ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ERIC CLARK
Finish What You Start 101 might be the class Tabor coach Don Brubacher wishes his team had to take this spring semester. His team eked out a 69-67 win over Friends University Monday night, but nearly gave the game away.
Tabor had a seven-point lead with 1:30 remaining, but the Falcons soared back to within two points. The Bluejays hit their free throws down the stretch to preserve the win, but Brubacher said giving up leads late in games is something they’ve been battling the last couple of outings.
“We simply had trouble guarding the entire court tonight,” Brubacher said. “You’re going to pay for that down the stretch when the other team gets desperate. It got real ugly. We reduce their second chance points, and we give them half or a third and the game goes pretty well for us.
“Friends has gotten better as the season has gone along, and they’ve found their game. They play really aggressively down low.”
The Bluejays surrendered 34 rebounds to the Falcons, including 15 offensive rebounds that accounted for 18 second-chance points.
Rebounding was a major concern against Friends, Brubacher said.
“We preached about that factor more than anything else during the game,” Brubacher said. “I thought the game would be played the way it was.”
The Jays also gave up 19 defensive boards.
“We couldn’t get a defensive rebound,” Brubacher said. “We did a better job defensively down low as the game went on. It was a staggering battle to get a rebound all night. We have to battle more, you’ve got to do what it takes to get the basketball.”
Tabor turned the ball over only eight times during the game-and only twice in the second half.
“We did a much better job of taking care of the basketball,” Brubacher said. “That was really important with the game as close as it was.”
The Bluejay scoring attack was led by Ernest Nortey who was 5-for-5 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free-throw line for 15 points.
Tyson Ratzlaff, who played the entire game, racked up 12 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
“One of the reasons he played the whole game is because we have two games off,” Brubacher said. “He’s a stabilizing influence for us on offense.”
Jeremiah Randall added 11 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Kansas Wesleyan-The Tabor mens’ basketball team avenged their earlier loss to the Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes with a 80-71 win in a KCAC brawl Saturday night in Hillsboro.
The Bluejays led 42-33 at halftime. In the second half, the Bluejays and Coyotes shot the lights out-literally. Play was halted when the gymnasium’s lights went out midway through the second half because of a power failure.
When play resumed, the Jays ran away with a nineteen-point win.
Tyson Ratzlaff was 4-for-10 from the field and 1-for-3 from behind the arc for a team-high 18 points. Jeremiah Randall and Ernest Nortey each added 15 points.
Ottawa-In a venue where few teams like to play, Tabor fell to the Ottawa Braves, 61-56, Thursday night in Ottawa.
The Jays struggled in the first half, scoring only 24 points. In the second half, Tabor made a comeback, but it fell short.
Tyson Ratzlaff and Ernest Nortey had 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Coming-The Bluejays are 12-4 in the KCAC and 14-12 overall. Thursday night, Tabor travels to North Newton to face Bethel.
On Saturday, the Bluejays finish their regular season by playing Saint Mary College in Hillsboro.