The Bethel College men’s basketball team went down Saturday in the season finale against McPherson College 86-79 at Thresher Gym, but the Threshers did not go down easily.
Trailing by as many as 18 for most of the game, Bethel got as close as four with 3 1/2 minutes to play. Bethel was down five with 26 seconds to play, but McPherson was able to hit free throws at the end to pull away.
The game was the final for head coach Tony Hoops, who will concentrate his efforts full time as athletic director. Assistant Jayson Artaz has been elevated to the head coaching position for next year.
Two seniors also made their swan song for the Threshers. Chase Bansiter was held to four points in the first half, but led the team’s charge in the second to finish with 25 points and nine rebounds. The team’s other senior, Maurice Jordan finished with seven points.
Bannister finished with 1,018 career points for Bethel.
“Never quit,” Banister said. “That’s been this team’s attitude all year. That’s been the coaches’ attitude all year. That’s been me my whole life. I hate that it’s a loss, but I’m proud of this team for sticking with it. We didn’t go out quietly. I appreciate everything everyone in the Newton community and Bethel community has done for me. It’s been a special three years. It’s been a great ride.”
During the senior night introductions, it was said Banister was either going to be an instructor at Hogwarts (from the Harry Potter series) or go into marketing and video production. He earned the nickname “The Wizard” and the “Godfather” from the student section.
“I got a buddy by the name of Jerrod Sherriff, he’s one of the biggest Bethel fans I’ve ever seen,” Banister said. “He’s a big basketball fan. He startred that. He gave me the nickname and it stuck. The student section ran with it. It’s funny, but it’s humbling. I appreciate it.”
Bethel ends the year 7-22, 5-17 in KCAC play.
“I think we were 1-13 in games decided by seven points or less,” Hoops said. “I think that shows two things — that this program has a chance to go forward and be successful; and our record is not indicative of what this team was. It also shows the obstacles we still have to overcome now. To get to the next level, we have to be winners and understand the value of every possession both offensively and defensively.”
Hoops will finish his tenure as Thresher coach 40-80.
“I know God has a plan and a purpose,” Hoops said. “It’s the right thing to do and need to do. I will be extremely gratified when we turn it around. When your best friend takes it over, there’s no selfishness involved.”
Terrell Marshall finished with 13 points and 11 assists for his first double-double of the season. Trey Sleep finished with 10 points.
“We finally started to stop forcing things and settle in,” Hoops said. “I don’t question our players’ heart or desire to fix things. At times, we might have had a little too much and didn’t let the game come to us. We made a run there. We finally started to play with poise and purpose. We just dug ourselves too big a hole.”
McPherson, 11-19 overall and 8-14 in KCAC play, was led by Chamaje Barideaux with 19 points, Jeffrey Oxford with 18 points, Aaron Bachura with 14 points and Lual Magot with 13.
Artaz has been an assistant at Bethel for the past four seasons. Like Hoops, he is a Bethel grad and a member of the 2003 KCAC championship team and NAIA Division II national qualifier. He has been a coach for eight years. Before becoming an assistant at Bethel, was an assistant at Valley Center High School.
“Improvement will be the name of the game,” Artaz said. “Our guys have to get better. We need to bring in quality basketball players and quality people to Bethel and play the right way. Every day we’re on campus, we have to work to get better. We need some size. We’re one of the smallest teams in the conference. We look to add some size. We also need a dynamic players. We need some playmakers. We have some guys already on our roster who can do that. We’re young this year. We had to play a lot of sophomores. Those guys are going to take a really big step next year.”
Artaz said there may not be too many changes in the offensive and defensive philosophies, but that he will build his game plan around his team.
“If our personnel fit what we did this year, we’ll keep it similar,” Artaz said. “If we have the guys to run more ball-screen type stuff, we’ll do that.”
McPHERSON (11-19, 8-14 KCAC) — Chamaje Barideaux 6-11 4-4 19, Louis Parker III 3-6 1-2 7, Taylor Ellison 2-2 0-0 6, Lual Magot 3-8 7-8 13, Jeffrey Oxford 6-10 6-7 18, Aaron Bachura 5-19 2-2 14, Garrett Owen 0-4 0-0 0, Grant Munsen 1-1 0-0 2, Frederick Watts 3-5 1-2 7. TOTALS 29-66 21-25 86.
BETHEL (7-22, 5-17 KCAC) — Chase Banister 7-15 7-7 25, Maurice Jordan 2-11 2-2 7, Joe Rushing 2-5 4-4 8, Poe Bryant 3-5 3-4 9, Trey Sleep 5-7 0-0 10, Sam Morgan 2-4 1-2 5, Terrell Marshall 5-11 3-7 13, Parker Austin 1-1 0-0 2, Quinten Gutierrez 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 27-59 20-26 79.
Total fouls — MC 23, BC 21. Technical fouls — BC: Rushing 1:49-2h. Fouled out — MC: Owen. BC: Jordan. 3-point shooting — MC 7-20 (Barideaux 3-3, Ellison 2-2, Magot 0-1, Oxford 0-1, Bachura 2-10, Owen 0-2, Watts 0-1), BC 5-21 (Banister 4-9, Jordan 1-7, Rushing 0-2, Morgan 0-1, Marshall 0-2). Rebounds — MC 34 (Watts 6), BC 31 (Banister 9). Assists — MC 12 (Barideaux 4), BC 17 (Marshall 11). Turnovers — MC 13 (Barideaux 4), BC 14 (Marshall 5). Blocked shots — MC 3 (Magot 1, Munsen 1, Watts 1), BC 1 (Sleep 1). Steals — MC 10 (Barideaux 3), BC 3 (Jordan 2).