Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bethany wins playoff game, and future looks bright

With senior Tommy Saffert, who had scored 57 points in two victories over Martin Luther in the regular season, limited to only two points Tuesday, Bethany Lutheran was still able to defeat Martin Luther 64-52 in the quarterfinals of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference tournament.
This playoff victory was all about the future as freshman Derek Peterson led the Vikings with 16 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Patrick Garvin had 12 points and seven assists, and sophomore Trevor Bartelt added nine points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Garrett Benson scored 10 points, all in the first half, and freshman Gavin Kroehler grabbed seven rebounds.
The rookies commited a few too many turnovers in the second half, but the youngsters didn't back down fvrom physical play after the officials swallowed their whistles. It's been a tough season for the younger players, who took lumps until Bethany won 10 of the last 13 games. The Vikings could easily go to Minnesota-Morris on Thursday and win the UMAC semifinal game, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Bethany defeat Northwestern in a championship game, either.
It's going to be interesting to watch these young players develop, and in the next season or two, it should be Bethany winning UMAC championships. Every bit of court time these talented players get this season should be of benefit in the future.

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