Jake Hawkins brought Haskell back, but he couldn't quite get the Fightin' Indians past Bethany College's junior varsity.
Hawkins, a Lawrence High graduate and Haskell Indian Nations University forward, scored five points in the final two minutes, but he missed two free throws with 15 seconds remaining as Bethany's JV escaped with an 81-77 men's basketball victory over Haskell on Monday at Coffin Sports Complex.
With Haskell trailing 78-70 with 2:35 left, Hawkins was fouled and hit both free throws, then scored a field goal on a Bethany turnover to pull the Indians within four, 78-74.
Haskell turned to a full-court press, and with 33 seconds remaining HINU forward Brandon Williamson's steal resulted in a basket by guard Jamie Feather Earring.
Bethany again turned it over and again fouled Hawkins. He hit the first free throw to pull the Indians within one, but missed the second. Bethany's 6-foot-9 center, Darren Hinshaw, grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Hinshaw hit one of two free throws to give the Swedes a 79-77 lead.
On the rebound of Hinshaw's second free throw, Bethany's Josh Smith grabbed the rebound, but missed a shot. Smith fouled Hawkins, who grabbed the Swedes' missed shot, and again Hawkins went to the line.
But Hawkins' free throws rimmed out, and Bethany hit three free throws in the final seconds to secure the victory.
"We put ourselves in position to win this game several times, but missed a lot of free throws." Haskell coach Al Gipp said. "I thought we didn't play as intense as we could at times and we had guys not doing what they are suppose to out there."
Haskell shot 70 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free throw line in the first half, but hit only 35 percent from the field and 54 percent from the line in the second half.
"Bethany picked up the intensity in the second half and we got careless with the basketball." Gipp said. "They gave us some options in the first half, and we started looking for those options in the second half. We just weren't as patient out there."
The Swedes, unlike the Indians, improved as the game went on. After shooting only 41 percent in the first half, Bethany improved to 59 percent in the second half.
"Haskell put some pressure on us and we really stayed relaxed," Bethany coach Greg Ferguson said.
Gipp wasn't pleased with the 18 points the Indians surrendered to Bethany at the free throw line. Three players fouled out for Haskell, which committed 25 fouls.
"Both teams played with high intensity and they worked really hard out there," Gipp said. "We just need to remember and believe that we can catch up and possibly win in these games."
Feather Earring led the Indians with 17 points, and forward Russell Dennis added 16 points. Hawkins finished with 11 points.
Bethany JV (81)
Craig Ryan 0-2 3-5 3, Lewis Brown 3-7 3-4 10, Brent Varney 2-2-1-2 6, Eric Sacco 0-1 4-4 4, Kevin Stoner 5-7 5-5 16, Josh Smith 8-12 1-2 17, Aaron Daniels 0-4 1-2 1, Eric Pickrell 1-2 1-2 4, Darren Hinshaw 0-2 5-8 5, Justin Burk 6-7 1-1 13, Dustin Wilson 1-5 0-0 3. Totals 26-56 24-34 81.
Billy Botone 4-9 2-4 10, Jake Hawkins 3-9 5-10 11, Sam Grant 3-7 0-0 6, Brandon Williamson 4-7 1-2 9, Russell Dennis 5-10 5-7 16, Jamie Feather Earring 6-8 4-7 17, Tony Falcon 1-2 0-1 2, Kurt Buffalo 1-2 2-3 4, Uriah Grass 0-1 2-2 2, Chato Lyday 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-54 21-35 77.
Bethany JV 42 39 -- 81
Haskell 41 36 -- 77
Three-point goals -- Bethany 5-11 (Ryan 0-2, Brown 1-1, Varney 1-1, Stoner 1-2, Pickrell 1-2, Wilson 1-3), Haskell 2-6 (Dennis 1-2, Feather Earring 1-1, Buffalo 0-1, Lyday 0-2). Total fouls -- Bethany 26, Haskell 25. Fouled out -- Botone, Grant, Dennis, Haskell.