ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
Ernest Nortey’s resurgence of late has been a welcomed gift for the the Tabor Bluejays.
In Thursday night’s two-point loss to Kansas Wesleyan, Nortey lead all scorers with 24 points and six rebounds. Two nights later, he helped lead the Bluejays to a convincing 68-51 win over the Bethel with a “double-double” performance-15 points and 12 rebounds.
Nortey’s efforts have been noticed by both his opponents and his coach, especially his play on Saturday.
“I’m very pleased with 6-for-9 from the floor and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line-that’s a wonderful offensive game for Ernest and our team,” coach Don Brubacher said. “It’s a huge boost for us, but I’m even more pleased with the 12 rebounds than the offensive performance.”
The Bluejays put together their best shooting effort this season against the Threshers, connecting on 60.5 percent of their shots from the field. Tabor shot 57.1 percent from behind the 3-point line and 85.7 percent from the charity stripe.
“I think it was our best effort defensively and offensively from beginning to end,” Brubacher said. “The 14 turnovers, I’m not terribly pleased with, but at least we didn’t give them up in batches. I think we’ve played well in flashes during the year, and I think we shot the ball better than we’ve shot it all year tonight.”
The Bluejays and Threshers played a game of give-and-take in the early minutes. Tabor made a move at the 16:27 mark and never looked back. The Jays led at intermission, 42-26.
The Threshers made a run at the Bluejay lead in the second half, but Tabor continued to dominate and led by as much as 20 points.
The Bluejays held Bethel to 26.3 percent shooting from the field in the second half.
Tabor had four starters in double figures. In addition to Nortey’s performance, Jimmy Janzen hit 6-of-7 field goals and added a 3-pointer for 15 points. Scott Brubacher shot 5-for-9 from the field and 2-for-2 from the 3-point line for 14 points. He added four rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Tyson Ratzlaff put in another workhorse performance, playing a little more than 35 minutes and finishing with 13 points, four boards, six steals and eight assists.
Kansas Wesleyan-When the final buzzer sounded Thursday night in Salina, the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes had knocked off the KCAC leading Bluejays, 71-69, in a rough-and-tumble basketball game.
The Bluejays and Coyotes battled back and forth in the first half, with Kansas Wesleyan holding a two-point lead when the first-half buzzer sounded.
In the second half, the Jays and Coyotes again traded baskets. But at the end of the game, a last-second attempt by Tabor fell short and the Coyotes claimed the home win.
Ernest Nortey had a career-high 24 points, six rebounds, three steals and one assist for Tabor. Jeremiah finished with 14 points, seven boards and one assist.
Coming-The Bluejays are 6-2 in the KCAC and 8-10 overall. Tabor traveled to Leavenworth Monday to battle their KCAC co-leaders, Saint Mary College.
The Bluejays will play host to Southwestern College on Thursday and then travel to McPherson College Saturday night to try to avenge an earlier loss to the Bulldogs.