Swain notches 1,000th career point in season finale loss to Loras

by Brock Borgeson

INDIANOLA, Iowa – Senior Charles Swain scored 15 points to record exactly 1,000th career points in Simpson College men’s basketball’s, 89-71 loss to Loras College Saturday.

Swain’s career milestone:

“I feel great,” Charles’ father, Everett Swain said. “He worked hard for it. He’s a good kid and he deserved it. He’s been hurt much of the year and has been playing through it. He’s tough. I’m happy for him.”

Swain, who scored only six points in the first half drilled a pull-up 3-pointer from the wing with 5:28 left in the game to hit the milestone.

Following the shot, Cowles Fieldhouse erupted in applause as Swain’s parents and girlfriend cheered with a new weight off their shoulders.

A-la-Roberto Clemente, who finished his career with exactly 3,000 hits, Swain finished his career at 1,000 points, the 19th Simpson player to reach that milestone.

“Well, when he had six points, I was very down,” Swain’s mother, Filishia said. “I didn’t know whether or not he was going to get it. But his girlfriend, Taylor, and you can quote me on this, told me to keep the faith and we did down the last moment and encouraged him all the way. We are very excited now.”

Head coach Charles Zanders, expecting the milestone to be on Swain’s mind, sent him a text the morning before the game, reading:

“I want to wish you good luck today. I know you want that 1,000 point mark. My best advice is to be patient, get to the free throw line, and take advantage of good looks. Don’t force it. It’s going to take a great deal of self-control, but we both know that you’re capable. Fight on both ends of the flood, and what’s meant to be will be. Have fun, and enjoy your day. Z”

Game recap:

With both teams being previously eliminated from IIAC Tournament contention, both teams played in what was essentially a play for pride game on Simpson’s senior night.

The Storm trailed by only eight at the half but were ran off the court on a 50 point second half performance from the Duhawks.

“I’m not going to take anything away from them,” Zanders said. “We are kind of limited outside and they tried to make us shoot from the perimeter. At the end of the day, they made that adjustment and we finished 5-17 from 3. It turned out to be a good formula for them.”

Seniors Swain, P.J. Edwards and Carlton Moody all started the game as Simpson (6-19, 1-13) got out to a 10-3 lead, forcing a Loras (10-15, 5-9) timeout.

The Storm’s lead didn’t last long as a Nathaniel Smith 3-pointer put Loras up 13-12. Leif Olson, who finished with a team-high 19, hit a jump shot to tie it at 20-20 with 9:35 in the 1st half.

It was the last time Simpson didn’t trail on the afternoon though.

DJ Dafney did bring Simpson within one a 52-51 midway through the second half although the Duhawks finished the game out on a 37-20 run from that point on to hand Simpson their 12th straight loss.

Dafney finished productive season with 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Dillon Gretzky scored nine points on 3-4 shooting.

Three players scored in double-figures for Loras, lead by Mirko Grcic who had a double-double, scoring 23 and rebounding 14.

Smith and Aaron Schueller both scored 17 points, hitting five 3-pointers apiece.

As was the women’s team, the men were dominated in the paint. Loras outrebounded the Storm 42-27, scoring 38 points in the paint to Simpson’s 22.

The goodbyes, and looking forward:

Zanders spoke to his seniors following what’s the final basketball game of their careers.

“I went to each senior and talked about how they decided to come to Simpson and the role I played in their decision to come to Simpson,” Zanders said. “I told them it’s not about the wins and losses, because athletics plays a small role in people’s lives. I didn’t want them to forget the special memories. The bus rides, the retreats, the team functions. Those are the things they’ll remember.”

While the men’s basketball team sends their three seniors to graduate this spring, many will be returning to a youthful squad. Simpson will also get the help of red-shirt senior, Tyler Anderson.

“We talked about if you want to climb out of the basement there are things you have to get better at,” Zanders said. “We have to shoot better, be stronger and be able to play more physical in order to rebound. Having Anderson back next year will be a huge plus. With losing only one starter on a team that was fairly I can say that the future is bright.”