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Panther boys knock off Bethany Christian

 

Prairie Heights made its second trip to Elkhart County of the weekend a successful one Saturday night when it held off a scrappy Bethany Christian club, 65-54 in Waterford Mills.

The Panthers, who dropped a 64-50 decision at Fairfield the previous evening, pressured the host Bruins into 22 turnovers, eight of them in the third quarter alone which triggered a 20-12 spurt that put the visitors ahead, 53-44.

“Our defense came up big in the third period and the kids did a nice job of forcing Bethany into mistakes,” said Prairie Heights coach Brett Eltzroth.

The Panthers were still up 11 (56-45) early in the final frame when several rushed shots and an icy effort (3-9) at the free throw line allowed Bethany to scratch back within four (58-54) with 1:13 left. But Kyler West quelled the Bruin rally with a pair of free throws, and the Panthers went on to post their second win of the young campaign.

“We didn’t do a good job of finishing the game,” Eltzroth said. “Some of the decisions we made with the ball and on defense in the fourth quarter were poor. But, we’re still a work in progress and tonight was all part of the learning process we have to go through in order to become a better basketball team.”

Jacob Heller tossed in 24 points to pace Prairie Heights, going 8-11 from the field and 6-7 from the foul stripe. The 6-3 forward also grabbed 10 rebounds.

West chipped in 10 points and four steals to the Panther cause. Dylan Stayner came off the bench to snare six boards, while Corey Johnson dished out five assists.

Sol Brenneman led the 0-3 Bruins with 19 points.

The loss also kept veteran Bethany coach Jim Buller from gaining his 400th career triumph.

GAME SUMMARY

Prairie Heights 65

Bethany Christian 54

Scoring by quarters

     PH     14     19     20     12    -65

     BC     20     12     12     10    -54

Prairie Heights

Spencer Hess 2, 0-0, 6; Kyle West 3, 3-7, 10; Jackie Owens 3, 0-0, 7; Jacob Heller 8, 6-7, 24; Corey Johnson 2, 0-0, 4; Bobby Blum 1, 2-2, 4; Zach Shepard 3, 0-0, 6; Dylan Stayner 1, 2-4, 4; Landon Wohlers 0, 0-0, 0; Cassten Everidge 0, 0-0, 0; Joey Barry 0, 0-0, 0; Totals 23, 13-20, 65

Three-point field goals 6 (Hess 2, Heller 2, West 1, Owens 1); Rebounds 30 (Heller 10, Stayner 6); Steals 12 (West 4); Assists 13 (Johnson 5); Team Fouls 20 (Fouled Out: None)

Bethany Christian

Sol Brenneman 8, 3-4, 19; Nate Nussbaum 2, 0-4, 4; Abe Thorne 2, 2-2, 6; Jesse Loewen 1, 4-6, 6; Caleb Morris 3, 0-1, 7; Isaac Schertz 4, 1-2, 10; Cristian Romero 0, 0-0, 0; Ike Lehman 1, 0-0, 2; Totals 21, 10-19, 54

Three-point field goals 2 (Morris 1, Schertz 1); Team Fouls 19 (Fouled Out: Thorne)