Sports briefs

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan

Bethel coaches resigns

After four seasons and a 64-53 record, Bethel College women’s basketball coach Drew Johnson and assistant coach Nicole (Ohlde) Johnson announced their resignation to become coaches at NCAA Division II Newman University in Wichita.

The Johnsons led Bethel to its first ever National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national tournament appearance this past season.

The team finished 12-18 in their first season with the Threshers. Their second season saw a school-record 20 wins, finishing 20-10 overall. The team qualified for the KCAC post-season tournament for the first time since 2012.

The team was 16-15 in 2019-20 and 16-10 in a COVID-19 shortened season this past year.

The Threshers finished second in the conference this season at 16-6, the team’s highest conference finish in more than five decades. The team qualified for the NAIA post-season tournament, falling to Vanguard (Calif.) 67-50 in the first round of the NAIA national tournament.

"I want to thank Drew and his staff for pouring their heart and soul into this program the past four years" director of athletics Tony Hoops said. "Drew was a transformative piece of the puzzle on our coaching floor that has pushed Bethel Athletics forward in so many different ways."

"For the last four years, I have been incredibly blessed to be the women's basketball coach at Bethel College," Drew Johnson said. "It has been a period of time that has shaped me as not only a coach, but a husband, and father as well. Walking into Thresher Gym and leading the Thresher women's basketball team has been a dream come true. I have met so many amazing people and made lifelong friendships along the way.

"I find myself inspired by the student-athletes here, particularly the women's basketball players who are just as remarkable off the court as they are on the court. Bethel is a transformational place which will forever hold a place in my heart."

Under the Johnsons, post Abby Schmidt was a three-time All-American and the three-time KCAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Bethel set numerous records in the past four years. Schmidt is the team’s all-time leading rebounder and shot blocker and is among the leaders in career scoring. She also holds the school record for double-doubles.

Guard Kendall Michalski holds school records for 3-point shooting in a season and a game. She is 27 off the career record with a season to play.

Drew Johnson finishes as Bethel’s third most winningest coach.

"This program is in a great spot for continued success to be built upon thanks to Drew and his staff,” Hoops said. “I look forward to hiring our next head coach soon and seeing the program continue to thrive."

Bethel and Newman have had a history of shared coaches.

Johnson will be the second Bethel College women’s coach to go to Newman. Former Bethel women’s coach Mark Fox came to the Threshers from Newman.

Johnson takes over a team that finished 4-18 overall and in the MidAmerican Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Johnson succeeds Darin Spence at Newman, who resigned after nine seasons, where he was 120-113.

Bethel men win opener

TOPEKA — The Bethel College men’s tennis team opened play in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference post-season tournament with a 4-2 win over rival Tabor Thursday at the Kossover Tennis Center in Topeka.

Bethel takes on top-seeded and nationally-ranked McPherson Friday in the semifinals. It’s the first semifinal match for the Thresher men since 2014.

Bethel’s first point of the meet came in doubles, where the teams of Milan Bucek and Jordan Singh, and  Tomas Quercia and Zach Shima each claimed 6-2 wins. With the point already secured,  Michael Cech and Nolan Schrader abandoned their match tied 4-4.

At first singles, Bucek won 6-0, 6-2. At third singles, Schrader won 6-1, 6-2. Cech  came back with wins after dropping the first set. Cech won 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Quercia and Joaquin Pluis fell at fourth and sixth singles respectively, giving Tabor their sole wins.

With the match clinched, Shima abandoned his match, trailing 2-6, 6-3, 1-5.

Tabor ends the season 6-16.

Bethel advances to the semifinals 12-4.

Bethel 4, Tabor 2

Singles  — Milan Bucek (BC) def. Mickel Alexander (TC) 6-0, 6-2; Michael Cech (BC) def. Jean Paul Fort (TC) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2; Nolan Schrader (BC) def. Juan Ramirez (TC) 6-1, 6-2; Ethan Kutz (TC) def. Tomas Quercia (BC) 7-5, 6-1; Zachary Shima (BC) vs. Raul Moreano Chan (TC) 2-6, 6-3, 1-5, unfinished; Pierce Klaassen (TC) def. Joaquin Pluis (BC) 6-4, 6-3.

Doubles — Michael Cech-Nolan Schrader (BC) vs. Juan Ramirez-Mickel Alexander (TC) 4-4, unfinished; Milan Bucek-Jordan Singh (BC) def. Jean Paul Fort-Pierce Klaassen (TC) 6-2; Tomas Quercia-Zachary Shima (BC) def. Raul Moreano Chan-Ethan Kutz (TC) 6-2.

Hesston softball swept

HESSTON — The Hesston College softball team was swept by Johnson County Community College Thursday at Bess Mullet Field in Jayhawk Conference play.

Hesston fell 17-7 and 15-2.

Scoring information was not listed.

Hesston is 19-15, 11-11 in Jayhawk Conference play. Hesston plays Sunday at Cowley College.

Moundridge softball sweeps

LITTLE RIVER — The Moundridge High School softball team claimed a pair of wins over Little River Thursday in Heart of America League play.

Moundridge won the first game 18-1 in five innings on the 10-run rule, and the second game 21-0 in three innings on the 15-run rule.

McKenzie Elmore pitched a one-hitter in the first game, walking one and striking out six.

Erin Durst hit a home run, driving in three runs. Kate Eichelberger drove in two runs. Emily Durst went two for three hitting.

Emily Durst threw a one-hit shutout in the second game, striking out five batters.

Erin Durst had three hits and five RBIs in the game. Eichelberger had three hits with an RBI. Addi Falco had two hits with an RBI.

Moundridge is 8-4 and plays Tuesday against Hutchinson Trinity at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Field in Hutchinson.

Wildcats drop two games

LITTLE RIVER — The Moundridge High School baseball team dropped two games to Little River Thursday in Heart of America League play.

Moundridge fell 10-8 and 17-4. The second game was called after five innings on the 10-run rule.

“Tonight in game one, our guys battled,” Moundridge coach Jason Rains said. “We put ourselves in a position to have a chance to win but just didn’t make it happen. Ty Rains led the offense with three of the team’s 13 hits.

“Game two was a different story. Pitchers struggled to find the zone and we failed to make some plays that we should have. You just can’t do that against good teams. It was one of those nights where we hit the ball hard, but right at people on many occasions. Thats the way this game is. You can do things right and still not have the ball drop your way.”

In the first game, Wyatt Falco, Logan Churchill and London Ward each drove in two runs for Moundridge. Jon Schlosser took the loss.

In the second game, Anthony Everhart had two hits and three RBIs for Moundridge. Ethan Brandeweide took the loss.

Moundridge plays May 7 at Marion.