Simpson Sports Weekend in Review – 2.5-2.7
February 7, 2016
Simpson sports were in full swing again this weekend, playing on the hardcourt, mat and track. Here is a brief rundown of the action.
Feb. 5 – Wrestling @ Buena Vista
Buena Vista 22, Simpson 20
STORM LAKE – Both teams were looking for their first conference win on Friday and Buena Vista (3-8, 1-4) was the one who accomplished that.
The Storm (2-10, 0-6) took a narrow 20-11 after Colby Vlieger won a 3-2 decision at 285. Buena Vista strung 11 points together, concluded by a win by forfeit at 133 as the Beavers won 22-20.
Simpson finishes the regular season at Central on Thursday, Feb. 11.
Feb. 6 – Women’s Basketball
Simpson 67, Central 52
by Erich Bogner
According to Simpson Athletics Communication, this was Simpson women’s basketball’s 30th straight win over Central. After the first quarter, Simpson’s streak was on the line, being down 19-16 but the brief threat fizzled out quickly as the Storm dominated the rest of the way.
Senior guard Mackenzie Haupt said, “It felt really great to bounce back from Wartburg. We knew what we could do and we just wanted to go out and do it.”
Haupt led Simpson in scoring with 17 points, nine coming from behind the three-point line. Junior Brittany Boland had 10 rebounds, and Morgan Mauro had 5 assists. Katie Ahrenholtz added 14 points off the bench.
This win brings Simpson to 13-8 overall and 6-4 in the IIAC conference. Simpson is tied for third in the conference with Buena Vista, who they play Feb. 17. Central on the other hand falls even further to the bottom, dropping to 4-17, 1-9.
Simpson womens basketball will play Wednesday Feb. 10th at Luther.
Feb. 6 – Men’s Basketball
Simpson 79, Central 73
by Hunter Hillygus
Blood, sweat and tears is what it takes to win games against your closest rivals. Of course, that’s just a cliché used by coaches to motivate players, but Saturday night at Cowles Fieldhouse, senior Dillon Gretzky took that saying to heart.
A collision late in the first half left Gretzky with a cut above his eye and blood dripping down his face, but the senior did what seniors do: get it fixed, come back and lead his team to victory, a 79-73 victory over rival Central College (14-7, 5-5).
“He’s out there playing with one eye, but those guys will give that up for a victory,” said head coach Brad Bjorkgren.
The first half was a tale of two evenly matched teams going blow for blow. Gretzky paced the Storm (13-8, 6-4) in the first, pouring in ten points while Sam Amsbaugh maneuvered his way down low en route to seven first half points. The tide finally turned in the Storm’s favor with 2:04 left in the half when Central’s Tate Handsaker was charged with a technical foul. Ryan Skaar hit both of the technical free throws and Sabonis Smith hit a long three on the next possession on a five-point swing to give Simpson a ten-point lead. Simpson led by as much as 12 in the first half, but Central cut down the Storm’s lead to 39-30 at half.
Central wouldn’t go down without a fight, coming out with a renewed energy in the second half. After a back and forth first few minutes, the Dutch locked down and controlled the game until the five-minute mark, opening up an eight-point lead with five minutes to go. Simpson came roaring back with a run of their own, however, highlighted by a couple of key buckets from Gretzky to put the Storm within one and Amsbaugh, who gave the Storm the lead for good on a layup in the post and a crucial, momentum changing charge taken by Skaar.
“We haven’t taken a charge like that in a long time and for Ryan to step in there and take a knee right in the chest and get that charge, was just a big play for us,” said Bjorkgren.
The Storm knocked down their free throws late and closed out the game to complete the regular season sweep of the Dutch.
Amsbaugh led the way in the scoring department for Simpson, piling on 21 points on 7-13 shooting to go along with six rebounds. Gretzky wasn’t far behind with 19 points and five rebounds of his own. DJ Dafney led the Storm with nine rebounds.
Pete Walker led the Dutch in scoring, converting on 5-13 attempts from the field and 6-6 attempts from the line on his way to 16 points on the night. Simpson held Central’s leading scorer, junior Colby Taylor (22 PPG), to just nine points on the night on 4-9 shooting and 1-5 from three, while primarily being defended by Dafney.
“He really contests shots, he moves his feet and he’s having to do that every night, so he’s getting used to it. Seems like everyone has a big time four who can score, and I have a lot of confidence in DJ guarding,” said Bjorkgren.
With the win, the Storm move into a tie for second place in the IIAC with Loras. Next up for Simpson is an away game against Luther on Wednesday. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m.
Men’s & Women’s Track & Field:
@ Grinnell Invite
Men’s Results: 1st/15
Women’s Results: 10th/14
The Simpson men were the highlight of the meet, scoring 19 points higher than William Penn to earn first place.
The Storm were led by first-place finishes by Ian McKenzie in the 1-mile (4:21.63), Dylan Kalinay in the 60 hurdles (8.51) and Isaac Frazier in the high jump (6-5).
The women didn’t fair as well, finishing with 24 points. Grand View won with 77 points. Coe and Dubuque also finished ahead as the only other IIAC schools in the competition.
Men’s Tennis – @ Moline & Galesburg, Ill.
North Central College 6, Simpson 3
Simpson 8, Knox 1
Simpson 8, Illinois College 1
Simpson swept the doubles competition in both of its 8-1 wins this weekend.
The Storm go to Cedar Rapids to take on Cornell and Coe next Saturday.