Bethel women fall in tourney debut

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Bethel junior Kendall Michalski scored 20 points in a 67-50 loss to Vanguard University in the NAIA National Tournament opening round Friday in Wichita.
Bethel senior Abby Schmidt ended her career with the Threshers in a 67-50 loss to Vanguard University. Schmidt is Bethel’s all-time leading rebounder and shot blocker. She is also among the team’s leading scorers.
Bethel junior Josie Calzonetti scored 12 points Friday in a 67-50 loss to Vanguard University in Wichita.
Bethel sophomore Macie Price takes a shot during play Friday in the NAIA Nationals in Wichita. Bethel was making its first appearance in the tournament.
Bethel junior Jasmina Jones handles the ball during play Friday against Vanguard University in Wichita. Bethel ends the season 16-10.

WICHITA — The Bethel offense ran out of gas in the last 15 minutes of play and struggled on the defensive boards, leading to a 67-50 loss to Vanguard Friday night in the first round of the NAIA National Tournament at the Garvey Center in Wichita.

“We couldn’t score. We struggled to keep up,” Bethel coach Drew Johnson said. “I thought they hit some tough shots and hit some threes, which was a change in the game. In the first half, we held them  to two threes. In the second half, they had quite a few more. I thought that was the difference. They got open looks. They got a bunch of (offensive rebounds).”

Tristen Rollon led Vanguard with 25 points. Lauren Baumgartner scored 21 points. Estefania Giner scored 11 points with 10 rebounds.

Vanguard, 7-4, plays MidAmerica Nazarene at 8 p.m. Saturday in the round of 32.

Bethel was led by Kendall Michalski scored 20 points. Josie Calzonetti scored 12 points. Senior Abby Schmidt was held to nine points with six rebounds and a blocked shot. She holds the school’s career record for rebounds and blocked shots. She is among Bethel’s all-time leading scorers.

“(Michalski)’s been so good,” Johnson said. “She’s been a relentless worker. She’s so competitive. She really battled her tail off. She played so well down the stretch. In the future, as this program continues to grow, we’re going to rely on her a lot more. She proved down the stretch she could be relied on. She can shoot it and she can drive it.”

Bethel jumped out 10-2, but gave up a 12-2 run. Calzonetti hit two free throws with 3.7 seconds left in the quarter to tie the game 14-14.

Bethel led by as many as six in the second quarter. Vanguard got back within two at the half, 25-23.

A Michalski 3-point play put Bethel up by six with 7:07 left in the third quarter. The Lions replied with back-to-back 3-pointers to spark an 11-0 run. Michalski hit a couple baskets to get Bethel within one, but Vanguard answered the run to lead 44-39 at the end of the quarter.

The Threshers got within three early in the fourth quarter. A Baumgartner 3-pointer put Vanguard up 51-42 with 6:42 remaining. Bethel took a time out and missed a shot. Rollon then hit a three to put the Lions up 12. Vanguard led by as many as 17 down the stretch.

Bethel ends the season x-x. Bethel loses just three seniors and just one starter in Schmidt.

“We’ll miss Abby and we’ll miss so much of what she does,” Johnson said. “We’ll miss who she is as a person and the kind of teammate she is, her leadership, toughness and dedication to this program as much as we’ll miss her points, rebounds and stuff. She’s going to be very successful the rest of her life because of how hard she works.

“We’ll take a break, take a deep breath for a second and get our legs back. Every player has some things they have to grow through. I’ve got things I’ve got to grow through. I’m excited for what this team looks like. The future is very, very bright. I’m excited to see what the future hold. Let’s not wait however long this was (to get to nationals). Let’s try to get back here again. It was really fun. A have to give a shout out to Friends. They did a great job with this event. We got a taste. Let’s try to keep going back.”

BETHEL (16-10) — Abby Schmidt 3-7 3-6 9, Alex Bearup 1-1 0-0 3, Kendall Michalski 6-12 5-5 20, Josie Calzonetti 3-5 5-6 12, Macie Price 0-2 2-2 2, Jasmina Jones 0-5 0-0 0, Zayda Perez 2-8 0-0 4, Daryn Batts 0-0 0-0 0, Jaycee Freshour 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS 15-41 15-19 50.

VANGUARD (7-4) — Michaella Elad 2-5 2-2 6, Tristen Rollon 9-17 2-2 25, Aggie Manu 0-1 0-0 0, Gabriela Rosas 1-7 2-2 4, Estefania Giner 5-9 1-2 11, Lauren Baumgartner 8-15 2-2 21, Airiana Madanski 0-5 0-0 0. TOTALS 25-59 9-10 67.

Bethel;14;11;14;11;—;50

Vanguard;14;9;21;23;—;67

Total fouls — BC 11, VU 15. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. 3-point shooting — BC 5-15 (Bearup 1-1, Michalski 3-8, Calzonetti 1-2, Price 0-1, Jones 0-2, Perez 0-1), VU 8-21 (Rollon 5-8, Rosas 0-3, Giner 0-2, Baumgartner 3-5, Madanski 0-3). Rebounds — BC 29 (Schmidt 6), VU 32 (Giner 12). Assists — BC 9 (Bearup 2, Price 2, Perez 2), VU 12 (Baumgartner 5, Madanski 5). Turnovers — BC 21 (Michalski 6, Price 6), VU 12 (Rosas 4). Blocked shots — BC 2 (Schmidt 1, Jones 1), VU 1 (Giner 1). Steals — BC 3 (Schmidt 1, Calzonetti 1, Jones 1), VU 10 (Giner 3).

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com