Grant Johnson

Grant Johnson had 11 rebounds and three blocks Tuesday

MANKATO, Minn. — Visions of a big road victory faded down the stretch as undefeated Bethany Lutheran College (Minn.) used a 15-2 surge to outlast the Central College men’s basketball team 79-74 Tuesday night.

After trailing 56-52 with 12:37 left, Central regained the lead and was up 67-62 at just under the 7-minute mark. But the Dutch (3-3) didn’t hit another field goal until only 1:16 remained, down 77-69.

“They made more plays down the stretch than we did,” coach Joe Steinkamp said. “They got some second-chance points.”

Guard Kade Terrell (5th-year, Montrose, Colo.) had 19 points and center Joshua Van Gorp (junior, Pella, Pella Christian HS) had 18 for Central. Terrell also had six assists.

“Kade shot the ball really well,” Steinkamp said. “It’s good to see him continue to make threes. He played well.”

Forward Grant Johnson (senior, Waukee, Van Meter HS) had a game-high 11 rebounds and three blocks. Van Gorp had eight boards.

“Grant did a really good job of blocking shots and making it hard to score,” Steinkamp said. “He had a good all-around game.”

Bethany Lutheran (5-0) shot only a tick better than Central, 43.2% to 43.1%, but hit 52.6% in the second half. Central held a slight 42-41 rebounding edge but committed 15 turnovers.

“We needed to be more than plus-one on the boards against a team like that,” Steinkamp said. “They’re smaller and they spaced us out a little bit and even though we outrebounded them, they had more offensive rebounds (13-9) than we did.

“We played well. We played a tough team on the road and had a chance to win but we didn’t make enough plays late in the game.”

Central finally makes its home-season debut Friday with a 7 p.m. game with Knox College (Ill.) at P.H. Kuyper Gymnasium. Knox is 1-3 after an 84-83 loss Tuesday at Principia College (Ill.).

“We’re looking forward to our home opener and getting off the road,” Steinkamp said. “Knox is a big, athletic team and we’ll have to get ready on short prep but we’ll be ready to go.”

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