By Tad Dorsey
2020-21 MEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS
- Dakota Wesleyan remains the lone GPAC undefeated with a pair of wins. They opened their week with a quality win, defeating RV Northwestern 82-76 at the Corn Palace. The first half was a very even affair. After falling behind early, threes by Sawyer Schutz and Mason Larson had the Tigers up 13-11. Another three later in the half from Ace Zorr tied the game at 24. The deadlock remained through the first half and the teams went into the lockers tied at 39. Northwestern again came out quick, opening the second half on a 7-1 run. The Tigers took some momentum midway through the half when Ace Zorr came in off the bench. In a series of 3 possessions, he blocked a dunk, scored a layup, and drew a charge. The score was tied at 68 with 5 minutes to go, and DWU scored 5 in a row thanks to a three from Koln Oppold and a jumper from Mason Larson. NWC cut the lead back down to one under two to go. Larson restored the three-point lead with a put back layup. The Tigers put the game away with 20 seconds left, when a diving Nick Harden saved the ball inbounds and lobbed it ahead to Ace Zorr with a layup. Oppold was 7-12 (3-4 from 3) with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Mason Larson was 7-10 with 20 points and 5 rebounds. The Tigers also defeated Mount Marty 78-66 in Yankton. A pair of early threes by Larson put the Tigers up 19-11 in a game they never trailed in. The Tigers had a great first half, leading 46-30 at halftime. The Lancers used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 52-48 midway through the half. The Tigers responded with a basket from Oppold and a steal by Nick Harden leading to a Bradley Dean basket to go back up 56-48. They were able to hold off another late MMU run to secure the win. Mason Larson was 10-23 scoring a career high 29 points while also grabbing 7 rebounds. Koln Oppold made all 5 of his shots for 12 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists. DWU improves to 6-0 in the GPAC and 9-1 overall. They are at #7 Morningside in a battle for first place in the GPAC Wednesday, before hosting Midland on Saturday.
- #7 Morningside started their week by defeating Briar Cliff 76-58. The Chargers started the game fast, with a 20-15 lead, before a 14-6 run for Mside led to a 38-34 lead. The second half was much better for Morningside, as they started the half on a 7-0 run and never trailed in the period. To the surprise of nobody, Trey Brown continued his hot streak, posting his 3rd consecutive double-double, going 10-15 with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Joey Skoff was great off the bench, going 6-10 with 15 points. Zach Imig was 5-7 with 13 points and 6 rebounds. That set up a big-time showdown with Concordia, where the Mustangs won their 7th in a row, this time by a score of 86-64. This allowed the Mustangs to move into 2nd place outright in the GPAC. With the Mustangs up 11-7 early, the Mustangs used an 11-3 run to go up 22-10 with 11:41 before halftime. The run was led by a trio of layups by Trey Brown. After Concordia had the lead back down to four, Brown hit another pair of layups to extend the Mustangs lead up to 28-20 with 6:21 left. The Mustangs ended the half up 34-25. The score was 47-38 with 14:22 left, when Morningside used a jumper from Trey Powers and a 3-pointer and free throw by Conner Hill to go on a 6-0 run to go up 53-38 with 13:38 left. The Bulldogs were never within single digits again. The Mustangs lead by a game high 26 after a basket by Zach Imig with 5:32 left before taking out their starters. This was an impressive performance from the defending regular season champions. Trey Brown had his streak of double-doubles snapped, but joining the 1,000 point club was a nice consolation. He ended 9-10 shooting with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Aidan Vanderloo was 4-6 (2-4 from 3) off the bench with 10 points and 3 rebounds. Morningside moves to 6-1 in the GPAC, 10-1 overall. They host Dakota Wesleyan Wednesday in what very well could be a top 25 matchup with the new poll coming out today. Morningside is also at Hastings on Sunday.
- Concordia split a pair of conference matchups this week. They opened their week with an 82-71 victory over Mount Marty. The Bulldogs came out quick, scoring the first 12 points of the game. The Lancers fought back with a 13-3 run of their own. The first half remained competitive, and the Bulldogs were able to hold a 40-29 lead at halftime. Consecutive threes from Sam Scarpelli, Ryan Holt, and Justin Wiersema allowed Concordia to get some distance early in the 2nd half. The Bulldogs lead grew to as much as 23, before a Mount Marty run cut into the lead. Justin Wiersema led the Bulldog charge today going 9-14 (4-7 from 3) with 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Ryan Holt was 5-9 with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists. Gage Smith was 4-8 with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 3 assists before exiting late with an injury. It turned out that the injury was not serious thankfully, as he started the next game. The Bulldogs fell 86-64 at #7 Morningside. After a somewhat tight first half, seeing the Mustangs up 34-25 at the half, the Mustangs took over in the 2nd half to put the game away. Carter Kent led the Bulldogs going 6-14 with 18 points and 3 rebounds. Justin Wiersema was 6-10 with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals. CUNE falls to 6-2 in the GPAC and 9-3 overall. The Bulldogs host Midland on Tuesday before playing at Jamestown Friday.
- Jamestown was victorious in their only game this week, defeating RV Dordt 91-74. The Jimmies’ three-point shooting went off against Dordt, as they connect on 16 threes in this game. They started the game 7-9 from three, eventually hitting on 12 in the first half. Despite the quality shooting, the score was just 46-42 Jamestown at half. Jamestown used a trio of 7-0 runs in the 2nd half to put the game away. Mason Walters had yet another outstanding game, as he was 9-14 (4-5 from 3 and 6-6 from the FT line) with 28 points and 16 rebounds. Marc Kjos had a career high 21 points on 7-12 (5-10) shooting. He was productive in other ways as well, posting 7 rebounds, 7 assists, and 4 steals. The Jimmies improve to 4-2 in the GPAC, 8-3 overall. Jamestown hosts Briar Cliff on Wednesday before hosting Concordia on Friday.
- RV Northwestern split a pair of games this week. They opened the week with a hard fought 82-76 loss at Dakota Wesleyan. After playing the Tigers to an even 39 in the first half, the Raiders came out strong after halftime. They took a 6-point lead early in the 2nd half and kept that led for the early parts of the 2nd half. DWU eventually evened the score at 63 and went back in front 65-64. A basket by Alex Van Kalsbeek gave the Raiders a 66-65 with 6:21 left in the game. DWU followed with an 8-2 run and kept the lead from there. Jay Small led the Raiders, scoring a season high 28 points, and becoming the 8th Red Raider to hit 200 three-point baskets. Small added 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Van Kalsbeek hit all 7 of his shots to score 20 points with 4 rebounds. The Raiders bounced back with a 98-84 victory over Doane. The Tigers came out fast, going up 36-24 in the first half. Threes by Craig Sterk, Trent Hilbrands, and Keegan Van Egdom sparked an 18-7 run for Northwestern, as they cut the lead to 43-42 at halftime. Isaac Heyer’s three to open the second half put NWC up 45-43, and they never trailed again. Northwestern used a late 18-0 run to put the game away. Trent Hilbrands was 9-16 (6-12 from 3) with 27 points and 3 assists to lead NWC. Craig Sterk was 7-9 with 18 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Jay Small finished 2 rebounds shy of a triple double, going 4-9 (4-8 from 3) with 15 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. Alex Van Kalsbeek went 7-9 with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Northwestern goes to 5-3 in the GPAC, 8-3 overall. They face RV Dordt in a rivalry showdown on Wednesday before hosting RV Bellevue for a non-conference game on Saturday.
- RV Dordt again split a pair of conference matchups. They fell 91-74 at Jamestown. The shooting of Jamestown proved too much for Dordt to contend with. After falling behind 32-26 in the first half, a pair of free throws by Cade Bleeker gave the Defenders a 33-32 lead. Jamestown led 46-42 at the half. Ben Gesink got 3 baskets in a row early in the 2nd half to even the score at 48. The Jimmies responded with a 6-0 run and led the rest of the way. Jacob Vis led the Defenders going 5-6 with 14 points and 4 rebounds. Jesse Jansma and Ben Gesink each contributed 13 points. Dordt bounced back in a big way, defeating Hastings 106-72 to close the week. The Defenders came out fast, taking a 13-5 lead and never trailing. Dordt hit a double-digit lead with a basket from Dejay Fykstra to go up 29-18. Hastings battled back before halftime, closing the deficit to 44-41. With Dordt up 48-44 with 18:29 left, the Defenders effectively iced the game going on an extended 29-5 run capped with a basket by Kendrick Van Kekerix with 12:38 left in the game. Jesse Jansma led Dordt going 8-13 with 22 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds. Cade Bleeker was 6-13 with 18 points and 6 rebounds. Garrett Franken was 6-10 (3-5 from 3) with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. Dordt goes to 4-4 in the GPAC, 8-4 overall. Dordt hosts RV Northwestern on Wednesday before playing at Mount Marty on Saturday.
- Mount Marty fell against the top 2 teams in the GPAC. They competed well against Concordia, falling 82-71 on the road. After falling behind 40-29 at halftime the Lancers played Concordia even in the 2nd half. The Lancers trailed 53-29 with 16:40 left. The Lancers did get the lead down to 77-67 with 2:17 left. That was as close as they could manage. Elijah Pappas led the Lancers going 7-16 with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 assists. Allen Wilson was 8-13 with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks. The Lancers fell 78-66 against Dakota Wesleyan. The Lancers fell behind 46-30 at halftime. They won the second half, going on a run to cut the lead as close as six in the 2nd half. Jailen Billings led the Lancers, going 9-17 (8-9 free throws) with 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Elijah Pappas posted a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds. Mount Marty falls to 3-4 in the GPAC, 6-6 overall.
- Briar Cliff went 1-1 in a pair of GPAC matchups this week. The Chargers fell 76-58 against #7 Morningside. The first half was a tight matchup. Quinten Vasa led a 9-2 run for the Chargers to go up 12-8 early on. Morningside rebounded and took a 38-34 lead at halftime. Morningside opened the second half on a 7-0 run and never looked back. The Mustangs held a double-digit lead for the last 12 minutes of the game. Quinn Vesey led Briar Cliff with a 6-10 night for 15 points and 5 rebounds. Jaden Kleinhesselink was 5-13 with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. The Chargers bounced back, defeating Midland 88-83 in Fremont. The Chargers built a lead in the first half, going up 49-43 on the Warriors behind 12 first half points by Andrew Gibb. The Chargers extended their lead to 73-63 with 10 minutes left in the game. Midland scored the next ten points. The lead changed hands several times in the last minutes, with Jaden Kleinhesselink sealing the victory with a layup. Ethan Friedel led the way for Briar Cliff, going 5-7 (3-5 from 3) with 16 points. Andrew Gibb was 6-9 (2-2 from 3) with 14 points. Quinn Vesey was 5-7 (3-5 from 3) with 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Kleinhesselink, Quinten Vasa, and Nick Hoyt all finished with 12 points. Briar Cliff goes to 5-6 in the GPAC, 3-4 overall. The Chargers are at Jamestown on Tuesday and at Doane on Saturday.
- Doane split a pair of GPAC contests. They defeated Hastings 95-72. The first half was very competitive with a few big runs and several lead changes. With Hastings leading 27-22, the Tigers used a 9-0 run to take the lead. Doane lead 45-37 at the half. Doane dominated in the second half. With 10:34 to go Max Masin hit a layup to put the Tigers up double digits for good. Jaxon Harre scored a career high 25 points on an efficient 12-14 shooting effort, also adding 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Joe Burt was 7-11 with 25 points and 3 assists. Anthony Laravie was 6-10 with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Doane was unable to continue the momentum, falling 98-84 at RV Northwestern. The Tigers started fast, using an 18-3 run to go up 15 midways through the opening half. The lead did not last, as the hot shooting Raiders used a 26-12 run to close the half up 43-42. The Tigers continued to struggle guarding the Raiders in the second half, as the Raiders secured the victory. Max Masin scored a career high 32 points, shooting 12-18 (8-9 from 3), also adding 4 rebounds. Jaxon Harre added 16 points. Doane improves to 2-6 in the GPAC, 5-8 overall. Doane is at Mount Marty on Wednesday before hosting Briar Cliff on Saturday.
- Midland lost 88-83 against Briar Cliff in their lone game of the week. The first half featured great shooting from both sides, with Midland’s 18-32 (56.3%) being bested by the Chargers’ 19-28 (67.9%). Colby Tichota was 4-4 with 9 points at halftime. The Warriors trailed 49-43. They battled back after halftime, using a 12-6 run to even the score at 55. Briar Cliff led 70-61 midway through the half. Midland again answered back, as Laurence Merritt, Jake Rueschhoff, and Tanner DeKock hit consecutive threes to square the game at 75. Midland then took the 77-75 lead on a Rueschhoff layup with 6:26 let. Briar Cliff was up 84-81 following a pair of layups with 2:40 to go. A jumper by Bo Sandquist with 36 seconds left cut the lead to one. The Warriors had the ball with a chance to tie down 3, but they committed an offensive foul allowing BCU to ice the game at the line, which they did. Rueschhoff lead the Warriors, going 9-15 (4-7 from 3) with 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. Laurence Merritt was 8-17 with 19 points and 4 assists. Midland falls to 1-7 in the GPAC, 3-8 overall. Midland hosts Concordia on Tuesday before playing at Dakota Wesleyan on Saturday.
- Hastings went 0-2 against GPAC foes this week. They opened the week with a 95-72 loss at Doane. They were without center Dashawn Walker due to COVID-19 protocols. Depth proved to be an issue, as the bench did not score. The game was close in the first half, with Doane going up 45-37 at halftime. The second half saw the Broncos struggle to contain Doane as they extended their lead. Mason Hiemstra was 8-15 with 18 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. Karson Gansebom was 6-10 with 16 points and 3 rebounds. The defensive struggles contained, as they fell 106-72 against RV Dordt. Hastings fell behind 10-2 early on. Threes by Karson Gansebom and Jared Mattley helped to cut into the lead, making it 19-13 Dordt with 12:19 left. Dordt extended their lead to double digits, but a basket from Hiemstra and a three from Shane Chamberlain cut the lead back to 5 late in the half. Another Gansebom three cut the lead to 44-41 at halftime. Dordt again extended their lead to double digits in the second half, before a Ben Juhl three cut it to 54-47 midway through the half. Dordt followed with an 18-0 run to ice the game. Karson Gansebom and Ben Juhl each scored 14 points to lead the Broncos. Hastings falls to 0-7 in the GPAC, 3-8 overall. The Broncos host Doane on Wednesday and they host #7 Morningside on Sunday.
TAD’S POWER RANKINGS
- Morningside (+1) – Playing as good as anyone right now
- Dakota Wesleyan (+2) – Proved it this week with a big win over NWC
- Concordia (-1) – Big matchup with Jamestown this week
- Northwestern (-1) – No shame in losing at the Corn Palace.
- Jamestown (-) – Offense showed out against Dordt.
- Dordt (-) – Chance to make a statement against Northwestern
- Briar Cliff (-) – Offense can be hot and cold, needs the defense to step up
- Mount Marty (-) – Tough week against top tier GPAC teams.
- Doane (-) – Offense was great against Hastings
- Midland (-) – Competed against BCU
- Hastings (-) – The defense could use Dashawn Walker back
GAMES OF THE WEEK
RV Northwestern (5-3 8-3) @ RV Dordt (4-4 8-4) Wednesday December 16th 8:00pm
One of the best rivalries in the GPAC
Dakota Wesleyan (6-0 9-1) @ #7 Morningside (6-1 10-1) Wednesday December 16th 8:00pm
Winner takes over first place in the GPAC.
Concordia (6-2 9-3) @ Jamestown (4-2 8-3) Friday December 18th 8:00pm
RV Bellevue (6-7) @ RV Northwestern (8-3) Saturday December 19th 3:00pm
Solid non-conference matchup
GPAC Stat Leaders
Points Per Game
- Mason Walters (JAM) 23.73ppg (18th nationally)
- Alex Van Kalsbeek (NWC) 20.09ppg
- Trey Brown (MOR) 17.55ppg
- Justin Wiersema (CUNE) 17.42ppg
- Nick Harden (DWU) 16.75ppg
- Mason Hiemstra (HAS) 15.80ppg
- Anthony Laravie (DOA) 15.69ppg
- Garrett Franken (DOR) 15.25ppg
- Jaden Kleinhesselink (BCU) 15.18ppg
- Jay Small (NWC) 15.18ppg
FG% (minimum 75% games played, and 5 FG made per game)
- Alex Van Kalsbeek (NWC) 75.8% (8th nationally)
- Trey Brown (MOR) 63.3%
- Mason Walters (JAM) 62.4%
- Justin Wiersema (CUNE) 61.4%
- Craig Sterk (NWC) 60.2%
- Dashawn Walker (HAS) 55.0%
- Karson Gansebom (HAS) 50.5%
- Koln Oppold (DWU) 50.0%
- Garrett Franken (DOR) 48.4%
- Trent Hilbrands (NWC) 48.0%
3PT FG% (Min 75% of games played and 1.5 3PT FG per game)
- Keegan Van Egdom (NWC) 51.0%
- Max Masin (DOA) 50.0%
- Sawyer Schultz (DWU) 48.1%
- Will Cordes (JAM) 44.4%
- Justin Wiersema (CUNE) 43.8%
- Nick Hoyt (BCU) 43.4%
- Trent Hilbrands (NWC) 43.1%
- Koln Oppold (DWU) 42.9%
- Conner Groves (BCU) 42.4%
- Jay Small (NWC) 40.0%
Assists per game
- Nick Harden (DWU) 5.00apg
- Jake Rueschhoff (MID) 4.50apg
- Jay Small (NWC) 4.46apg
- Allante’ Pickens (JAM) 4.11apg
- Quinten Vasa (BCU) 3.91apg
- Jesse Jansma (DOR) 3.83apg
- Koln Oppold (DWU) 3.70apg
- Elijah Pappas (MMU) 3.58apg
- Zach Imig (MOR) 3.27apg
- Trent Hilbrands (NWC) 3.18apg
Rebounds per game
- Mason Walters (JAM) 13.27rpg (#5 nationally)
- Gage Smith (CUNE) 10.42rpg
- Trey Brown (MOR) 9.46rpg
- Koln Oppold (DWU) 9.30rpg
- Garrett Franken (DOR) 8.08rpg
- Dashawn Walker (HAS) 7.78rpg
- Elijah Pappas (MMU) 7.33rpg
- Jacob Vis (DOR) 7.08rpg
- Mason Hiemstra (HAS) 6.90rpg
- Alex Van Kalsbeek (NWC) 6.73rpg
Steals per game
- Zach Imig (MOR) 2.09spg
- Elijah Pappas (MMU) 2.00spg
- Jake Rueschhoff (MID) 1.70spg
- Conner Groves (BCU) 1.55spg
- Anthony Laravie (DOA) 1.54spg
- Justin Wiersema (CUNE) 1.50spg
- Nick Harden (DWU) 1.50spg
- Ely Doble (MOR) 1.30spg
- Mason Hiemstra (HAS) 1.20spg
- Koln Oppold (DWU) 1.20spg
Blocks per game
- Mason Larson (DWU) 1.70bpg
- Jacob Vis (DOR) 1.17bpg
- Brock Schrom (JAM) 1.09bpg
- Mason Walters (JAM) 1.00bpg
- Trey Brown (MOR) 1.00bpg
- Ace Zorr (DWU) 1.00bpg
- Craig Sterk (NWC) 1.00bpg
- Quinten Vasa (BCU) 0.82bpg
- Camden Bialas (DOR) 0.75bpg
- Alex Van Kalsbeek (NWC) 0.73bpg
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