Wildcats' free-throw excellence pays dividends
PURCELL — Quality free-throw shooting down the stretch keyed Bethel’s 60-54 victory over Vanoss in Thursday’s first round of the 2020 Heart of Oklahoma Tournament.
The Wildcats, in capturing their fifth straight win, nailed 9-of-11 charity tosses while tying Vanoss 16-all the final quarter.
Overall, Bethel was 15 of 19 at the line for 78.9%. John Gordon was 5 of 6 in the fourth quarter while Jesse Tucker was 4 of 4.
Gage Porter was Bethel’s scoring leader with 17, including three 3-pointers. Devin Acklin totaled 13 points, including a 3-pointer, and Gordon netted 11 points.
“We didn’t play great, but we’re finding ways to win,” Bethel coach Eric Litherland said.
Cade Paulin of Vanoss scored 34 points, 22 of which came in the first half. Paulin knocked down four 3-point field goals.
Vanoss, ranked sixth in 2A, is 14-2.
Bethel, 9-4 and winner in six of its last seven games, advances to tonight’s 7:50 semifinal against Thursday’s Purcell-Sulphur victor.
Sulphur 47, Bethel 40
Bethel gave undefeated Sulphur all it wanted.
The Lady Wildcats led Class 4A 11th-ranked Sulphur 29-26 after three quarters.
“They shoot the ball really well, but we got killed on offensive rebounding in the fourth quarter,” Bethel coach Tara Satterfield said. “For the most part, we shot the ball good. Better
offensive rebounding would have given us a better chance to win.”
Bethel chalked up seven 3-point field goals to none for Sulphur.
“We have been doing a good job of defending 3-pointers,” Satterfield said.
Parker Stevenson, Bethel’s leading scorer with 12, posted two 3-pointers, as did Paige Hubler, who had eight points. Kelsie Wood finished with nine points on three treys.
Bethel was superb at the charity stripe at 9 of 10 — 4 of 4 by Stevenson and 5 of 6 by Kennedy Gregory.
Sulphur was 9 of 13 at the line.
Bethel continues tournament action at 10:30 a.m. today against Thursday’s Vanoss-Mt. St. Mary loser.
Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.