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Second-ranked Roland shows strength in defeat over Bethel

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

OKMULGEE — Second-ranked Roland displayed its muscle Saturday in registering a 73-53 victory over Bethel in a Class 3A regional winners’ bracket matchup.

Roland jetted out to a 22-5 advantage and the closest Bethel got was 10 points in the second half.

“Roland was really dialed in,” said Bethel coach Eric Litherland. “They flexed on us early and we didn’t respond.”

Bethel (18-7) had captured nine straight victories prior to Saturday. Bethel’s last loss had come on Jan. 22.

Drae Wood headed Bethel’s scoring with 13 and John Gordon finished with 12.

“Roland played a very physical game,” Litherland said. “We didn’t do very much right early. We played them about even the last three quarters.”

Bethel must win three area games to advance to the state tournament. The Wildcats will begin that quest at 8 p.m. Thursday when they engage Vian at Checotah.

Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.