Three games in a week proved to be too much for the six-player women's Forester basketball
squad (10-7, 2-3) as they ran out of steam in the second half and dropped a 64-58 decision to the Pilots of Bethel College (12-7, 4-2) on Saturday afternoon.
Wearing a Forester uniform for the final time, junior Brita Kuiper carried Huntington through the first twenty minutes by knocking down 6-of-7 field goals to score 12 points. The Pilots, known for their three-point shooting, missed all eleven of their first half attempts but still managed to lead throughout the majority of the stanza. The Foresters finally took advantage of Bethel’s poor shooting when Kuiper hit back-to-back jumpers to give HU their first lead of the contest at 21-20 with just under four minutes left in the half. HU scored their final four points from the free throw line to take a 25-23 lead into the locker room.
Kelsey Green’s layup in the opening seconds of second half play seemed a sure sign the Foresters were picking up where they left off but Bethel quickly responded with a 7-0 run to take a 32-27 lead at the 15:50 mark. The Foresters cut it to two on two different occasions over the next seven minutes but it was obvious the weariness was settling in as shots were coming up short and defensive stops became fewer and farther between as evidenced by Bethel’s 61 percent shooting performance in the final twenty minutes.
Not surprisingly, the Foresters did not go down without a fight as they mustered a 9-2 run to close within two at 51-49 with just under five minutes to go but the Pilots answered with three layups in as many possessions to push the lead to seven. Heather Seyford, Bethel’s leading scorer who had been quiet most of the game, then made her presence known by going 5-for-6 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to ensure the Bethel victory.
Kuiper went out with a bang as she led all scorers with a career-high 23 points and seven boards, five of which were offensive. Miller was the only other Forester in double digits with 12. Claire Creasy came off the bench to score nine points. Green grabbed a game-high 11 boards. Kristen Hicks and Baysia Cox paced the Pilots with 11 and 10 points respectively. Mandy Yoder finished one point shy of a double double with nine points and ten rebounds.