A Bethany 3-pointer in the final five seconds from Hahn Gym was off the mark on Wednesday night, handing No. 16 Tabor a 54-53 win.
The Swedes valiant comeback effort fell an inch to the right as their night ended in heart break.
Bethany could blame their play in the first half for the loss as well. The Swedes trailed just 17-15 after one and appeared to be ready to fight all night with the Bluejays. However, a six minute scoring drought by the Swedes at the start of the second quarter allowed Tabor to build a lead.
Even after the Swedes got some momentum offensively, they trailed 34-24 at halftime.
Much like in many of their other performances, the Swedes received a halftime pep talk from head coach, Keith Ferguson, and came out with much more intensity in the second half. The Bethany defense remained solid, while the Swedes started finding better looks against the stout Lady Jay defense.
By the end of the period, Bethany had trimmed the Tabor lead to just four, 44-40.
The Swedes continued to grind the Lady Jays in the final quarter. Megan Hendrickson had a pair of huge buckets to actually give Bethany a slim one point lead. However, Tabor would immediately have answers both times the Swedes took the lead.
A missed Tabor jumper by Morgan Ediger with 9.6 seconds to go, gave the Swedes the basketball down by just one. Ferguson called a timeout to advance the ball up the floor and draw up a final play.
The Swedes in-bounded Halei Wortham, who then drove down to five feet away from the rim, with a pair of Jays in her face. She then found Sena Aktas open for a 3-point look. With three seconds to go, Aktas released the shot, however was a hair off the mark as the buzzer sounded ending the Swedes comeback hopes.
Tabor (21-3, 18-2 KCAC) swept the season series over Bethany. The Jays had just one scorer in double-figures with Julissa Garcia scoring 10 points.
Bethany (12-13, 8-11 KCAC) has now lost four-straight games. The Swedes also had just one scorer finish in double-figures with Aktas piling in 11 points. With the loss, the Swedes drop from seventh to eighth in the league standings now tied with Avila–though the Eagle beat BC both games head-to-head.
Bethany plays at McPherson this weekend.
Tabor 75, BETHANY MEN 70
Much like the women’s team, the Bethany men started the game about a half too late, which ended up costing them a win.
Tabor started out red-hot, converting on nine of 16 3’s in the first half to open up a 13 point lead at one point. The Bluejays led 47-39 at the break.
Bethany would come out with better intensity in the second half, however, struggled to string together stops and makes. Still, the Swedes, led by Isiah Saenz and Tyler Larkin, would continue to make a comeback.
Bethany trimmed the Tabor lead to three at two different points in the last five minutes, however, the Swedes went cold and couldn’t complete the comeback.
Tabor (7-19, 5-15 KCAC) swept the season series with Bethany. Tevin Berry led all scorers with 22 points on six 3-point makes. Darnell Jones-Bowie added in 12 points in the Bluejay win.
Bethany (12-13, 8-11 KCAC) suffered a damaging home loss on Wednesday. While, both Bethel and York also lost on Wednesday–both teams are tied with Bethany for seventh in the league standings–the Swedes failed take create some separate between the others. Larkin and Saenz both led the way with 15 points, each. Mookie Duncan chipped in another double-double with 12 points, 15 rebounds.
It’ll be another big time double-header for Bethany basketball on Saturday as the Swedes play at rival, McPherson. Listen to live coverage on 95.5 The Rock.