BELLEVUE, Neb. – Midland University went 1-1 at the Bellevue Holiday Classic over the weekend. The Warriors fell to No. 22 College of the Ozarks 81-76 on Friday and then defeated MidAmerica Nazarene University 92-77 on Saturday. MNU is ranked No. 19 in the NAIA Division I Polls. The Warriors are now 10-6 on the year and will look to build upon two solid games as they return to GPAC play.
In the first game of the classic, Midland battled the Bobcats throughout. The first half saw 7 ties and 11 lead changes as Ozarks led 37-31 at the break.
The Bobcats controlled the second half though as they led all but 21 seconds of the 20 minute period. They led by as many as 14 before Midland mounted a valiant comeback attempt. Trailing by 14 with just 8:54 on the clock Midland worked the lead all the way down to four in final minute before falling 81-76.
The Warriors had a balanced scoring attack as six players scored 10 or more. Mari Fonolla led the team with 15 points while Reggie Gradwell and Nick Wood had 13 and 12 respectively. Chase Parson finished with 11 and Tyler Craven and Ryan Williams both had 10 points.
Those six player also had the bulk of the rebounds for Midland as well. Each had five with Parsons leading the team with nine rebounds.
On Saturday the Warriors once again found themselves in a first half battle. There were 10 ties between the two teams and 11 lead changes. After being tied at 34-34, Midland went on an 11-4 run to close the half and take a seven point lead into the break.
They would build upon the lead after coming out of the locker room as they lead wire-to-wire in the second half. Their lead expanded to 11 points early on after a Gradwell three-pointer and then late in the game Midland was able to put the Pioneers away for goo thanks to their free-throw shooting and rebounding.
Ryan Williams led the team with 28 against MNU while Reggie Gradwell and Marti Fonolla had 21 and 20. Nick Wood came off the bench for 11 points including the last five points of the game to seal the win.
Fonolla had 10 rebounds to complete his double-double and as dished out six assists. Williams and Gradwell each had seven boards and Williams also had six assists to share the team-high honors with Fonolla.
Midland will look to build upon their recent play as they switch back to GPAC competition. They travel to take on Hastings (11-6, 1-4 GPAC) on Wednesday night. The Warriors and the Broncos will square off at 8:00 p.m. at Lynn Farrell Arena in Hastings, Nebraska.
The women’s game is at 6pm, with the men’s game at 8pm. Both games will be broadcast on AM 1340 KHUB.