Tuesday night was Senior Night for the Barclay College men’s and women’s basketball teams. In between the men’s and women’s games, recognition was give to all four seniors. For the men’s basketball team, they recognized their only senior and all-time leading scorer, Charles Brodhead (Lompoc, Calif.). In addition to Brodhead holding the scoring record (2,295 points), he is also the statistical record holder in a multitude of other categories. However, the one thing that has eluded him in his four years at Barclay College, is an MCCC regular season and tournament championship. The Bears have finished the regular season in second place twice and the conference tournament runner-up once during his tenure at Barclay College.
The opponent for the 10th ranked Bears was #3 Manhattan Christian College (Manhattan, Kans.). Both teams entered the game in Haviland, Kans. with a lone loss in Midwest Christian College Conference play. To add to the drama, less than two weeks ago, the Thunder handed the Bears a 103-85 loss and have blown out their competition in every game since then. Meanwhile, the Bears reeled of four consecutive wins over Baptist Bible College (Springfield, Mo.), Dallas Christian College, Faith Baptist Bible College (Ankeny, Iowa) and Emmaus Bible College (Dubuque, Iowa) to build momentum and set up the showdown.
Early on the game was back-and-forth. Neither team was able to get separation until late in the half. The Bears were able to string a few productive offensive possessions together to take a 42-34 lead into the locker room. In the second half, the Bears were able to maintain their momentum. Scrappy defense combined with hot shooting allowed them to build their lead to as many as 15. Momentarily it looked as if the Bears could run away with this contest, but, like most great teams, the Thunder were able to make a run of their own. They stormed back to recapture the lead with under four to go. Then in the final minute, with the game neck-and-neck, the Thunder would connect from three to snatch the lead yet again. That lead, however, would be their final one. The Bears relentlessly attacked the rim all night and it finally paid dividends. They were able to make just enough free throws in the waining seconds to take back the lead and then held on for an 81-79 win.
The win pushes the Bears to 7-1 in MCCC play with just two conference games left. They will travel to Calvary Bible College (Belton, Mo.) on Friday evening and then finish out the regular season in Joplin, Mo. against rival Ozark Christian College on Saturday afternoon.