Lady Cats Fall to Union in Conference Title Game


Bethel's T.K. Harris

For a half the Bethel Lady Wildcats appeared they would give No 1 ranked Union all they wanted in the TranSouth Conference title game at Union's Fred De Lay Gym. Using a 16-2 run in the first several minutes of the second half, Union reminded all why they have dominated this tournament and still are the team to beat for the national title as they pulled away with that second half run to win 73-49. It was Union's 11th conference championship.
     Both teams led by as many as five points in the first half. Bethel led 19-18 when Union's Lavanda Ross hit a three-point shot as the shot clock was expiring to give Union a 21-19 lead. Bethel would catch the Lady Dogs at 23 with three minutes left in the first half, but Union would retake the lead at 28-25 at the half. It would be a lead they would never relinquish.
While Union shot a blistering 56 percent in the second half, the Lady Cats could only manage 28 percent and Union would pull away to move their record to 31-1 on the year. Bethel fell to 26-6 on the season with three of those losses to Union. Four of Bethel's six losses were on Union's David Blackstock court this season.
Union shot 49 percent for the game while Bethel shot 35 percent. Union won the rebounding battle with a 34-28 advantage. Union scored 26 points off Bethel turnovers. The Lady Cats finished with 16 turnovers while Union had 15 turnovers. The 49 points is the lowest of the season for Bethel. Jana Roney was the only Lady Wildcat in double figures with 10 points. It is only the third game this season Bethel has placed just one in double figures in a game. Two of the games have been against Union. The other was against Martin Methodist in a Bethel 56-50 win.
Union's Lavanda Ross led the Lady Dawgs with 25 points. She was named tournament MVP. Kayla Hudson finished with 17 points while Sarah Chan had 15 points on the night. Hudson was named to the all-tournament squad. Teena Carter and Roney represented Bethel on the team. Lyon's K.K. Hodges and FHU's Meribeth Boehler were also named to the team.
Bethel Coach Chris Nelson commented on the game and next week's national tournament. "I thought we played well in the first half. The second half I thought we lost our composure and that bothers me. We need to take a very mature look at that as we prepare for the tournament next week. I love this team and am confident we will bounce back next week."
Both squads move on to the NAIA National tournament next week at Oman Arena. Union is projected as the No1 seed while Bethel is projected as a No 2 seed. The final ratings, seedings and pairings will be released Wednesday afternoon. Locally E-Plus TV 6 will present a national pairings show and it will also be available at, and at