By Tad Dorsey
- #1 Morningside celebrated clinching the GPAC Regular Season Championship following their 102-77 home victory over Midland. This is their third regular season title in a row and secures a birth in the National Tournament in the Pentagon. This game featured a high scoring first half by both teams, as the Mustangs led Midland 51-42 at halftime. Midland could not stay in the game as the Mustangs ran away with it. Trey Brown bounced back from a rough game with a dominant performance, going 14 for 18 with 32 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks to lead Morningside. Zach Imig contributed with a nice game, going 6-9 with 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. The title clinch took away somewhat from what was a top 10 matchup in the Corn Palace with Dakota Wesleyan, but it was still a great game, with the Tigers pulling off the 78-75 upset. This was a very high-level basketball game featuring several of the top players in the conference. The Mustangs had a lead, but the Tigers had a late 18-6 run to go up 4. Alex Borchers hit a couple of late threes to cut it to a 1-point game with 8 seconds left. Free throws by the Tigers iced the game. Tyler Borchers was solid, going 9 for 15 with 19 points. Zach Imig was 6 for 10 with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. The GPAC Champions are 24-2 and 16-2 overall. They will be the #1 seed in the GPAC Tournament, and still should look to finish strong as getting a #1 seed in the national tournament should be a goal. They host the Jimmies on Saturday for Senior Day.
- #10 Dakota Wesleyan started the week with an 83-74 loss at Briar Cliff. The first half was very competitive. Ten minutes into the game the score was tied at 17. Both teams traded runs before halftime, with a buzzer beating layup putting Briar Cliff up 39-38 at halftime. Briar Cliff lead by multiple possessions for most of the 2nd half, but Dakota Wesleyan had a run in them. Clutch shots by Bradley Dean and Ty Hoglund had the Tigers up 69-65 with 6:20 left. The Chargers would respond with a game sealing 18-5 run. Ty Hoglund stared in defeat, going 14-27 with 33 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. Koln Oppold was also in double figures with 11 on 4-9 shooting with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. The Tigers responded to the loss in a big way, with an upset over #1 Morningside, winning 78-75. Morningside had a 25-19 lead with 7:13 left in the first half. Dakota Wesleyan responded with a 7-0 run to take their first lead on a layup by Ty Hoglund. Late threes by Jeffrey Schuch and Mason Larson allowed the Tigers to go up 38-35 at halftime. The Tigers started the 2nd half fast, with a dunk from Larson assisted by Hoglund, and a three from McCloud to go up by 9. The Tigers lead was as big as 11, but the top team in the country battled back. Hoglund had another strong game, going 7-15 (9-11 from the line) for 24 point, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. Mason Larson went 11-15 with 23 points and 9 rebounds. Bradley Dean was big off the bench going 4-7 (3-6 from 3) with 13 points. The Tigers are 19-6 and 11-5 in the GPAC. They are 1 game up on Northwestern for 2nd in the GPAC. They are at #18 Mount Marty on Wednesday before playing at Doane on Saturday.
- Northwestern secured a spot in the GPAC tournament with a 2-0 week. They posted a very important 89-82 victory over RV Dordt to start their week, getting revenge after they lost to their rivals earlier this season. Northwestern trailed early on, as Dordt shot the ball very well early on for a 31-18 lead with 11:20 before halftime. Northwestern had a run of their own, outscoring the Defenders 25-5 late in the first half. The run was spearheaded by threes from Trent Hilbrands and Jay Small. The Raiders lead 45-43 at halftime. Midway through the half, with the Defenders leading 63-62, Trent Hilbrands had a basket followed by a three from Small to put the Raiders ahead 67-63. The Defenders wouldn’t lead again. Late free throws put the game away. All five starters hit double figures. Hilbrands was 6-12 (3-6 from 3) with 18 points and 5 rebounds, going over 1,000 points for his career. Isaac Heyer went 6-8 (4-5 from 3) with 18 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Craig Sterk was 7 for 16 with 16 points. The Raiders closed out the week with an 83-73 victory over Doane. Northwestern did their heavy lifting in the first half, shooting 67% for a 47-32 lead. After Doane took a 2-0 lead, the Raiders went on a 10-2 run and lead for the rest of the game. Grant Rohrer led the Raiders with 21 points on 10-15 shooting. Jay Small went 5-8 to post 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists. Keegan Van Egdom was 4-6 (3-5 from 3) for 16 points. Northwestern is 18-8 and 10-6 in the GPAC. They take over sole possession of third place, 1 game behind #10 Dakota Wesleyan, a half game up on RV Dordt, and 1 game up on Jamestown and #18 Mount Marty.
- RV Dordt also guaranteed a spot in the GPAC Tournament this week. They opened their week with the 89-82 loss at Northwestern. The Defenders shot themselves into a 35-20 lead early on. Northwestern would answer, taking a 45-40 lead just before halftime. Ben Gesink hit a triple for Dordt just before halftime to cut the lead to 45-43. Dordt eventually regained the lead in the 2nd half on a three by Cade Bleeker with 12:22 left. Northwestern battled back and had a 74-67 lead with 5:55 left. Ben Gesink hit a pair of threes to cut the lead to 76-75 with 2:49 left. From there Northwestern sealed the game. Gesink led the Defenders going 5-11 with 16 points. Garrett Franken had a solid performance going 6-13 with 15 points and 9 rebounds. The Defenders responded with a massive 86-76 victory over RV Concordia. The first half was very back and forth. Dordt had a lead at 34-33 on a three by Chandler Brunsting late in the half, but the Bulldogs ended on a run to take a 39-38 lead at halftime. Early on in the 2nd half it was tight as well. Concordia led 54-50 with 13:13 left, before baskets by Brunsting, Jesse Jansma, and a dunk and 1 by Marcus Winterfeld had the Defenders up 57-54. The Defenders led the rest of the way. Marcus Winterfeld led Dordt off the bench, going 5-6 (3-4 from 3, 8-9 at the line) with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Zach Bussard was 5-9 with 11 points and 5 rebounds. Dordt is 19-8 and 10-7 in the GPAC. They are alone in 4th, 0.5 games behind Northwestern, and a half game up on Jamestown and #18 Mount Marty. Two exciting games this week, as they are at Briar Cliff on Wednesday before hosting Hastings on Saturday, in games that will have postseason implications for all parties.
- #18 Mount Marty clinched a spot in the GPAC tournament as well despite losing their only game, 94-82 at Jamestown. This has been a great rebound season for the Lancers and their appearance in the GPAC tournament is proof of that. Mount Marty started fast against Jamestown taking an early lead. The Jimmies battled back and took a 41-32 lead into halftime. The went up as much as 13, not letting the Lancers make a comeback in the 2nd half. Keegan Savary led the effort for the Lancers, going 7-13 (4-9 from 3) with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Chris King was 7-15 with 14 points and 3 assists. The Lancers fall to 18-8 and 9-7 in the GPAC. They are tied with Jamestown for 5th in the conference. The Lancers currently own the tiebreaker, as the two teams split. The 2nd tiebreaker is head to head against the top team in the conference. Neither team beat Morningside, and Mount Marty is 1-0 against DWU while Jamestown is 1-1. They are a half game behind RV Dordt and a game up on RV Concordia. The Lancers host #10 Dakota Wesleyan on Wednesday before playing at RV Concordia on Saturday.
- Jamestown continued a very hot stretch, extending their win streak to 4 with a 2-0 week. They also secured a GPAC tournament bid. They started the week with an upset over #17 Mount Marty, winning 94-82. Both teams traded runs early on, with Jamestown taking a 26-24 lead with 7:35 before halftime following a 14-3 run. The Jimmies ended the half on a 10-0 run fueled by baskets from Brady Birch, Jack Frazier, and Marc Kjos to go up 41-32. A three from Mason Walters early in the 2nd half had the Jimmies up 13. Mount Marty had the lead down to 6 with 5:17 left, but back to back threes by Terrell Alfred silenced any potential comeback. Jack Talley led the Jimmies by shooting 10-17 (4-6 from 3, 5-6 at the line) with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Mason Walters was very strong off the bench going 7-12 (2-2 from 3 3-4 at the line) with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists. The Jimmies also defeated Hastings 90-71 on the road. The Jimmies did their work early in this game, going up 26-11 on a basket from Brady Birch with 12:01 before halftime. Hastings responded with a 17-5 run, but late baskets by Jack Frazier and Jack Talley had Jamestown up 42-36 a halftime. After Hastings cut it their lead to 1, Jamestown went on a 14-4 run. Another 10-0 Jimmie run with 8:22 left had the Jimmies up 16 and that put the game away. Brady Birch stared for the Jimmies going 9-16 with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Terrell Alfred was 6-12 (5-9 from 3) with 18 points. The Jimmies improve to 18-8 and 9-7 in the GPAC. They are tied with #18 Mount Marty for 5th. They host Northwestern on Wednesday before playing at #1 Morningside on Saturday. The last time Jamestown was at Morningside they were celebrating an upset victory in the GPAC Tournament Championship.
- RV Concordia had a very damaging week, going 0-2. This was a week a team on the wrong side of the bubble could not afford. The Bulldogs struggled shooting, going 10-46 from 3 and just 24-70 from the field. Doane led for a vast majority of the 2nd half, but the game was in the balance until the end. The Bulldogs forced a turnover down 3 with 7.2 seconds remaining, but a last second three from Tanner Shuck missed. Justin Wiersma led the Bulldogs with an 8-14 effort, scoring 17 points and a career high 12 rebounds for his first career double-double. The Bulldogs could not rebound against RV Dordt, falling 86-76. They played much better than their previous two road losses but failed to break through with a victory. Gage Smith had a great performance off the bench, going 5-7 (5-6 from 3) with 15 points and 4 rebounds. Brevin Sloup and Tanner Shuck also scored 15 points each. The Bulldogs have fallen to 17-9 and 8-8 in the GPAC. That’s good for 7th place, a game back of Jamestown and #18 Mount Marty and 2 up on 8th place and 3.5 up on 9th place Briar Cliff. The Bulldogs can clinch a GPAC Tournament bid with one more win. They host Hastings on Wednesday and #18 Mount Marty on Saturday.
- Hastings only had one game, falling 90-71 against Jamestown. The Jimmies built a 15 point lead fairly early on, but the Broncos would battle throughout the first half. Three point plays by Karson Gansebom and Brendan Lipovsky would cut into the lead. The lead was down to 31-28 with 5 minutes before half time following a 9-0 run. Jamestown built the lead back up to 8, before a buzzer beater by Lipovsky had the lead down to 42-36 at halftime. The Broncos cut the lead to 1 early in the half, but Jamestown answered with several runs to put the game away. Mason Hiemstra led the Broncos, going 8-17 with 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals. Bart Hiscock posted 12 points and 9 rebounds. The Broncos fall to 13-13 and 6-10 in the GPAC. They currently hold the 8th spot and the last tournament spot. They are two back of RV Concordia and just 1.5 up on Briar Cliff. They have a massive week with two difficult road games against RV Concordia on Wednesday and RV Dordt on Saturday.
- Briar Cliff made it three wins in a row against top #17 teams, upsetting #10 Dakota Wesleyan 83-74. The first half was a back and forth affair. The Tigers and Chargers continued trading the lead for the entire half. With under a minute to go in the half Ethan Friedel hit a 3 point to put the Chargers up 37-36. This was a significant basket as it pushed Friedel over 1,000 points for his career. Friedel also converted a layup as time expired putting the Chargers up 39-38 at halftime. Briar Cliff built a solid lead early on in the 2nd half, but the 10th ranked Tigers would battle back. They eventually took a 5 point lead. Briar Cliff managed to draw even at 71 late in the game. At that point Jackson Lamb blocked a shot from Ty Hoglund, leading to a breakaway three from Ethan Friedel to put the Chargers up 74-71. From that point the Chargers iced the game with 5 clutch free throws in the last minute. Friedel finished with 33 points on 9-16 shooting (5-7 from 3, 10-10 from the line). Jaden Kleinhesselink also contributed a strong affair, going 5-10 (2-2 three 4-4 at the line) with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Following the 3 upsets, the Chargers were upset by Midland, falling 96-89. The Chargers did enough in the first half, leading the Warriors 50-41 at the break. But the defense and rebounding cost the Chargers in a big way in the 2nd half. Midland had seven offensive rebounds for 13 points in the 2nd half, outscoring the Chargers 15-0 in 2nd chance points. Ethan Friedel had another big game, going 9-19 (6-13 from 3, 6-6 from the line) with 30 points and 7 rebounds. Friedel hit his 200th career three in this game. Jaden Kleinhesselink was 8-11 (3-3 from 3) with 20 points. Jackson Lamb had 16 points and 8 rebounds. That was a significant blow to the Chargers postseason hopes, as they fall to 14-13 and 5-12 in the GPAC. They are 1.5 games behind Hastings for the last spot. They are also just a half-game ahead of a Midland team that just finished a sweep against them. The Chargers host RV Dordt on Wednesday.
- Midland was noncompetitive late against #1 Morningside, falling 102-77. Midland was close early on, as back to back baskets by Laurence Merritt had the Warriors up 25-24 with 9 minutes before halftime. They also had a go ahead three by Arturo Montes in the first half. Morningside ended the half on a 7-0 run to go up nine at halftime. The Mustangs had an early 27-3 run in the 2nd half to ice the game. Laurence Merritt went 9-17 with 23 points to lead the Warriors. Jake Rueschhoff was 6-8 (3-4 from 3) with 16 points. The Warriors bounced back with a 96-89 upset over Briar Cliff ending their 6-game losing streak. Briar Cliff led most of the 1st half and entered halftime with a 50-41 lead. Midland responded midway through the 2nd half with a 9-0 run led by Bowen Sandquist. Sandquist gave the Warriors the lead with 3 free throws following a foul on a 3-point attempt with 11:30 left. This resulted in a 14-0 run putting Midland up 8. Briar Cliff could not overcome the deficit. Laurence Merritt paced the upset going 13-24 (5-11 from 3) with 34 points and 5 rebounds. Bowen Sandquist was big in the 2nd half, going 7-17 with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Midland is 8-15 and 4-12 in the GPAC. They are in 10th place, 2 games out of the last tournament spot. Midland hits the road twice for matchups with Doane and Northwestern this week.
- Doane posted their 2nd GPAC victory, upsetting RV Concordia 64-59. Concordia had a 28-26 lead at halftime. Doane used three-point shooting to secure the win in the 2nd half. Anthony Laravie led Doane going 7-17 (5-8 from 3) wih 23 points and 9 rebounds. Joe Burt added 14 points and 5 rebounds. Miguel Lopez had 10 points and 9 rebounds. Doane fell in their 2nd game 83-73 against Northwestern. The Raiders lead 47-32 at halftime. Doane was never really in the game. Anthony Laravie ended up with 23 points. Miguel Lopez posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Doane improves to 7-19 and 2-14 in the GPAC. They are in last place, 4 games out of the tournament. Another loss, or Hastings win, would officially eliminate the Tigers. They have a pair of home games this week, hosting Midland on Wednesday and #10 Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.
TAD’S POWER RANKINGS
- Morningside (-) – Dropped 2 of 3, but they’ll be fine
- Dakota Wesleyan (-) – Major upset of #1 Morningside showed they can still compete with anybody
- Jamestown (+3) – As hot as anyone in the country.
- Northwestern (+3) – Massive victory over rival Dordt
- Dordt (-1) – Important victory over Concordia
- Mount Marty (-3) – On a bit of an extended slump, can they rebound?
- Concordia (-2) – Very rough week with the loss to Doane
- Briar Cliff (-) – Missed opportunity in the loss against Midland
- Hastings (-) – Needing a win in the worst of ways
- Midland (-) – Upset Briar Cliff, is a late season run possible?
- Doane (-) – Doubled their GPAC win total
Points Per Game
- Jackson Lamb (BCU) 23.37 ppg
- Ty Hoglund (DWU) 22.71 ppg
- Chris King (MMC) 21.24 ppg
- Bart Hiscock (HAS) 21.17 ppg
- Trent Hilbrands (NWC) 17.73 ppg
- Tyler Borchers (MOR) 62.1%
- Colby Johnson (MMC) 57.6%
- Craig Sterk (NWC) 56.6%
- Zach imig (MOR) 54.6%
- Bart Hiscock (HAS) 51.5%
- Nick Hoyt (BCU) 52.6%
- Jaden Kleinhesselink (BCU) 50.6%
- Colby Johnson (MMC) 49.5%
- Ben Hoskins (MOR) 48.0%
- Cade Bleeker (DOR) 46.9%
Free Throw %
- Jackson Lamb (BCU) 89.4%
- Isaiah Dobson (JAM) 88.9%
- Ty Hoglund (DWU) 85.5%
- Chris King (MMC) 80.9%
- Carter Kent (CUNE) 68.9%
Assists per game
- Zach Imig (MOR) 4.12 apg
- Jordan Johnson (MMC) 3.91 apg
- Matt Hahn (MOR) 3.62 apg
- Isaiah Dobson (JAM) 3.48 apg
- Mason Hiemstra (HAS) 3.08 apg
Rebounds per game
- Bart Hiscock (HAS) 8.33 rpg
- Miguel Lopex (DOA) 7.54 rpg
- Garrett Franken (DOR) 7.52 rpg
- Chuol Biel (CUNE) 7.40 rpg
- Jack Talley (JAM) 7.38 rpg
Blocks per game
- Chuol Biel (CON) 1.80 bpg
- Brock Schrom (JAM) 1.52 bpg
- Craig Sterk (NWC) 1.12 bpg
- Tyler Borchers (MOR) 1.00 bpg
- Josh Van Lingen (DOR) 0.89 bpg
Steals per game
- Chris King (MMC) 1.72 spg
- Isiah Sykes (DOA) 1.64 spg
- Mason Hiemstra (HAS) 1.58 spg
- Samuel McCloud (DWU) 1.48 spg
- Justin Wiersema (CUNE) 1.41 spg
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Wednesday February 12th
Northwestern (18-8 10-6) @ Jamestown (18-8 9-7)
- Northwestern trying to get back in the bubble picture
#10 Dakota Wesleyan (11-5 19-6) @ #18 Mount Marty (9-7 18-8)
- DWU looking to get closer to locking up the 2 seed in the GPAC while MMC is looking to add to their postseason resume
Saturday February 15th
Hastings (13-13 6-10) @ RV Dordt (10-7 9-8)
- Hastings looking to secure the last GPAC spot, Dordt looking at seeding and NAIA resume
Jamestown (18-8 9-7) @ #1 Morningside (24-2 16-2)
- Jamestown desperately needs respect, and there is no better place in the country than Allee Gymnasium to earn respect.