In a game that encountered seven ties and lead changes, Friends took a lead and extended it late to hold of Tabor, 86-75 in Hillsboro on Thursday night.
Tabor hung with the KCAC leading Friend?s Falcons (14-5, 9-0) well into the second half, trailing by four with 2:58 left to play. From that point on, Tabor never came to within five points.
The backbreaker for the Bluejays was a two-basket flare up from Friend?s Romar Jones. After knocking down a three to stretch the Falcons? lead to seven with 2:28 left to play, Jones scored on a lay up to put Friends up?79-70 and the game out of reach.
Clay Shewey pulled Tabor back to within six on a deep three with 57 seconds remaining. However, the Falcons hit 5-of-6 free throws to finish the game.
?We got to have people that can put the ball in the hole and we know Clay Shewey can shoot the ball,? said Tabor coach Micah Ratzlaff. ?He?s come in with a lot of confidence and shot the ball really well for us.?
Ratzlaff attributed the inability to get stop out of the 2-3 zone as the difference maker in the ballgame. He said they were tough to guard in any defense.
?They really were aggressive no matter what defense we played,? said Tabor coach Micah Ratzlaff. ?We had a hard time stopping them.?
Jones had a game high 25 points along with nine rebounds. Tabor?s Cody Arnold led the Bluejays with 24 points on 7-for-18 shooting. Friend?s Chris Heard had 23 points. Bluejay Damon Dechant had 14 points and nine rebounds shooting 70 percent from the field.
Daniel Hamm, Clay Shewey and Ryan Chippeaux finshed with nine each. Shewey scored all his points beyond the arc, shooting 3-for-4. Lawson Kingsley and Michael Janzen had four and Rob Moore rounded out the scoring with 2.
Friends stays undefeated in KCAC play at 9-0 and sits on top of the standings.
Tabor is 6-12 overall and 3-6 in league play. Tabor shares the conferences fifth spot with Kansas Wesleyan, Sterling and Bethel. Saturday night, Sterling (6-13, 3-6) visits Tabor. Tabor beat Sterling, 92-80 in Sterling on Dec. 3, 2009.