Written by Andrew Ottoson Thursday, 21 February 2008 17:58
With a 64-60 home win over Sterling Thursday night, the Tabor College men's basketball team leapfrogged McPherson into sixth place in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Aaron Whitelaw scored 21 points including a handful of late foul shots. But none of his shots was as big as the 3-pointer he drained with 7:08 left, snapping a 49-49 tie.
Before the tie breaker, Tabor had allowed five straight points at the end of a 25-15 stretch that wiped out a 34-24 halftime lead. Sterling scored back-to-back-to-back field goals to claim a 55-52 advantage, their first since a 4-3 lead the Warriors had taken to start the game.
Down three with 3:48 left, Whitelaw cut it to 55-54 with a breakaway layup after swiping the ball from freshman point guard Zach Goodrich after a Sterling time out. Sterling scored a foul shot at the other end, but Kyle Kroeker gave the Bluejays the lead for good. After Orson Thomas ran down a loose ball on a broken play, he shoveled a pass to Kroeker, who dialed up a 3-pointer from the left wing corner, making it 57-56 in Tabor's favor and bringing down a thunderous roar of approval.
Tabor forced a turnover on Sterling's subsequent possession, and Whitelaw scored a dribble-drive layup that pushed the Bluejay lead to three. He outscored the Warriors 4-1 at the foul line as the game ground to a halt. With 16 seconds left, Caleb Good threw in a make on the back end of a double-bonus trip to the line to render a traditional 3-point play by a Sterling guard moot.
Whitelaw scored 21 points and Jared Hett notched 11 before fouling out in the final minute.
The women's game ended in a 54-38 loss for the Bluejays. An 11-0 run in the opening minutes proved too much for Tabor to overcome. Sparked by back-to-back-to-back assists by Tasia Johnson, who scored four of her 5 points in the first half, the Bluejays cut it to six with 1:55 left in the period. A 3-point shot by Sterling junior Ashley Kraft kept Tabor from carrying any of that momentum into halftime.
Down 27-18, Tabor offered no answer for Brittany Gasper, who scored all 10 points during a 10-4 run in the opening phase of the second half. Tabor finally forced Gasper from the game when she picked up her fourth foul at 11:37. After setting up a field goal for Katie Fast, Johnson picked up her fourth personal at 8:36.
After three foul shots by Fast and Johnson, Katie Mount hit a 3-pointer with 1:20 to go, and Stacie Herman followed with a driving layup to cut it to 49-38. But Sterling strung together five straight points at the foul line, and that was it. Tabor shot an ice-cold 7-for-30 from the field in the second half and for the game made only 15 of 55 shots (27 percent) from the floor. Herman led the team in scoring with 8 points, with Fast scoring 8 along with 7 rebounds.
Gasper finished with 19.