Jays roll past Braves, stay perfect

Malik Brooks drives into the lane and scores the tying basket to send the game to overtime against Bethel Thursday. The Bluejays won the game, 87-83, after trailing by as many as 11 points. At Ottawa Saturday, Brooks led the team with 17 points in Tabor?s 93-58 win.The Tabor College men?s basketball team completed the first half of KCAC play with a perfect, 10-0 record, and started the second half with a convincing, 93-58 victory at Ottawa Saturday.

?We guarded really hard,? coach Micah Ratzlaff said. ?We executed our game plan from the very beginning. We rebounded well. We contested really well. We got a hand up on almost everything they put up, and then we didn?t give them second chances.?

D?Marco Smith kicked off scoring with a three-pointer, the first of four Tabor treys in the first 5:21 of play. Malik Brooks scored eight points in less than two minutes? time, and the Bluejays built a double-digit, 19-9 lead. The Bluejays increased their advantage to 33-17 when Brooks made his third three and Jordan Horstick followed with a two-pointer.

After that, Ottawa used an 11-0 run to trim the margin to five. Alan Urrutia scored the Bluejays? next six points. Tullio Parry later drained a three to ignite a 9-2 run to put Tabor back in front by double figures, and the Bluejays led, 48-37, at halftime.

Tabor?s lead never dipped back into single digits, and the Bluejays outscored Ottawa 13-6 in the first 4:32 of the second half. Carter and Brooks scored back-to-back threes to put Tabor up, 67-47, and Tabor grew its lead to 30, 84-54, after Travell Robinson scored with 5:25 to play.

The Bluejays enjoyed a 9-0 run to end the game, sealing the 35-point win.

Brooks led Tabor with 17 points, thanks to 5-for-7 shooting from three-point range. Smith added 16 points, Carter 13, and Urrutia 10.

The Braves shot just 29 percent from the field in the game (20-69), while Tabor made 44 percent of its shots from the field (30-68), including 52 percent from beyond the arc (13-25).

Bethel?Tabor pulled off an overtime victory to keep its perfect KCAC record intact Thursday, after trailing by as many as 11 points in its 87-83 win.

The Bluejays took the lead early, 12-7, but Bethel jumped in front with a 7-0 run and increased its lead to 23-18, and later, 31-24, by hitting a pair of three-pointers just 30 seconds apart.

Lance Carter responded with a three to ignite a 10-3 Bluejay run. D?Marco Smith contributed seven points to the effort, including a basket that tied the game at 34 with 1:34 left in the half.

Bethel made its seventh three-pointer of the half with 2 seconds left to take a 39-37 halftime lead.

Tabor outscored Bethel 6-2 after intermission, and led, 46-45 after Davaghndre Jones scored. From there, the Threshers went on a 12-0 run that left Tabor trailing, 57-46 with 13:02 to play. Tullio Parry drained a three to ignite a 10-3 Bluejay run that closed the gap to 60-56.

Tabor tied the game at 62, and the teams traded scores. Bethel, however, went on an 8-0 run to lead, 75-70 with 2:23 to play. Parry scored to close the gap to 77-75. After a Bethel miss, Travell Robinson grabbed the rebound and Malik Brooks made his only basket of the night to send the game into overtime.

Tabor took an 80-77 lead out of the gate, but Bethel claimed it, 81-80. The Bluejays took the lead, 85-81, but Bethel closed within 85-83 with 23 seconds left. Smith made one of two free-throws to increase the margin to three. Bethel missed a two-point attempt, then sent Carter to the free-throw line. He made one of two attempts to seal the four-point win.

The Bluejays? defensive effort, especially early, left coach Micah Ratzlaff wanting more from his starters.

?We?ve got to get it done on the defensive end first, and if we can be a defensive-first team, good things happen on offense,? he said. ?The fact that we don?t give up, good things still happen.?

Smith led all scorers with 27 points. Carter had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Jones scored 10 points.

?Bethel was really good tonight,? Ratzlaff said. ?They stepped up to the challenge. We?ve got a target on our back?everybody?s going to do that?but they especially were ready to go.?

The win ended the first round of conference play. Tabor tops the KCAC at 10-0.

Coming?The Bluejays (11-0, 18-3) will play at Kansas Wesleyan (4-7, 6-14) tonight at 8 p.m. Tabor will travel to Friends (5-5, 6-12) Saturday at 7 p.m.

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