By Mark Schnabel

Newton Kansan

Senior night is not supposed to be about freshmen, but for the Bethel College women’s basketball team, freshman Abby Schmidt made her mark one more time this year, scoring 16 points with 10 rebounds and five blocked shots in a 62-52 win over McPherson College Saturday in the Threshers’ season finale.

Schmidt finished the season with 293 rebounds, breaking the single-season record held by April Harpe. Schmidt also recorded her 11th double-double of the year. She finished eighth in the nation (NAIA Division II) in offensive rebounds per game (4.1), eighth in total blocks (61) and 10th in total rebounds.

“I have to put in a lot of work over the summer,” Schmidt said. “I want to work on my 3-point shot and work on my overall shot. I need to work on my free throws a little bit. Those kind of went downhill. I just have to get ready to play here next year.”

While Schmidt is a legacy, with both parents playing basketball for the Threshers, her recruiting process includes two coaches no longer with the program — Mark Fox, now an assistant men’s coach at Tabor; and Adam Esses, now an assistant women’s coach at Texas-San Antonio. Her current coach, Drew Johnson, was named to the post last summer.

“Those are really unique experience to sign with one coach, but play with another coach,” Schmidt said. “All I can say was it was in God’s hands. He knew exactly what was going to happen. It’s been the best decision I could have made. It’s a blessing Drew and (assistant) Nicole are here. I couldn’t be more happen.”

“The one thing Abby does so well is play with incredible energy all night long, all game long, whenever her number is called,” Bethel coach Drew Johnson said. “A lot of those rebounds were energy rebounds, where she would just go out there and fight all the way. It’s always a special accomplishment to break a record. It couldn’t happen to a nicer kid. I’m proud of her for that.”

Schmidt was named KCAC defensive player of the week for the sixth time this season and second week in a row. She also was named offensive player of the week twice.

She finished the week with 30 points, 20 rebounds, seven blocked shots and a steal.

Bethel led 13-8 after the first quarter, 24-19 at the half and 42-36 after three quarters. McPherson got to within two early in the fourth quarter, but the Threshers pulled away by as many as 13 late.

“We have worked all season to continue to fight and play and battle,” Johnson said. “We are a team that has to grind out everything we do. It was nice to pull it out at the end on senior night. That was a big win for us.”

Kelsey Potter and Riley Schmieder each finished with 12 points.

Danielle Holt led McPherson with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Hesston High grad Cami Richardson scored six points with eight rebounds.

McPherson ends the season 14-15, 10-12 in KCAC play. McPherson takes on top-seeded and 22nd-ranked (NAIA Division II) Friends at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the KCAC post-season tournament.

Bethel sweeps the regular-season series against the Bulldogs.

Bethel ends the season 12-18, 8-14 in KCAC play. The Threshers won their last three in a row and five of the last eight. Bethel loses four seniors — Ciara McKinney, Fantasia Johnson, J’Daijon Sumpter and Kylee Schunn.

Bethel posted the most wins overall since 2013-14 and the most conference wins since 2010-11.

“We have to go back and evaluate where we are as a team,” Johnson said. “We lose four seniors who are the heart and soul of the team. We’re going to have to recruit well. That’s the next challenge on the list. We’ll approach that the way we’ve approached everything else — as hard as we can and as well as we can.”

McPHERSON (14-15, 10-12 KCAC) — Brooke Racette 2-7 0-0 4, Brooklyn Coe 3-7 1-2 9, Sonerka White 3-20 0-0 7, Cami Richardson 2-9 2-3 6, Julie Olvera 0-2 0-0 0, Kristina Battle 1-2 0-2 3, Danielle Holt 6-10 4-6 16, Brooke Zimmerman 0-2 0-2 0, Brittany Roberts 3-7 1-2 7. TOTALS 20-66 8-17 52.

BETHEL (12-18, 8-14 KCAC) — Karlie Schroeder 2-8 2-4 6, Ciara McKinney 1-2 0-0 2, Michelle Schrag 0-2 0-0 0, Riley Schmieder 4-7 3-5 12, J'Daijon Sumpter 1-4 0-0 2, Jade Brown 3-13 1-5 8, Kelsey Potter 4-10 0-0 12, Abby Schmidt 7-13 2-10 16, Kylee Schunn 1-3 2-3 4, Kadi Relph 0-0 0-0 0, Erica Ebenkamp 0-0 0-0 0, Caitlin Williams 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 23-62 10-27 62.

McPherson;8;11;17;16;—52

Bethel;13;11;18;20;—62

Total fouls — MC 23, BC 19. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. 3-point shooting — MC 4-24 (Racette 0-4, Coe 2-5, White 1-8, Richardson 0-4, Battle 1-1, Holt 0-2), BC 6-24 (Schroeder 0-6, Schmieder 1-2, Sumpter 0-1, Brown 1-6, Potter 4-9). Rebounds — MC 44 (Holt 10), BC 43 (Schmidt 10). Assists — MC 10 (Richardson 3), BC 15 (Brown 6). Turnovers — MC 13 (Roberts 4), BC 15 (McKinney 3, Brown 3). Blocked shots — MC 0, BC 6 (Schmidt 5). Steals — MC 8 (White 3), BC 5 (Schroeder 1, Sumpter 1, Schmidt 1, Schunn 1, Ebenkamp 1).