Flowers in full bloom in BC win

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Bethel junior Tavaughn Flowers scored a career-high 31 points Wednesday in an 83-64 win over Friends in the first round of the KCAC postseason tournament.
Bethel junior Jaylon Scott, right, scored 10 points with 20 rebounds and 10 assists Wednesday in an 83-64 win over Friends. It was just the second triple-double in school history. Scott had the other triple-double Friday at William Penn.
Bethel junior Clifford Byrd II, right, scored 23 points Wednesday in an 83-64 win over Friends in the KCAC postseason tournament.
Bethel junior Bryant Mocaby drives the lane during play Wednesday against Friends. Bethel improves to 17-6 with the win.
Bethel College junior Jordan Neely guards Friends freshman Trey Reid during play Wednesday in the KCAC postseason tournament quarterfinals. Bethel hosts the semifinals at 2 p.m. Saturday.

It may not be spring yet, but Bethel junior Tavaughn Flowers was in full bloom Wednesday night, scoring 31 points in an 83-64 win over Friends University in the quarterfinals of the KCAC postseason tournament at Thresher Gym.

Flowers’ previous career-best was 18 points. Flowers was 11 of 19 from the field, 7 of 10 from 3-point range.

“I’ve been staying in the gym,” Flowers said. “I had one of my best games. The coach had the confidence in me to shoot the ball. Today, they were going in, so I had to keep shooting it. It’s special. Last year, we came up short against (Oklahoma Wesleyan in the semifinals). This is a different team. We’re much better. We get another home game. It’s going to be loud and that helps us play. Our transition defense was big. That’s been a weakness for us this year. We’ve made progress with that.”

“Tay was on fire tonight,” Bethel coach Jayson Artaz said. “We’ve been telling him to shoot more this season. Apparently, he started listening to us and was hitting three after three after three. It was good to see that. If we shoot like that, we’re going to be tough to beat.”

Clifford Byrd II scored 23 points. Jaylon Scott scored 10 points with 20 rebounds and 10 assists. It is Scott’s second-straight triple double — the only two in school history.

“I think I just taking what the defense is giving me,” Scott said. “My guys are making shots. With Tavaughn, I got three or four assists from him hitting threes. We just have to keep playing. Last year, the semifinals didn’t go the way we wanted. We bounced back and we have that experience. We get the home court again.”

“When we buried the threes, we got them to draw out farther to guard us,” Artaz said. “That allowed us to go inside. Once we got on that run, we got to play a little faster and that’s good for us. It was good to come out and put someone away.”

Friends was led by Davonte Pack scored 19 points with 13 rebounds. T.J. Williams added 15 points.

The Falcons end the season 7-12. The game ends the 18-season career of coach Dale Faber, who announced his retirement earlier this season.

“We were prepared as far as the plays we’d run,” Faber said. “They are pretty dynamic and we couldn’t make enough stops. Then we shot the ball very poorly. They are a tough bunch.”

Faber ends his career 299-250, 206-134 in conference play. His teams won two conference titles and four conference postseason tournaments. Each of those teams qualified for the NAIA Division II national tournament.

The team reached the NAIA quarterfinals in 2014.

“I’m a Wichita guy and I thought it would be a good job — and it was,” Faber said. “I had a pretty good run at it. I’m sure there will be (a lot of moments that stand out), but the last game’s the last game, so I’m not feeling so chipper.”

Bethel led by as many as eight in the first half. A Byrd II layup with 30 seconds left in the half put Bethel ahead 45-38.

Back-to-back Flowers 3-pointers put Bethel up by 14 with 17:13 in regulation. The Threshers led by as many as 19 in the remaining time. Friends got no closer than 11.

Bethel reaches the conference semifinals for the second straight year.

“It’s a long time since that probably happened,” Artaz said. “All of the guys here came in thinking it’s been a while since we had success here and they all wanted to be a part of the change and part of the reason we’ve had success. I’m proud of them. I honestly love coaching those guys.”

Bethel is 17-6 and hosts 18-10 Southwestern at 2 p.m. Saturday. Southwestern downed York 87-70 in the first round and upset fourth-seed McPherson 73-68 in the quarterfinals.

Bethel and Southwestern split in the regular season.

“It’s going to be a battle,” Artaz said. “They are good, really good. We’re going to have to be ready to go.”

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com

BETHEL MEN 83, FRIENDS 64

FRIENDS (7-12) — Bryant Rogers 0-1 0-0 0, PJ Medrano 1-9 3-4 5, Davonte Pack 8-19 0-1 19, Marquan Shakur 3-4 0-0 7, C.R. Curless 0-1 0-0 0, Nick Rumbo 3-5 1-2 8, Tim Barbieri 0-2 0-0 0, Elijah Conley 1-3 0-2 2, Trey Reid 1-2 1-2 3, Ian Konek 1-6 3-3 5, T.J. Williams 6-9 2-2 15, Eastyn Ruffin 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 24-61 10-16 64.

BETHEL (17-6) — Tavaughn Flowers 11-19 2-4 31, Kevon Green 0-0 0-0 0, Jared Mocaby 0-0 0-0 0, Miki Zewge 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan Neely 0-0 0-0 0, Clifford Byrd II 9-17 5-7 23, Jalyn Todd 0-2 0-0 0, Kyle Belvin 0-1 0-0 0, Jaylon Scott 3-8 4-7 10, Braydon Barber 0-0 0-0 0, Nick Bonner 2-2 0-0 6, Bryant Mocaby 1-9 0-0 3, Harper Jonas 0-3 2-2 2, Adam Gouro 3-3 2-5 8, Ike Umeh 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 29-65 15-25 83.

Friends;38;26;—;64

Bethel;45;38;—;83

Total fouls — Fr. 18, BC 14. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. 3-point shooting — Fr. 6-26 (Rogers 0-1, Medrano 0-4, Pack 3-7, Shakur 1-2, Curless 0-1, Rumbo 1-3, Barbieri 0-1, Conley 0-1, Reid 0-1, Konek 0-4, Williams 1-1), BC 10-20 (Flowers 7-10, Zewge 0-1, Byrd II 0-2, Bonner 2-2, B.Mocaby 1-5). Rebounds — Fr. 36 (Pack 13), BC 46 (Scott 20). Assists — Fr. 9 (Reid 2, Williams 2), BC 15 (Scott 10). Turnovers — Fr. 16 (Williams 6), BC 15 (Flowers 6). Blocked shots — Fr. 1 (Shakur 1), BC 2 (Todd 1, Gouro 1). Steals — Fr. 7 (Williams 3), BC 9 (Byrd II 3).

KCAC Postseason Tournament

First round

Monday

Friends 68, Bethany 63

Southwestern 87, York 70

Sterling 72, Tabor 66

Kansas Wesleyan 78, Avila 70

Quarterfinals

Wednesday

Bethel 83, Friends 64

Southwestern 73, McPherson 68

Ottawa 101, Sterling 76

Oklahoma Wesleyan 64, Kansas Wesleyan 63

Semifinals

2 p.m. Saturday

5. Southwestern (18-10) at 1. Bethel (17-6)

3. Ottawa (17-8) at 2. Oklahoma Wesleyan (18-5)

Championship game

6 p.m. Monday

at Hartman Arena

Semifinal winners