Bethel Holds off Kansas for 3A Gold Ball

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 6:11 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 12, 2011 2:3 PM CDT

Gerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Top-ranked Bethel held off a late-game run from No. 2 Kansas to top the Lady Comets 50-45 Saturday to claim the Class 3A Gold Ball.

The Lady Wildcats built a 34-24 first half lead, by outscoring Kansas 13-6 in the second quarter, capitalizing on six misses from the Lady Comets in the opening minutes of the quarter.

Kansas made a big push early in the fourth quarter, led by Kelsey Barnwell. The junior guard scored eight, including back-to-back three-pointers, sparking an 10-4 run to close the deficit to four points.

However, Bethel responded by concentrating on its inside game. The Lady Wildcats strung together a 7-2 run, four in the post from junior Taylor Cooper, to push their advantage to 45-36.

Once again, the Lady Comets responded, a 7-2 run, capped off by five from junior Courtney Cowan, to cut the deficit back to five points.

Bethel converted on its free throws and managed to pass out of the pressure from Kansas to kill 35 seconds and seal the win.

Cooper finished tied for the game-high with 18 points, with Kylee Tatum adding 12.

Barnwell finished tied with Cooper for the game high with 18, Cowan contributed 12 and sophomore post Heather Marshall added nine.

Kansas finishes the season 24-4, and returns all but two players to the squad for the 2011-2012 season.

For Bethel, the win marks the school’s fourth Gold Ball in the program’s history and the first since 2001.