Tabor women rout Ottawa, men edged out on church night

After the Tabor College women's basketball team blew the visiting
Ottawa Braves off the floor 76-58 in the first game Saturday night, the
men's team pushed the KCAC's best team to the brink, but could not
finish them off, falling by a final of 81-79.

Ottawa built a
52-39 halftime lead and seemed certain to rout the home team behind the
conference's top scorer, David Birch, who tallied 19 before
intermission. But the Bluejays nullified Birch in the second half,
opening the door for a 25-11 run during the first 12:17 of the second
half.

Kyle Kroeker finished off a 4-point play at the foul line
after being whacked by Birch in the process of knocking down a
3-pointer from the top of the arc. Ottawa bounced back with a 3-point
shot at the other end, but Tabor dominated the subsequent series,
outscoring the Braves 9-0 over the next 4:50.

After Mike Rousell
gave Tabor a 65-63 lead with a bank shot at 8:43, the teams remained
deadlocked down the stretch. Orson Thomas finished a feed from Zach
Vanselow for a 73-72 Tabor lead with 4:16 to play, but Ottawa came back
with a 3-pointer by Phil McClintock and a layup by Marquis Washington
for a 77-73 Ottawa lead.

Vanselow and Thomas scored back-to-back
baskets as the Bluejays re-tied at? 77-all with 2:23 left, but a
3-point play at the other end by Matt Green set the stage for a
full-tilt endgame. Vanselow drew a foul and nailed two free throws to
bring Tabor within a point, fouling out Braves post Jake Carter in the
process.

Tabor went on to force turnovers at 1:15 and 0:35, but
the Bluejays had three shots refuse to fall in the closing moments. A
3-pointer by Kroeker rimmed out, then a hook by Vanselow rolled off the
iron, and a last-ditch 1-hander by Whitelaw fell away as time expired.
A free throw by McClintock after Vanselow's miss?either player could
have been called for a loose-ball foul underneath the basket?provided
the final score, 81-79.

?Vanselow scored 17 points and caught 13
rebounds despite being limited to 23:29 of action by early foul
trouble. Whitelaw scored 15 points, Kroeker scored 12, and Thomas threw
in a double-double of his own, scoring 12 points to go with 10 rebounds.

?Led
by Birch, Ottawa shot an absurd 19-for-27 from the field in the first
half. Birch finished with 22, and Ottawa's shooting percentage?41
percent on 11-for-27?reentered the atmosphere in the second period.

The women's team pumped up their running shoes in the early
going, taking a 34-23 lead at halftime and outscoring Ottawa 42-35 the
rest of the way. The Braves are in a 3-way tie for last in the
conference.

?After Ottawa knotted it at 3-3, Tabor blew it open with a 17-9
run. Ottawa bounced back, cutting it to 20-17 by scoring six
consecutive points between 7:06 and 5:10. The Bluejays finished the
half on a 14-6 jaunt, with Joanna Pyle delivering 3-pointers at 3:04
and 1:07. The second brought the Tabor lead to 30-20.

Tabor
opened the second half on a 7-0 run, with Pyle hitting another
3-pointer, Kirsten Watson scoring a layup and Brittany Roth finishing
off a pass from Stacie Herman.Tabor's lead eventually swelled to 61-34,
and with 11:22 still to be played, the Bluejays brought in their bench.

Ottawa never closed within 16 points, and Cassondra Huxman put an exclamation point on the rout with a layup as time expired.?

Pyle totaled 20, with Herman scoring 17 and Roth notching 15. Herman also had 10 assists and five steals.

More from Hillsboro Free Press
Maxfield and Wiens wed on March 19, 2022
Alison Leslie Maxfield, of Hillsboro, and Alexander (Alex) Joel Wiens, of Porterville,...
Read More