Dakota Wesleyan moves to first in the GPAC with a 2-0 week. They started the week with an 81-63 non-conference victory over Dakota State. This was led by domination inside, winning points in the paint 44-16. After falling behind 10-4 early, threes from Bradley Dean and Sawyer Schultz gave the Chargers the lead. Dakota Wesleyan ended the first half very strong, closing on a 9-2 run to go up 48-32 at half on a late layup from Nick Harden. The Tigers were able to maintain the lead throughout the 2nd half, going up by as much as 24. Harden led the Tigers going 10-19 with 24 points, 5 assists and 2 steals. Koln Oppold was 6-9 with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Ace Zorr continues to be impressive off the bench, going 6-8 with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocks. DWU picked up their 4th conference win in a row to start the season, defeating Doane 93-88 in the battle of the Tigers. Doane played well in the first half, going up 9 midways through the half. Dakota Wesleyan responded well, gaining momentum on an alley-oop from Nick Harden to Ace Zorr. Harden continued to produce late in the half, hitting some threes to spark a 16-5 run to close the half with a 41-40 DWU lead. The teams exchanged several runs in the second half. It remained competitive throughout. Late in the half DWU used an 11-4 run to go up by 8 points. Doane answered to get within a score in the final minute. Doane missed a potential game tying three late in the game. Harden again was the lead scorer for DWU, going 9-19 with 26 points and 6 assists. Koln Oppold was 5-12 with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 steals. All 5 DWU starters hit double figures. The Tigers improve to 4-0 in the GPAC and 7-1 overall. They next face RV Northwestern on Wednesday before playing at Mount Marty on Saturday.
Concordia finished a busy week 2-1. They opened their week with an 83-66 road victory over Doane. Concordia lead for a vast majority of the game, blowing it open early in the second half with a 10-0 run to go up 62-49. Gage Smith continues a solid season, going 6-10 with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Carter Kent was 5-11 (4-8 from 3) with 17 points, 8 assists, and 5 rebounds. Justin Wiersema went 5-8 with 12 points. Concordia used an impressive second half leading to an 86-77 win at Hastings. This got CUNE to 5-0 in the GPAC. At this point the Bulldogs had 12 consecutive GPAC wins dating back to last season’s GPAC tournament championship team. This was a competitive game, the Bulldogs trailed Hastings 45-44 with less than 16 minutes remaining in the game. The last 16 minutes were dominated by the Bulldogs. The second half run was led by baskets from Jackson Hirschfield, and an impressive fast break attack. Justin Wiersema had a big game, scoring a career high 29 points on 10-7 shooting, while adding 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Gage Smith was impressive again going 7-10 with 20 points and 9 rebounds. The Bulldogs perfect GPAC start was stopped as they fell 89-75 at Briar Cliff. The first half was a closely contested affair. Justin Wiersema hit a three late in the half to give the Bulldogs a 39-38 lead at the half. The Bulldogs struggled early in the 2nd half, giving up a 16-2 run that saw BCU go up 53-41. The Bulldogs were unable to get back in the game. Carter Kent was the lead scorer for CUNE, going 6-16 with 15 points and 8 rebounds. Gage Smith was 6-8 with 14 points and 5 rebounds. The Bulldogs go to 5-1 in the GPAC and 8-2 overall. The Bulldogs look to bounce back next week, hosting Mount Marty on Wednesday, before traveling to face #7 Morningside on Saturday in a must-see matchup.
#7 Morningside posted a 2-0 week to move up in the GPAC standings. They started with a quality victory, defeating RV Dordt 79-66. The Mustangs opened the game with a big run, and never trailed. The Mustangs’ biggest lead was 17 with 3:24 left in the game. Dordt attempted a comeback but were never able to go ahead. There were a lot of impressive efforts today for the Mustangs. The most significant was Trey Brown. Brown played 36 minutes, as Morningside was missing some depth at the center position. He was 9-18 scoring 26 points and grabbing a career high 19 points, also blocking 3 shots. Will Pottebaum had another strong game, going 7-10 with 17 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Aidan Vanderloo was impressive off the bench, going 4-7 (1-1 from 3) with 11 points after returning from illness. He is a shooting threat that the Mustangs need. The Mustangs edged Midland 77-73 in Fremont, extending their winning streak to six games. Morningside once again jumped out fast, leading 21-2 in the first eight minutes. Midland had an impressive comeback, cutting the lead down to a single point in the final minutes. Clutch free throw shooting combined with a big basket from Aidan Vanderloo allowed the Mustangs to close the win. Brown was once again big, going 6-9 with 15 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists. Zach Imig was 4-7 with 13 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. Will Pottebaum was also 4-7 with 13 points. The Mustangs improve to 4-1 in the GPAC, 8-1 overall. The Mustangs face Briar Cliff in the cross-town rivalry matchup Wednesday before hosting Concordia on Saturday.
RV Northwestern continued their assault on scoreboards, scoring 98 and 11 in a pair of victories this week. They opened their week with a competitive 98-90 victory at Briar Cliff. This matchup remained competitive throughout the game. Northwestern was leading 46-43 late in the first half, before allowing an 8-1 run to put the Chargers up 51-47 at halftime. The Raiders trailed late in the game, 79-74, before a three by Keegan Van Egdom sparked an 11-0 run to put Northwestern up 85-79 with 6:50 to go. The Raiders kept the lead from there. Northwestern as a team shot a very impressive 63% from the floor and 46% from 3. Jay Small shot 5-8, all from 3, to score 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. That effort allowed Small to join the 1,000-point club. Trent Hilbrands was the star of the show, going 12-19 (4-8 from 3) scoring 28 points and adding 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Northwestern finished off their hot shooting week with a 111-79 victory over visiting Hastings. Unlike the first game, this game was not in doubt, as the Raiders opened up on an 11-2 run and never looked back. Northwestern was up 20 at halftime and opened the second half with an impressive 12-2 run. Alex Van Kalsbeek was incredible, going 15-16 with a career high 35 points, adding 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Keegan Van Egdom also posted a career high in points, going 6-13 (6-10 from 3) with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists. The Raid Raiders improve to 4-2 in the GPAC, 7-2 overall.
Jamestown split a pair of games this week. The Jimmies played a non-conference road game, defeating Presentation 79-44. After leading 4-2, the Jimmies got a basket from Will Cordes, leading to a 17-0 run that saw Presentation go 6:27 without scoring. In the first half the Jamestown defense was very impressive, as the Jimmies led 38-11 at halftime. An early 9-0 run in the 2nd half saw Jamestown up 33 and the Saints could not get back in the game. Mason Walters added yet another double-double, going 8-16 with 18 points and 12 rebounds. The Jimmies had a disappointing 80-79 loss at Mount Marty, in a game they were leading for nearly the entire game. Jamestown led 39-31 at halftime and used a 13-2 run to go up 52-39 with 12:49 left. Jamestown was up 68-59 with 3:51 remaining, when they went on a 7-0 run to go up 75-59, their biggest lead of the game. Mount Marty closed the lead to 75-72 with 27 seconds left. Cole Woodford hit a basket to put UJ up 77-72, before the Lancers hit a three, stole the inbound pass, and hit a layup to tie it at 77. Marc Kjos hit a pair of FTs with 5 seconds left giving the Jimmies a 79-77 lead. The Lancers made a buzzer beater three to end the game. Walters posted another big performance, going 8-17 with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Cole Woodford was 5-7 (3-5 from 3) with 16 points and 3 rebounds. Marc Kjos ended 5-9 (4-7 from 3) with 16 points. Jamestown falls to 3-2 in the GPAC, 7-3 overall. The Jimmies host RV Dordt on Tuesday.
Mount Marty is suddenly on a hot streak, winning four in a row after a pair of wins this week. They were victories at Presentation, defeating the Saints 79-50. The Lancers won behind a solid 46.6% shooting performance while holding Presentation to 35.3%. The Lancers led by 13, 36-23, at halftime before putting the game away with an impressive second half. Jailen Billings was again impressive off the benching, going 4-8 (4-7 from 3) with 14 points in just 11 minutes played. Kade Stearns was 4-6 (4-5 from 3) with 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. The Lancers closed the week with an incredible 80-79 come from behind victory against Jamestown. The Lancers were playing from behind for a vast majority of the game, falling behind 39-31 at halftime. The Lancers trailed by a game high 75-59 with just 3 minutes to go. 6 consecutive scores by MMU cut the lead to just 75-72. After allowing a basket, Jailen Billings drained a three cutting the lead to 2. A steal and basket by Elijah Pappas tied the game at 77 with 12 seconds left. Jamestown hit a pair of free throws going up 79-77 with just 5 seconds left. That was all the Lancers needed, as Elijah Pappas assisted Kade Stearns on the buzzer beating three pointer allowed Mount Marty to complete the upset. Elijah Pappas nearly completed a triple double, scoring 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. He also had 3 steals and a block. Jailen Billings was very solid off the bench once again, going 7-15 (6-11 from 3) with a game high 20 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. MMU improves to 3-2 in the GPAC, 6-4 overall. The Lancers have a challenging week facing the top two teams in the GPAC standings, at Concordia on Wednesday before hosting Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.
RV Dordt split a pair of conference matchups this week. They fell 79-66 at #7 Morningside to open their week. The Defenders had a rough start, going down 16-3 to start the game. The Defenders showed some toughness to fight back and stay in the game, going on a 12-0 run capped by a Bryce Coppock three, cutting the lead to 18-17 with 9:34 left in the first half. The Mustangs extended the lead to 32-26 at halftime. Dordt again fell behind double digits in the second half, trailing 55-45 with 10:57 remaining. A three by Jesse Jansma had the lead down to 7, but the Mustangs responded with a 9-0 run. Dordt never got back within single digits following that run. Garrett Franken posted another double-double, going 9-15 with 19 points and 14 rebounds. The Defenders bounced back with a 73-66 victory over Doane. Dordt used an early 8-0 run capped by a three from Jesse Jansma to go up 16-12 with 11:16 left in the first half. Doane bounced back and ended up with a 31-26 lead with 2:32 before halftime. The Defenders went on an 8-0 run to go up 34-31 at halftime with a late basket by Garrett Franken. The Defenders increased their lead to 10 after halftime, but the Tigers had one last run, cutting the lead to 69-66 with 2:27 left. A late basket and a pair of FTs by Jansma iced the game. Franken had another big game, going 7-13 with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 assists. Jacob Vis was 5-7 with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Jansma added 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Dordt goes to 3-3 in the GPAC, 7-3 overall. The Defenders are at Jamestown on Tuesday before hosting Hastings on Saturday.
Briar Cliff split a pair of home GPAC contests this week. They opened the week with a competitive 98-90 loss against RV Northwestern. The first half saw a lot of action with both teams having some runs. With the game tied at 44 late in the half, the Chargers used a 7-0 run to lead 51-44 with 1:22 before halftime. The lead was trimmed to 51-47 going into halftime. The Chargers offense could not keep the momentum in the 2nd half, as they could not keep up with a hot shooting Raiders squad. Quinten Vasa had a big game, going 8-14 with 24 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Ethan Friedel contributed 20 points on 7-14 shooting and 4 assists. The Chargers bounced back in a big way, ending Concordia’s 8-game winning streak with an 89-75 victory. Concordia used an early 6-0 run to go up 16-9, but the Chargers responded with an 8-0 run to go up 17-16 behind a three from Nick Hoyt. The first half remained competitive, with the Bulldogs leading 39-38 at the end of the half. In the 2nd half the Chargers offense remained impressive, as Conner Groves scored 11 points in the first five minutes of the half. That sparked a 16-2 BCU run to go up 54-41 with 15 minutes remaining. With 11 minutes left, the Briar Cliff lead expanded to 19. The Chargers were able to hold the lead. Conner Groves got the start in this game for the first time this season it seems, and he did not disappoint, going 8-13 (7-11 from 3) with 23 points. Nick Hoyt was 6-9 (6-8 from 3) with 22 points. Jaden Kleinhesselink was 8-14 (3-5 from 3) with 19 points and 4 assists. BCU improves to 2-3 in the GPAC, 4-5 overall. The Chargers host #7 Morningside on Wednesday before playing at Midland on Saturday.
Doane continued to play games again, going 1-3 and winning their first GPAC game. The Tigers opened the week with an 83-66 loss to Concordia. Doane struggled from the start, falling behind 16-5 early. Doane battled back, going on a 15-6 run to get the lead down to 22-20. The run was sparked by a pair of threes from Joe Burt. Concordia ended up with a 45-34 halftime lead. Concordia got some distance in the 2nd half. Anthony Laravie was 9-21 with 22 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Joe Burt was 4-7 (3-4 from 3) with 11 points off the bench. Doane bounced back with a 68-64 win over Midland, their first conference victory. This was a comeback win, as the Warriors led for the majority of the contest. Doane gave up an 8-0 run to end the first half, as Midland led 40-26. Doane battled back in the 2nd half, cutting the lead to 50-47 with 13 minutes remaining. Doane finally drive even at 3:54 remaining, before going up for the first time in the game with 1:53 left. Doane ended the game on a 6-0 run. Joe Burt was 7-12 with 19 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Carson Busch, making his first start of the season, was 6-11 with 15 points and 4 assists. The Tigers fell 73-66 at RV Dordt. This was a close game, with Doane keeping it competitive before Dordt secured the victory late in the game. Trey Winkler returned for Doane, and was impressive, going 6-9 (4-5 from 3) with 17 points. Anthony Laravie was 6-16 with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists. Doane was defeated 93-88 against Dakota Wesleyan in their fourth and final game of the week. The first half was competitive, with DWU leading 41-40 at halftime. DWU posted a strong second half and led by 9 with 2:18 remaining. Doane had one final run in them, scoring the next 7 points to get with 2. With 40 seconds remaining Doane was behind 3 and they missed a game tying three-pointer. DWU hit a pair of FTs to ice the game. Anthony Laravie was on fire, scoring a career high 32 points on 11-20 shooting, also adding 8 rebounds. Joe Burt was 6-10 with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Jaxon Harre was 6-11 with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Doane is 1-5 in the GPAC, 4-7 overall. Doane hosts Hastings on Wednesday before playing at RV Northwestern on Saturday.
Midland lost a pair of GPAC contests this week, while winning a non-conference matchup. They opened the week with a 68-64 loss to Doane. This was a game that Midland had a great chance of winning, as they lead for the majority of the contest. They opened up 17-8 following a three from Laurence Merritt. The Warriors held the 40-26 lead going into halftime. Emmanuel Bryson scored 7 in a row for Midland to open the second half. Doane battled back throughout the 2nd half, eventually taking the lead near the end of the game with free throws. Midland had chances to tie the game, but they came up unsuccessful. Merritt led the way for Midland off the bench, going 8-17 (5-9 from 3) with 21 points and 5 rebounds. Emanuel Bryson was also impressive off the bench, going 6-8 with 13 points and 6 rebounds. The Warriors defeated Oak Hills Christian 88-54 in their next game. Midland went up 11-2 early, before Oak Hills cut the lead to 14-11. From there Midland went on a 29-14 run to close the half, led by four threes by Bo Sandquist. Midland led 43-25 at half. Midland wouldn’t allow a comeback in the second half this time, as they dominated the final frame. Sandquist led the Warriors going 7-14 (6-13 from 3) with 20 points and 6 rebounds. Josh Lambert was 8-12 with 16 points and 7 rebounds. The Warriors competed well with #7 Morningside, falling 77-73. The Warriors showed tremendous toughness, battling back from an early 21-2 deficit. Midland countered with a quick 8-0 run led by a three from Sandquist and an and one by Bryson. Arturo Montes hit three threes in the first half as Midland continued to chip away at the lead. They lead was 39-28 Morningside at half. Midland hit their first three 3-pointers to open the second half, two from Merrit, one from Sandquist, to cut the lead to 42-41. Morningside got the lead back up to 70-62 with 3:19 left. An and one from Jake Rueschhoff and a pair of free throws from Colby Tichota cut the lead to 3. A three from Sandquist cut the Morningside lead to 71-70 with 2:24 remaining. Morningside iced the game late with free throws. Merritt again led the Warriors off the bench, going 6-18 with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Sandquist was 5-16 (all threes) with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Midland falls to 1-6 in the GPAC, 3-7 overall. Midland hosts Briar Cliff on Saturday for their only game this week.
Hastings lost a pair of GPAC contests this week. They fell 86-77 against Concordia. This was a very competitive game, especially early on. Hastings used a contested jumper by Mason Hiemstra to go up 45-44 early in the second half. Karson Gansebom got a go ahead and one, putting the Broncos up 48-46. The Bulldogs countered with an 11-0 run. Hastings could not come back from there. Hiemstra led Hastings going 7-14 (3-3 from 3) with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Ben Juhl was also 7-13 with 19 points. Karson Gansebom was 7-13 with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Dashawn Walker posted an impressive 15 rebounds. Hastings ran into an offensive buzz saw against Northwestern, falling 111-79. Northwestern’s offense was too much for Hastings to catch up with. Northwestern led 50-31 at halftime. Hastings could not make the game competitive in the second half. Hiemstra and Gansebom tied for game high with 19 points for Hastings. The Broncos fall to 0-5 in the GPAC, 3-6 overall. The Broncos are at Doane on Wednesday before playing at RV Dordt on Saturday.
TAD’S POWER RANKINGS
Morningside (+1) – Playing very well right now, big matchup with Concordia
Concordia (-1) – 8 game winning streak snapped, still playing great basketball
Northwestern (-) – This offense can score with anybody
Dakota Wesleyan (+1) – They just keep winning close GPAC games
Jamestown (-1) – Rough loss against Mount Marty after building a big lead
Dordt (-) – No shame in a loss at Morningside
Briar Cliff (+1) – Massive upset against Concordia, tough to beat when they are hitting threes
Mount Marty (+1) – Huge comeback win over Jamestown
Doane (+2) – In the win column in the GPAC
Midland (-) – Struggled in blowing the lead against Doane
Hastings (-4) – The defense was a struggle this week