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Bethany boys stay alive with decisive win against Bristow in 4A regional consolation round

Sophomore Wyatt Geissler scores a career-high 24 points to lift Bronchos

By Chase Horsley

BETHANY - Bethany's boys basketball team is fighting to stay alive in the playoffs.

The Bronchos defeated Bristow, 75-45, to keep that proverbial season alive on Friday night in Bethany as part of the Class 4A Area I regional consolation round. Bristow's season comes to an end after the loss.

Bethany started the game on a 10-0 run before Bristow finally scored off of a layup by Memphis Deshazon, a junior. Bristow turned the ball over three times in less than two minutes.

Deshazon went 6-of-6 from 3-point range and finished the game with 20 points, a bright spot for Bristow.

The Bronchos kept their lead and did not look back as Wyatt Geissler, a sophomore, finished the half going 7-of-9 from 3-point range.

"My teammates gave me the ball when I was open," Geissler said.

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Geissler had 21 points in the first half to give the Bronchos a 25-point lead, 47-22.

Due to the big lead, Geissler did not play much in the second half, as he made his last 3-pointer with 7:25 left in the third quarter. He finished off the game with a career-high 24 points.

"His goal (Friday) was to let it fly and be confident on his shots," said Bethany coach Brett Cannon.

Since Geissler did not play much in the second half, the Bronchos looked to another player, which happened to be Taylor Heim, a senior. Heim - who also played on Bethany's football team and has signed with the University of Oklahoma - had some big plays that got the crowd on their feet with two dunks and many layups.

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He came off the court in the third quarter, finishing with 10 points and two blocks, and led the Bronchos with six assists.

"Kinda think because I am tall, I can see what the defense is doing, and it helps that I was the quarterback to find open guys," Heim said.

The Bronchos put a new starting lineup in to start the fourth quarter with guys who normally don't get to play. They were able to play everyone on their bench.

Senior Jaden Gilliland hit his first-ever career point, which came off a wide-open 3-pointer.

"He works hard every day and never gets to play," Cannon said. "He has had a couple of looks this season, but hasn't made any.

"For him to make one (Friday) and to see that pure joy on his face, that was awesome."

The Bronchos will now face Bishop McGuiness at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Bethany for the regional consolation championship and the right to advance to next week's area round. The two teams' last meeting was in the district championship, where the Bronchos defeated the Irish, 43-42, on a late shot from Geissler.

"It's hard to beat a team twice," Geissler said.