Monthly Archive for February, 2011

Not For the Faint of Heart

That was Thursday night in a nutshell.  Not much finesse in either the women’s or men’s basketball tournament games.  Women lost a 47-40 decision to Sioux Falls.  Two opponents that had become far to familiar with each other, meeting for the third time in 15 days.  That translates into no secrets and for Dordt the going got really tough in the first ten minutes of the second half.  Competed hard and still found a way to stay in the game.  Still a four point difference with a little over a minute left and a three-point chance to cut it to one.  Was not to be.  Women close the season 17-13…..more thoughts next week when things are quite as pressing.

Men withstood two Briar Cliff charges to take a 69-63 win.  Led by seven and got comfortable and Briar Cliff rattled the Defender cage with a bucket and back to back three’s for a one point lead.  Field goals by Kyle Lindbergh and Trevor Wolterstorff restored order.  20 points by Cliff Warner and 14 by Chris Sievers.  Not much finesse in this one either with post players leaning, bumping and pushing inside the lane on every possession.  Next up, Northwestern as the Defenders are in the semifinal round for the first time since 2007.  Tip off at about 4:00 Saturday afternoon in Orange City.


Here are the capsules for tomorrow’s games.  Winners advance to title games on Tuesday, March 1.

Dordt-Northwestern men –check the website, the preview is there.

Dakota Wesleyan (12-6, 23-7) @ Sioux Falls (13-5, 22-8)-Sioux Falls is the #2 seed and beat Dakota Wesleyan in both meetings this season.  54-51 final at the Corn Palace on December 8.  Matt Malloy 14 and Eric Tisby for the Cougars while Wesleyan was paced by German Madueno with 13 and 10 points by Brady Wiebe.    Meeting number two had the Cougars prevailing in double overtime.  Kelly Hubbard put up 30 and David Maxwell had 21.  Ronnell Grant chipped in with 20.  WEsleyan got 31 poitns by Wiebe and Larry Swann tacked on 28.  Chase Walder also hit for 14 points.  Sioux Falls got to this point with a 78-71 win over Morningside while Dakota Wesleyan had no troubles with Midland 81-69.    Both teams are ranked in the top-20 and will likely get an at-large berth in the NAIA National Tournament.

If Northwestern wins they would host Tuesday night’s title game.  If Dordt wins they would travel to either the Corn Palace or the  Stewart Center.


Top four seeds held true in the women’s tournament.

Briar Cliff (20-11, 12-6) @ Northwestern (28-1, 18-0).  Teams played once with Northwestern winning in Orange City 98-76.  Northwestern was up 44-31 at halftime and got 29 points by Becca Hurley and 13 each by Kendra De Jong and Val Kleinjahn.  Briar Cliff’s leading scorer was Kela Cihak with 15 and Kelsey Evans had 11.  Northwestern is already in the national tournament with the conference regular season title.  Briar Cliff is probably in as well.

Sioux Falls (25-4, 14-4) @ Morningside (25-4, 15-3).  Looks like a potential dandy based on the first two meetings.  Morningside won on a buzzer beater 62-61 on December 1 in Sioux Falls.  Emily Christen had 15 for the winners and Chelsie Trask knocked down 14.  Sioux Falls got 16 from Vanessa Johnson and Holli Aggen put in 10.  Sioux Falls earned a 70-66 win over Morningside on January 15 with Holli Aggen and Jamey Hofer topping Sioux Falls with 19 and 17 points each.  Shelby Beudette contributed 20 and Bobbi McManaman had 14 for the Mustangs.

Same story, Northwestern wins and they host on Tuesday.  A Briar Cliff win puts them on the road to either Sioux Falls or Morningside on Tuesday night.  I believe the three teams other than Northwestern are safe for at least at-large berths.


Halfway Gone…..Lifehouse


Time to stand in line for basketball tomorrow………

Round Two

It’s the quarterfinal round of the GPAC playoffs for both the women and the men. The women’s and men’s tournaments are played on the same night, that’s something I have never liked since we expanded the tournament field from eight to twelve and it now stands at eleven. From the sounds of it we will return to a double round-robin format next season with 11 teams and 20 games. We also will return to the eight team post-season field which will add to the tension in the final weeks of the season.

Here’s how things break down for tonight on the women.

Dordt is at Sioux Falls—that capsule is on the website and you can check it out there.

Doane (10-18, 7-11) @ Morningside (15-3, 14-4)—Doane got to this point via a win over Midland on Tuesday night by a 73-71 margin. The two teams met once this year with Morningside winning 82-59. Not a lot of drama with the Mustangs leading 43-27 at the half. Tanaeya Worden had 19 points and four other players were in double figures. Madara Upeniece had 17 points and grabbed four rebounds for the Warriors in that January 22 loss. Winner will face Dordt or Sioux Falls.

Concordia (6-12, 15-16) @ Northwestern (18-0, 27-1)—Concordia beat Hastings 61-58 to get to this one. Northwestern won the regular season game on January 3, 82-72. Raiders were up 36-33 at half and didn’t put it away until late. Becca Hurley had 27 for the Raiders with seven rebounds. Kristen Conahan came off the bench for 16 for the Bulldogs. Winner will face either Mount Marty or Briar Cliff.

Mount Marty (12-6, 22-8) @ Briar Cliff (12-6, 19-11)—The four vrs five seeding game. This one could be a war. Briar Cliff got homecourt in the seeding by virtue of their win over Mount Marty on January 12 by a 77-63 margin in Sioux City. Two teams combined for 52 turnovers. Chargers were led by Kylie Dilla with 14 and Kela Cihak with 15. Mount Marty got 14 from Tierney Schumacher and three others hit for double figures. After that it dropped off to five for the Lancers.


Counting Crows and Long December


Men’s side looks like this.

Dordt is on the road at Briar Cliff—capsule is up on the website.

Mount Marty (10-19, 7-11) @ Northwestern (21-7, 14-4)—Mount Marty got here with a 77-55 drubbing of Doane on Tuesday night. Teams played twice. Northwestern won them both. Took a 76-71 win on November 23 in Orange City behind 23 by Brent Dunkelberger off the bench. Stephen Klekas had 22 for the Lancers. February 2 the Raiders won 80-66 after getting up 46-35 at half. Daniel Van Kalsbeek had 20 points and six rebounds. Joe Hieb came off the bench for 17 in Mount Marty’s effort. Winner gets Dordt or Briar Cliff.

Morningside (10-18, 15-16) @ Sioux Falls (13-5, 21-8)—Morningside handled Hastings 99-86 on Tuesday. Teams split during the regular season and Sioux Falls will probably be shorthanded with De’shawn Howard getting injured in warmups on Saturday night. Morningside won on December 1 in Sioux Falls 62-60. Matt Malloy had 20 and Kelly Hubbard 10. Kevin Zoz led the winners with 14 and Trent Miller had 11. Meeting number two had Sioux Falls beating Morningside 88-84 in Sioux City. Eric Tisby had 21 in the win and Ronnell Grant came off the bench for 19. Garth Hamilton topped Morningside with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Midland (8-23, 3-15) @ Dakota Wesleyan 22-7, 12-6)—Late game will get started at 8:45 (if they are lucky) high school tournament extravaganza at the Corn Palace first. Midland got here with an upset win on the road over Concordia 81-66. Wesleyan won the December 12 meeting at the Palace 78-69. Brady Wiebe went for 33 for the Tigers. Marcus Messersmith added 20 for the Warriors in the loss. January 29 the teams played in Fremont with Dakota Wesleyan taking an 86-63 win over the Warriors. Messersmith and Alex Knobbe had 14 in the loss while Larry Swann knocked down 25 for the winners. Could be the last game in the career of coach Rich McGill. 30 years at Midland coaching men’s basketball. My job is not nearly as stressful and I wonder if I’ll make it through tomorrow.


R E M and Nightswimming followed by the Killers and Sam’s Town….I’m liking it…..


Baseball started with a couple tough ones last night….lost on a walkoff homerun in the opener after leading 3-0 and didn’t get the timely hit in the second game, losing 6-4 despite outhitting the hosts 8-4. It’s a start…..


As promised national listing of qualifiers for the NAIA Indoor track and field championships next week is up on


Former Dordt men’s soccer coach and current Pella Christian administrator Darryl De Ruiter involved in an accident yesterday along with Dordt College grad and baseball player Nate Van Wyk involved in a car accident yesterday. Glad to hear things look good for recoveries….could have been much worse. Here’s the link


Time to tie up some loose ends before heading down the road…..

Playoff Day 1

The regular season is over in basketball.  That’s me, Mr. Obvious.  Anyhow, the finishing touches on Saturday.

Senior day and how much better can you script it than a pair of  games with relatively wide margins……well, let’s be honest, in this conference anything over 10 points for a difference are an oddity.  Saturday, with a 25 point win for the women and a 30 point win for the men go beyond the odd and border on unreal.  Well, you take them and move on.

The women honored the three seniors….here’s your nugget.  These three players, Julia DeKoekkoek, Bre Schneidermann and Amber Soodsma have had a hand in 60 Dordt wins.  That’s the best four-year stretch in Dordt women’s basketball history.

De Koekkoek will end her career in the neighborhood of 1000 points and will be in the top-15 for all scorers.  Bre Schneidermann will leave with close to 650 points and 650 rebounds and another 264 blocked shots which is a career record.  Amber Soodsma is already the career scoring leader with over 1700 points and she has over 700 rebounds to go with 203 assists and 179 steals.  She’s also been credited with 107 career blocked shots.  If she’s not the defensive player of the year in the conference this season, in my opinion, she’s in the discussion.

On the men’s side it was an emotional day with Brandon Oldenkamp’s parents in attendance, receiving the shadow box that was created this fall and hung in the east lobby of the De Witt Gym.  Bob and Linda have been at more games than they’ve missed this season and it was one more opportunity for the Dordt community to remember Brandon.  Got to be honest, I wondered how the crowd would react when his accolades were read.  Do you applaud immediately?  Do you wait and be polite?  There is no script for this.    The Dordt crowd pulled it off with an extended moment of silence where I saw lots of eyes being wiped and then an extended loud ovation for a player and family who will always have a special place in our hearts.

Sam Wetselaar, the varsity manager was also recognized.  Sam’s a basketball junkie and he carried out the responsibilities of the day to day basketball stuff out well.  Finally, Chris Van Roekel was recognized.  Missed all of last year with a shoulder injury.  Has played most of this year with another shoulder injury.  Scored the first points of the day and then had to leave with what we later learned was an asthma attack.  Came on later in the game for another bucket.  Coach Douma has mentioned more than once this season that he has appreciated the way Chris as provided leadership for this youthful group of players.


Switchfoot and Only Hope


The matchups tonight–Dordt and Dakota Wesleyan women is up on the website…you can check that out.

Hastings (12-17, 5-13) @ Concordia (14-16, 6-12).  Concordia won the February 2 game in Hastings 66-62 with 18 points by Amber Kistler. Hastings won the first meeting on December 8 by a 62-59 margin.  Sophia McDermott had 17 for the Broncos in that.  Obviously no advantage in being the home team in this one.  Winner goes to #1 seed Northwestern on Thursday night.

Midland (12-18, 4-14) @ Doane (9-18, 7-11).  Two teams split with the visitor prevailing both times.  Doane  triumphed 85-81 on February 16 behind 22 by Cheryl Braithwait and Doane got 24 by Megan Torkelson.  Doane won the first meeting on January 12 by a 56-48 margin after trailing 29-22 at halftime.  Torkelson had 25.  Winner travels to Morningside on Thursday.

Men’s matchups…

Doane (13-14, 7-11) @ Mount Marty (9-19, 7-11).  Teams played twice with Mount Marty winning both.  Took a game in Yankton by a 79-58 count on December 8 behind five double-digit scorers.  Jake Johnson was Doane’s lone player in double figures with 14.  The two teams played on February 12 in Crete with Mount Marty winning by an 82-67 margin.  Stephen Klekas led the Lancers with 21 and Joe Hieb came off the bench for 18.  Nick Reed led the Tigers with 25.  Winner gets Northwestern on Thursday night.

Hastings (9-19, 5-13) @ Morningside (14-16, 10-8).  Teams played once on a Sunday afternoon in late January.  Hastings trailed 48-27 and never were in it in losing 82-62.  Garth Hamilton had 22 for the Mustangs and Tobin Reinwald had 12 for the Broncos.  Winner travels to Sioux Falls on Thursday.

Midland (7-23, 3-15) @ Concordia (16-12, 10-8).  Last go around for Midland coach Rich McGill who is retiring at the conclusion of this school year.  Concordia won both meetings by scores of 69-53 and 79-56.  Tyler Byrd had 18 in the first meeting and 13 in the meeting on January 19.  Ryan Shrum also had 18 points and Sam Huebner 17.  Winner goes to Dakota Wesleyan and the Corn Palace for a late game on Thursday night.


Waiting for the final declaration list on track and field athletes for the national meet next week.  Will release as soon as I know it.


Baseball is off to Manhattan, Kansas for a doubleheader tomorrow.

Coming Up For Air

Feels like we’ve been submerged in basketball for the last couple weeks and today I’m able to come up for air.  Postponed games from December played on Monday, February 14 really jammed things up and now, after several short turnarounds, it seems like we actually have some time to come up for air.

Teams will conclude their regular seasons on Saturday.  Women are locked in to sixth, seventh or the eighth seed and will host either Dakota Wesleyan, Hastings or Midland on Tuesday night of next week.  From there they would likely play Northwestern, Sioux Falls or Morningside in the quarterfinal round.  The women’s race features Northwestern as #1.  Sioux Falls could wrap up #2 with a win over Northwestern .  A loss by Sioux Falls on Saturday night throws them into a tie with Morningside, whom they split with this season.  Briar Cliff and Mount Marty are both 11-6 heading into the weekend, they’ll play each other, just a matter of who will be the home team in the 4-5 matchup on Thursday.

Doane is a game in front of Dordt while the Defenders are 6-11 along with Concordia….those three will fill the 6-7-8 slots in some fashion.

I don’t recall a men’s race being more convoluted than this one.  Northwestern has wrapped up the title and the #1 seed.  After that, a mess.

Sioux Falls can wrap up second with a win.  A loss by the Cougars to Northwestern in Orange City could throw them into a tie for second with Briar Cliff and Dakota Wesleyan who are both 11-6.  If either Briar Cliff or Dakota Wesleyan slip up, Concordia is poised to jump into a tie for third or fourth.  Dordt and Morningside are both 9-8.  Wins by those two coupled with a Concordia loss forces a three-way tie for fifth and the Defenders win that tie-breaker.  Doane can’t move up from eighth but could slip into a tie with Mount Marty if the Lancers beat Concordia and Doane loses to Dordt.  Hastings and Midland will both be traveling on Tuesday for the first round as they can’t move beyond ninth place.

Here are the match-ups:

Nebraska Wesleyan @ Morningside

Midland @ Briar Cliff

Concordia @ Mount Marty

Doane @ Dordt

Dakota WEsleyan @ Hastings

Sioux Falls @ Northwestern

……………my head is starting to hurt–time to quit thinking so hard.

By the way, the Sioux Falls-Northwestern games won’t be played until evening on Saturday, so, the pairings won’t be out until late Saturday night.  Why, you ask?  All-day wrestling meet at the Bultman Center.


Beautiful Noise-Neil Diamond


It’s been a tough stretch for the Defender women…..2-5 over the last seven games.  Got beat up physically by Sioux Falls on Monday night and the play on Wednesday against Mount Marty seemed sluggish in the second half.  Try to get back at it with Doane on Saturday…senior day as well with Amber Soodsma, Julia De Koekkoek and Bre Schneidermann being recognized at halftime of the men’s game.  DeKoekkoek is closing in on 1000 points, could be close, has 958 at this point.

Men have been through a grinder with three straight overtime games at one point, a one point loss to Sioux Falls and a double digit win over Mount Marty in the span of two weeks.  Got a win over Sioux Falls in dramatic fashion last Wednesday, came from 22 points down to beat Hastings on Saturday and lost on a one point decision to the Cougars on Valentines Night.  Have had several people ask about the ending to the Sioux Falls game on Monday.

Here’s what I think.  Both teams played hard on short rest, both teams could have won and it was entertaining.  Big shots galore and chances that slipped away, and at the end of it all Dordt still had a chance to win.  Beyond that, there was plenty of disappointment, not so much with the outcome, but how we arrived at it.

Glad to see the guys bounce back and show patience on Wednesday night and took a 14 point win over Mount Marty at Yankton…I’ve seen some pretty good Dordt teams unable to win there so this was a good one.


Track and field this weekend at the GPAC Championships in Lincoln.  That’s always a long day and won’t wrap up until about 9:00.


Hockey season is over and the Blades run of three straight National Tournament berths is over as they put the sticks and pucks away.


Probably catch a high school basketball game tonight…..hopeless, I know….

Try To Make It Positive

That’s going to be tough.  A quiet ride home from Lincoln tonight.

Women lost a 60-59 decision to the Prairie Wolves in a game where Wesleyan succeeded in getting the pace and style of the game to their liking.  For the Defenders the shots wouldn’t fall, and they were good shots, and that resulted in an uphill battle all day.  Had one stretch where they went on a 9-0 run to take a two point lead but that was it for a lead.  In fact, the Defenders trailed the entire second half.

A play here and a play there and the outcome is different, and on the road, in a game with low possession numbers, each possession is critical.  The high of a win over a ranked Briar Cliff team is overshadowed by the loss this afternoon and now the Defenders must play five games over the next two weeks.  Julia De Koekkoek crept above 900 career points this afternoon.

The men battled, but it was much the same story.  Led early in the second half but Nebraska Wesleyan had an answer every time the Defenders made a run.  Dordt got down ten late and then got a couple big buckets by Austin Katje to get them back within striking distance.  Trevor Wolterstorff made two free throws late to force overtime and got a  bucket to start the overtime for a brief lead but the hosts kept making shots and held on for the four point win.  Wolterstorff 22 and Katje 21 points.  Four missed free throws in the overtime made it difficult for the Defenders.

Goofy day around the league….Midland wins by 20 in men’s play for their second win of the conference season.  Doane beats Briar Cliff in Sioux City and Sioux Falls gets upended by Concordia in Seward….would have been a good day to be idle and watch other teams lose.


Waiting on results from Buena Vista for track and field.


Five games to go in conference play, still a lot of basketball to be played.  All you can do is worry about your next game and let the other teams beat up on each other.  This has turned into a tough, tough stretch.


Up next on the player, Green Day, Time of Your Life…..let’s hope those track results are in soon.

The Week In Review

Since I last posted the basketball teams have played a pair of doubleheaders.  In the process I lose track of time.  Always the next game to get ready for, arrangements to make and information to post and send.

Aside from basketball the indoor track season is well underway with three meets under the belt already.  Briana Wubben and Michelle Steiger are both having top-shelf seasons with both qualifying for a pair of events for the NAIA National Championships in March.  A pair of relays have also qualified in the form of the men’s 4 x 800 and women’s distance medley.  Typically we see several qualifiers at the meet Dordt hosts in mid-February and again with the GPAC Championships the following week when the competition is lifted that much more.


Doubleheader at Northwestern resulted in a pair of losses with the women losing by a 75-60 margin and the men lost on a buzzer beater.  Women played well in stretches, but had two poor stretches by my estimation, that resulted in Northwestern piling up points in short order.  That’s a game where you’ve got to stay within 8 points or so the whole way.  Men’s game had momentum swings with Northwestern barreling back from a double digit second half deficit to squeek one out on a last second, desperation shot from the right wing that hit the backboard a couple times and the rim at least that many times…second time this year the men have been beaten on a banked in three-point shot.  Any way you cut it, it stinks.

Wednesday night the Defender women earned a win over a nationally ranked Briar Cliff team.  Held their composure when Briar Cliff came charging back and Julia De Koekkoek made a pair of free throws to seal the win.  Any win in the GPAC is a good win…don’t care who it’s against.

Men, how do I say this……a slow start, and against a good team like Briar Cliff, and make no mistake about it, they are a good team, you can’t get down 21-2 and 23-4.  Played even from there and cut the lead to single digits but it never felt like a serious run was in the cards.  Any loss in the conference stings….now you have to wait for the next game on Saturday that can’t come soon enough.  Try to wash away the memory of that game with BC with a contest against Nebraska Wesleyan, a team that is coming off a win on the road over Doane.


The ping of aluminum means baseball and softball season is coming…..can’t come soon enough…..


Dip into the oldies today for some Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass…..try to listen without humming and tapping your foot…….