Berean Academy boys roll to 13th-straight finals

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Berean Academy's Austin Thiessen (51) and Fairfield's Ethan Waters (22) reach for the loose ball during their game at the Burrton Invitational Tournament on Wednesday. Berean Academy defeated Fairfield 65-32.

BURRTON — The Berean Academy boys’ basketball team clamped down on defense to produce most of its offense, stopping Fairfield 65-32 Wednesday in the semifinals of the 42nd Burrton Invitational.

“We got a chance to work on some things,” Berean coach Lewis Wiebe said. “We did some things well and there are some areas we need to work on. We were pretty active with our hands. We did a good job with that.”

Fairfield played its third game in three days, making up a league game Tuesday.

“We played Pretty Prairie Monday, Chase Tuesday and Berean Academy today,” Fairfield coach Nathan Schafer said. “In the second quarter, we came out in a pretty fast pace. We wanted to keep the momentum we had in the first quarter. We were in the game in the first game. In the second quarter, we had seven or eight turnovers. It’s hard to beat a team like Berean with that many turnovers.” 

Berean Academy's Chase Wiebe (23) looks to pass the ball past Fairfield's Jacob Bauman (43) during their game at the Burrton Invitational Tournament on Wednesday. Berean Academy defeated Fairfield 65-32.

Chase Wiebe led Berean with 18 points. Austin Thiessen added 10 points.

Ethan Waters led x-x Fairfield with 11 points.

Fairfield turned the ball over on its first two possessions, spotting Berean a 5-0 advantage. A Jon Hoover buzzer beater put the Warriors ip 24-8. Waters had all of Fairfield’s scoring.

Berean Academy's Jon Hoover (25) shoots past Fairfield's Ethan Waters (22) during their game at the Burrton Invitational Tournament Wednesday. Berean Academy defeated Fairfield 65-32.

The Falcons opened the second quarter on a 6-5 run, but the Warriors then forced 10 turnovers to take a 44-15 advantage to the half.

Berean opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run. A Mason Regier layup at the buzzer put the Warriors up 60-19. The fourth quarter was played with the running clock.

The 10-1 Warriors reach the finals for the 13th straight year, winning the last three. Berean plays the winner between Inman and Little River at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“It will be a good test for us,” Lewis Wiebe said. “Whoever it is — Inman or Little River — it will be a good team. We have to keep getting better at some things. We have to keep getting better at rebounding and boxing out.”

Fairfield, 5-5, plays for third place at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“We’ll get in a practice or two,” Schafer said. “Hopefully, we’ll get back to full speed for Saturday.”

Burrton forfeited the consolation semifinal against Pretty Prairie. Both are still scheduled to play Friday.  

BEREAN ACADEMY BOYS 65, FAIRFIELD 32

Fairfield;8;7;4;13;—;32

Berean Ac.;22;22;16;5;—;65

FAIRFIELD (5-5) — Koehne 0 0-0 0, 0; Canady 0 0-0 3, 0; Kennedy 1 0-0 1, 2; Wente 0 1-2 0, 1; Kalmer 1 0-0 0, 2; Haumont 3 0-0 0, 6; Waters 3 (1) 2-3 1, 11; Fowler 0 0-0 1, 0; Fischer 0 0-0 0, 0; Jar.Bauman 4 2-2 3, 10; TOTALS 12 (1) 5-7 9, 32.

BEREAN ACADEMY (10-1) — G.Busenitz 1 (1) 0-0 1, 5; Tucker 0 0-0 0, 0; Timken - 0 (1) 0-0 3, 3; Wiebe 3 (3) 3-4 0, 18; Hoover 3 0-0 1, 6; Kukula 0 (3) 0-0 0, 9; Regier 2 0-0 1, 4; D.Busenitz 0 3-3 1, 3; Zapata 0 0-0 0, 0; Snook 0 (1) 2-2 2, 5; Sweazy 0 0-0 0, 0; Thiessen 4 4-7 1, 12; TOTALS 13 (9) 12-16 10, 65.

Fairfield's Jacob Bauman (43) drives past Berean Academy's Grant Busenitz (11) and Blake Timken (21) during their game at the Burrton Invitational Tournament Wednesday. Berean Academy defeated Fairfield 65-32.
Fairfield's Ethan Waters (22) and Berean Academy's Connor Sweazy (45) battle for a loose ball during their game at the Burrton Invitational Tournament Wednesday. Berean Academy defeated Fairfield 65-32.
Berean Academy's Chase Wiebe (23) reaches to knock the ball out of the hands of Fairfield's Ethan Waters (22) during their game at the Burrton Invitational Tournament Wednesday. Berean Academy defeated Fairfield 65-32.
Berean Academy's Grant Busenitz (11) is caught between Fairfield's Calen Wente (14) and Jacob Bauman (43) during their game at the Burrton Invitational Tournament Wednesday. Berean Academy defeated Fairfield 65-32.