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Friday, February 20, 2009
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SATURDAY: CORNERSTONE vs. AQUINAS, 3 P.M. WEDNESDAY: WHAC TOURNAMENT FIRST-ROUND
SATURDAY: CORNERSTONE vs. AQUINAS, 1 P.M. WEDNESDAY: WHAC TOURNAMENT FIRST-ROUND
Davenport spoils homecoming Men: Davenport 63, cornerstone 60
by tim devaney
Your Sports editor
The men’s basketball team is hoping the third time’s the charm when it comes to solving the Davenport Panthers. This season the Golden Eagles have been victim to two buzzerbeating losses to Davenport. And now they’re more eager than ever to steal one win back. “It’s always tough to beat somebody three times in one season, so it would be a great opportunity,” coach Kim Elders said. “We look forward to the opportunity to have a rematch with them.” But the Golden Eagles have a long road ahead to earn a rematch, he said. Cornerstone (9-4) and Davenport (9-4) are now tied for second in the WHAC, but Davenport owns the tie-breaker since it swept the regular season series with Cornerstone. If the standings stay the same, the two teams would play again in the WHAC tournament semi-finals, but both teams would have to win in the quarter-finals to get there. “Many times over the last few years our backs have been against the wall, and sometimes we respond best when our backs are against the wall,” Elders said. “Now we’ve omitted an opportunity to get to nationals by a high ranking, so we do have to win the WHAC tournament,” he added. One of the two losses to Davenport came last Saturday during homecoming, when Davenport’s James Nelson raced to the hoop for a game-winning layup with 16 seconds left to give the Panthers a 61-60 lead. “First I thought, ‘Slow it down,’ but I heard coach on the sidelines saying, ‘Attack! Attack!’ So I picked the ball up, saw the defender and thought I would either get a layup or get fouled,” Nelson said. He hit two free throws seconds later to seal the win for Davenport, 63-60. “Coming in we knew it would be a dog fight,” said Nelson, a redshirt freshman. “It was hit or miss. These are the shots that we dream about taking when we’re young kids.” That wasn’t the case for Matt Kingshott, who missed a potential game-winning layup with two seconds to go when Dominic Allen zipped a pass to him in the paint out of a timeout. “I rolled to the hoop. I had
a good shot at it, and I took a terrible shot,” said Kingshott, a CU captain. “I should have made it. I had a wide open look and should have made it.”
It’s always tough to beat someone three times.” Kim Elders Men’s basketball coach
The Panthers used a 6-0 run over the last minute to pull away from Cornerstone. Kelvin DeVries hit a clutch 3-pointer for the Golden Eagles with 1:11 to play, which gave Cornerstone a 60-57 lead. But that was the last bucket the Golden Eagles would score, as Nelson took over late.
Women: 79-74 (L) by tim devaney and emily hollis
Your Sports editor and staff writer
It was not a happy Valentine’s Day for the women’s basketball team. In a battle of NAIA Division II titans, No. 4 Davenport knocked off No. 8 Cornerstone, 79-74, last Saturday. (Gameday rankings). Davenport scorched Cornerstone for an early 26-6 lead, using a suffocating press to throw the Golden Eagles off balance. “Davenport came out with a lot of pressure and a sense of urgency,” coach Carla Fles said. “We were real stagnant and didn’t handle the pressure real well.” The Golden Eagles scrambled back to tie the game 56-56 with 7:43 remaining on a pair of free throws by forward Brooke Carter. “Deep down inside you want it so bad,” forward Tami Thelen said. “We showed it out there. To show that fire to not give up in the end was pretty good too.” But it wasn’t enough to hold off a late attack by Davenport, which hit more big shots down the stretch. The loss dropped Cornerstone to second in the WHAC, where it currently sits with an 11-2 (22-7 overall) record. Davenport gained sole possession of first place.
Cornerstone: lost both homecoming games against Davenport last Saturday.
CU, Grand Rapids schools strengthen WHAC Don’t look now, but three Grand Rapids schools are strengthening the WHAC, and Cornerstone is at the top of it all. It’s bound to come down to Cornerstone, Aquinas and Davenport in both leagues. All three have been beating up on one another. “What we benefit from is that Grand Rapids is a very good basketball area,” men’s coach Kim Elders said. “We also have five or six schools going for the same [high school] kids we are. But yeah, I think it’s a privilege to play in our conference.” It’s a pride thing. You want to be proud of the conference you play in, and in the recent past there has been no team in the WHAC that can compete with some of the elite NAIA schools around the nation. But this season, these three
Your Sports Editor
Grand Rapids schools are making a concerted effort to win back some of the respect the WHAC received when Cornerstone’s men won the only national championship in conference history in 1999. The No. 10 Cornerstone women’s team (22-7 overall) is
11-2 in the WHAC with its only conference loss coming to Aquinas. The Golden Eagles are 17-4 since the beginning of December, and have won 14 out of 17. Compare that to No. 3 Davenport’s (26-1 overall) 12-1 conference record, and it gets pretty interesting. Especially since Davenport’s only loss this season came to Cornerstone. And just in case that wasn’t entertaining enough, No. 25 Aquinas (18-8 overall, 10-3 conference) decided to chip in with a big win over the Golden Eagles that put them in the thick of things in the WHAC. All three teams have been ranked among the NAIA Division II top 25 for most of the season, and right now Davenport sits No. 3, Cornerstone
No. 10 and Aquinas No. 25. “I think it’s great for the area for women’s basketball,” women’s coach Carla Fles said. “The majority of our players are from area high schools, and it’s great to see each of our programs doing so well on the national scene.” The men are in a heated conference battle themselves. Cornerstone is (19-10 overall) 9-4 in the conference, trailing Aquinas (20-9 overall, 11-2 WHAC) and Davenport (19-10 overall, 9-4 WHAC). “I think our conference is tough,” Elders said. “We try not to lighten our schedule. We try to play anybody and everybody. So we play a difficult schedule in hopes of that preparing for the WHAC and national tournament.” The WHAC regular season has been a frantic and scrappy
Athlete spotlight: Amy Boyer, Sophomore Photos taken by Herald photographer Robbie Scudder.
Sport: Track and Field
Bailey and my roommates.
2000: She joined her first ice hockey team.
Double Major: History/Psy
1997: She moved from Washington state to Phoenix, Arizona.
2006: She won State in basketball.
Hobbies: Any extreme sport, track and field, reading, guitar, hanging out with Leah
1998: Boyer started learning sign language.
2007: She won State in basketball and pole vaulting.
bio box • Tim Devaney is a CU junior majoring in journalism. • He is from Fort Kent, Maine • He once caught a baseball with his knees to win the little league championship battle between these three Grand Rapids schools in both leagues. And it all comes down to Saturday, the last day of the regular season. Depending how things shake out, the women’s league could see three teams make the national tournament, while the men’s league may be able to squeeze in two teams. To restore WHAC pride though, it will depend on how far the best WHAC team goes in the national tournament.
sAtURDAY: CORNERstONE vs. AQUiNAs, 1 p.M. WEDNEsDAY: WhAC tOURNAMENt FiRst-ROUND Pink Out fund-rasier page 7 by Tim Devaney Friday, February...