Storm women destroy Dutch, undefeated in conference play

Storm women destroy Dutch, undefeated in conference play

by Derek Hannah

Simpson’s women’s basketball team has stormed out of the gates this season and added an exclamation point on Saturday by beating rival Central, 100-48.

The Storm gave up only seven first half points, breaking the previous team record of ten points allowed in a half. Senior Heather Kay led the Storm scoring 13 points and grabbing six rebounds.

“It’s always great to beat our rival and even better to beat them by fifty,” Kay said. “It’s great to have everyone contribute like they did today.”

Junior Tessa Van Oosbree and sophomore Katelyn Whiton each added ten points while senior Dana Johnson dished out seven assists and had four steals.

“It was really fun to play as well as we did against Central,” Johnson said. “And it helps a lot when the crowd gets into it like that.”

The Storm showed great depth in the win as all 15 players scored, ten of which had six or more points. Nine players also logged four or more rebounds, as the Storm won the battle of the boards, 52-30.

Head Coach Brian Niemuth considers the team’s depth as its greatest strength.

“We’re deeper than most of the teams we play,” he said. “I couldn’t pick a team MVP right now. Players have been asked to sacrifice some playing time and they’re doing a good job being unselfish and putting the team first.” The team’s unselfishness was on display Saturday, as the group totaled 30 assists.

The win over Central puts Simpson atop the conference standing with a record of 8-0 and an overall record of 14-3. Before the Central game, Simpson was second in the conference in points scored and had allowed the fewest points. This deadly combination has led to a remarkable 25 point average margin of victory, which climbed even higher after the 52 point annihilation of Central. Besides the great depth, Niemuth credits the teams success to defense.

“I think our defense is very strong and that creates a lot of our offense,” Niemuth said.

One of those leaders on defense is senior Dana Johnson. The point guard averages almost four steals a game and is expected to beat the team record for steals in a season – a record that she holds after last year’s season of 91 takeaways.

Sophomore Ashley Katch has also helped bolster the defense by blocking over two shots a game since stepping into the starting lineup for senior Sarah Pearson, who has been playing with an ankle injury.

Whiton and Kay have both been named Iowa Conference Female Athletes of the Week this season and have led the team in scoring with 13 and 10.4 points per game, respectively. Johnson has upped her scoring this year to 7.5 points and is among the conference leaders in shooting percentage – a rare feat for a point guard. Sophomore Carlie Beals leads the team with 26 three-pointers and Van Oosbree is the ‘do-it-all’ athlete. Depth like this gives the team high hopes.

“We’re all really excited for what we’re capable of come the postseason,” Kay said.

Coming into the season, Niemuth was optimistic

“We have a very good senior class back this year, a lot of experience,” Niemuth said. “You always wonder how well the freshmen will play coming into a new system, but they have done well, so that gives us some more depth off the bench. We have such balanced scoring that we’re very hard to prepare for.”

Niemuth isn’t satisfied with the team’s accomplishments thus far, but feels they are working in the right direction and is hoping to bring the excitement of a postseason run back to campus.