National Exposure

Dancin' in Branson

The First Game

Benchside, Hiemstra takes to his usual stance--notebook on lap and leaning on knees.

 

At the first timeout, TJ is all ears as Coach Douma delivers his instructions.

 

A charge taken by Jordan Vogel has the team fired up and quickly helping him up.

 

An alley-oop dunk by Kyle Lindbergh at the 3:06 mark of the half gets the strong Defender crowd jacked up.

 

The "voice of the Defenders," Mike Byker, gives a summary of the first half of play.

 

The Defenders get off to a slow start in the second half, allowing the opposing team to get right back in it. During a timeout, in a tone that expresses both encouragement and frustration, TJ yells out, "Come on!"

 

Barb Mellema's intense face reveals every bounce of the ball on the rim as the game really tightens during the last few minutes.

 

The coaching staff looks to make sure the defense is set after a dramatic offensive possession.

 

TJ offers some tips to Shawn Keizer as soon as he sits down.

 

Until a big three from Cliff Warner goes down and some ensuing free throw are drained, the Defender faithful cannot watch easily.

 

Survive and move on. That's the mantra for the tournament. The Defenders commit three times as many turnovers as Cal Maritime, but move on. A win is a win, and after the team made it back to the locker room, cheers of celebration echoed down the hallway.

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