Simpson grabs postseason berth on Senior Night


Photo by Austin Hronich.

by Tanner Krueger, Sports Reporter

The Simpson College men’s basketball team clinched their right to play in the American Rivers Conference postseason tournament Wednesday night. The Storm beat the the Central Dutch, 93-87.

Coming into the game, the Storm sat at an even 7-7 in conference play. To get into the postseason tournament, the squad needed to win one of the next two games that remained on their schedule. Central needed to win its last two to have a chance to play in the postseason.

“We took care of business here at home against a good team that was trying to fight to get themselves into the tournament,” Head Coach Brad Bjorkgren said.

This is the fourth straight appearance for the Storm in the conference tournament.

“It feels good to lock in our bid finally,” junior forward Adam Reiter said.

The game was tight in the beginning, until the Storm closed out the first half on a 13-2 run, giving them a game high 16-point lead.

Senior guard Tyler Stumbo provided a spark off the bench, adding 20 points, which was second best on the team behind Reiter’s 26.

“The mindset going into the game was to be aggressive and move the ball. When we move the ball, we are very hard to guard,” Stumbo said.  

The Storm split the season series with the Dutch, who won the last meeting in Pella, 87-84.

Central guard Adam Flinn led the Dutch with 24 points. Flinn shot eight of eight in the second half. That, combined with Reiter getting in foul trouble, allowed Central to make a run in the second half.

“Coach Stromer told me to be aggressive and take it to them. They don’t have anyone who could stop me,” Reiter said. “It’s just tough because there’s not a lot of big bodies in our conference. When I’m just going up for rebounds, sometimes it looks like a foul.”

Going down the stretch, junior forward Kyle Wagner hit four key free throws to seal the win in the closing seconds for the Storm.

Wagner leads the team at the free-throw line, shooting an exceptional 92 percent.

With a win against Coe on Saturday, the Storm could sit as high as a four-seed in the conference tournament.

“We are going to go home and celebrate the win tonight, but tomorrow it starts all over,” Stumbo said.

Senior leadership has helped the Storm make a run in the second part of the season. The seniors were celebrated for their hard work over the years, as well on Wednesday.

Stumbo, Wagner, Ben Rajewski, Taylor Filbert and Cayce Good were the five seniors recognized.

Simpson moves on to Coe this Saturday, Feb. 16, in the regular season finale. The game will decide seeding for the conference tournament, starting Tuesday, Feb. 19.