Dordt basketball still aims for the national tournament

basketball‘Tis the season when the DeWitt gym is filled to its brim a couple nights a week, all for the common goal of cheering for the men’s and women’s basketball teams as they hope to make a run in the GPAC and the ultimate goal of reaching the national tournament.

Coach Ross Douma is in his fourth year at the helm of the men’s basketball team and is looking to continue from the successful season the team had last year, making it to the final eight in the national tournament before falling to McPhearson, and ending the Defender’s season at  30-5.

One of the biggest strengths that this team boasts is the experience of returning players. This year’s team returns eight of the first nine players in the rotation, including all five starters from last year – Cliff Warner, Austin Katje, Trever Wolterstorff, Kyle Lindburg, and Jordan Vogel, as well as sixth Man of the Year Chris Sievers, and senior Shawn Keizer. Underclassmen Tyler Wolterstorff, Rees Beever, and Nathan Rindells round out the front ten.

Coach Douma is content with how the season has gone so far, but knows that there is always room for improvement.

“We have had some good wins coupled with a disappointing loss or two,” said Douma, “We know we have not played our best basketball yet and are confident we will continue to get better as the season progresses.”

The men’s team is currently sitting at 9-3 overall, with a 3-3 record in the GPAC, including a big comeback win over rival Northwestern ending on top 64-56.

The women’s team boasts an interesting combination of experience with fresh blood also being placed in the lineup. Coach Craig looks to upperclassmen Kara Van Dyke, Brianna Spronk, Kayla Broekhuis, Jamie Kok, and Jessica Jelsma to lead the team, while inserting freshmen Jasmin Schelhaas, Emily Neuman, and Mycah Hulst to bring youth to the lineup.

“So far we’ve had a lot of fun games and wins, but also our share of losses as well, ” said Coach Steimsma. “We have and will continue to improve a lot; we have a very deep and athletic team.”

After a victory over Martin Luther, 62-42, the women’s team is now sitting at 7-7 and 3-3 in the GPAC. Both teams play at Morningside on December 12, and a home game against Briar Cliff on December 15.

Justin Pastoor, Sports Editor

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