Tabor, York split basketball outcomes on Wednesday

Tabor College basketball teams battled the Panthers from York College in a couple of competitive games Wednesday on the Bluejays’ home court.

The Tabor women came in tied for second-place in the KCAC with a 9-3 mark, and the York women came in dead last in the conference at 1-11. Even so, the Bluejays had to fight to the finish for their 61-52 victory.

The Tabor men, meanwhile, faced a York team that played a very similar style of game. It shouldn’t have been surprising that the game went to the wire before the Panthers snatched 94-91 victory from the Bluejays.

WOMEN—Tabor got off to a 7-4 start in the first quarter, but when the Bluejays failed to score again for the next 6:30, the Panthers claimed an 11-9 lead as the quarter ended.

Tabor righted the ship in the second quarter with a 19-9 surge. Freshman Sammy Jo Peterson scored eight points for the team on the way to a 28-20 lead at halftime.

The two teams essentially played to a standoff in the second quarter, with Tabor managing an 18-17 edge to take a 46-37 lead into the fourth quarter.

Tabor took a 50-39 lead with baskets by Kelsey Unruh and Kristyn Wedel. But Tabor hit another field-goal drought. This one lasted about 5:40 before Taylor Deniston finally broke through with a basket in the lane at the 1:47 mark. By then, York had pulled as close as 51-47.

Peterson stepped up late in the game with three consecutive plays that secured the win. She scored a 2-point basket in the lane with 1:17 to go, dished a nice assist to Unruh for two points with 51 seconds left, then hit another 2-point basket with a drive into the lane with 26 second to go. At that point, Tabor led 59-52 with Tristen Leiszler completing the team’s scoring with a pair of free throws with 3.6 seconds on the clock.

Deniston led the Bluejays with 17 points, Peterson finished with 15, Leiszler scored 11 and Unruh totaled 10 as Tabor improved to 10-3 in the KCAC and 13-6 over all.

As a team, Tabor shot 41 percent (24-58) from the floor while York was a touch better at 48 percent (21-44). Kellie Fredendall scored 16 points and Ciara Williams added 15 for the Panthers, who are now 1-12 in KCAC play and 4-17 for the year.

MEN—It was almost uncanny how the Bluejays and Panthers mirrored each other from start to finish. Both teams started slowly, with Tabor leading 11-9 on a 3-point basket by Julian Winton almost 5 minutes into the first half. After a pair of free throws from Alan Urrutia, York countered with a 12-2 run for a 21-15 lead at the 11:36 mark.

York maintained its small lead until Winton scored on a drive that tied the game at 37 with 3:50 left in the half.

A run by Tabor put the Bluejays ahead 47-39 with 1:09 left in the half. York hit a pair of free throws and Patrick Burnett nailed a 3-point basket at the buzzer to pull the Panthers to within one point by halftime, 47-46.

In the second half, the Panthers led by as much as 66-59 with just under 12 minutes to go. But Tabor got a pair of baskets from Diontre Cutliff and a 3-point play from DeShun Patterson with 8:45 left to close York’s lead to 68-66. The neck-and-neck battle continued down the stretch until a short burst by York put the Panthers on top, 85-79, with 1:45 to play.

With Tabor trailing 90-86 with 17.2 second remaining, Kyle Baker hit a huge 3-point basket with 11 seconds left to pull Tabor to within one point, 90-89. But as tabor fouled to regain possession, York hit four free throws in the final 8 seconds to nail down the three-point victory.

Winton and Patterson led Tabor’s attack with 22 and 21 points, respectively. Gaven Schumann and Diontre Cutliff each added 12. As a team, Tabor shot 52 percent (34-65) from the floor while York shot 43 percent (29-67).

The decisive stats may have been turnovers (Tabor 20, York 14) and free-throw shooting (Tabor 15-21, York 29-35).

With the loss, Tabor slips to 8-5 in the conference and 9-10 overall while York improves to 8-5 and 10-10.

COMING—Tabor will play at McPherson College on Saturday. The women’s game will begin at 5 p.m. and the men’s game 7 p.m.