethany heads to Hillsboro for a 5pm tipoff on Saturday. That game can be heard on KVOB, 95.5 The Rock.
YORK 91, BETHANY 90 (OT)
The Bethany men kept pace all night long with one of the most explosive teams in the nation Wednesday night in York.
Nursing a one-point lead in the closing seconds, Bethany’s Tyler Larkin missed a mid-range jumper. York’s Chris Smith plucked the rebound, raced up the floor, and dished to Michael Johnson for a game-winning layup at the buzzer.
Larkin finished one assist short of a triple-double. He had a career-high 37 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists and put on a spectacular display in front of a packed Freeman Center.
Bethany trailed by three in the final seconds of regulation. After a Bethany coach Dan O’Dowd timeout, the Swedes inbounded to Thomas Hood. Hood quickly dribbled to the top of the key and launched a guarded 30-foot three, that banked in.
York pushed their lead to four in overtime, but Bethany battled back. Larkin hit Jesse Patrick on a backdoor cut for a layup to give Bethany a 90-89 lead in the final minute. However, Bethany missed on their next possession, leading to the York buzzer-beater.
York went 20-26 from the free throw line, while Bethany hit 9 of 12. The Swedes shot 49% from the floor, and hit 11-24 from downtown.
Bethany takes on Tabor in Hillsboro at 7pm on Saturday. That game will air on KVOB, 95.5 The Rock.
By James Westling