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January 21, 2011

Mens basketball team bounces back


Kevin Waldron
STAFF WRITER

Chad Malloy, freshmen guard, throws the ball over a William Penn player at the game on Wednesday, Jan. 12. The team won 81-68 and have a record of 11-6. They have a conference record of 2-4.

JODI JURIK/CONTIBUTOR

The mens basketball team went through a slump over winter break losing players and games. The Vikings are now looking to bounce back by building on positives and new players according to head coach Dennis Schaefer. The Vikings lost five of their last six games during Dec. and Jan. after a quick start to the season in Nov. Schaefer said, We finished December really positive with a strong win over Buena Vista. So far in January we have played well but we have played really inconsistently. The men are now 11-6 for the season and 2-4 in conference play according to the Grand View athletic website. For the Vikings to continue to win games they need to get the ball to the hoop and continue to fight said coach Schaefer. We have been in positions to win games but have not been able to make baskets, Schaefer said. The key to being a good team is battling through adversity. Schaefer said it is difficult to be perfect when you have a 30 or 32 game schedule. A team will have its highs and lows. The Vikings may have run into some of the best teams in the league over break. Schaefer said, The league, I think, is as balanced as I have seen it in 13 years as head coach. Some other problems the team came across over break is, losing Allen Clark, junior guard, due to academic reasons and Corey Bain, junior guard, after injuring his finger. However, despite the set backs over winter break the team now looks to get back on track according Schaefer. Schaefer said, We are looking to improve making baskets in practice, shooting

more, and trying to get a better offensive flow. The team has also made some adjustments by adding freshmen to the varsity line up. Kody Ingle freshmen, guard and Chad Malloy freshmen guard, are stepping up and making plays on the court according to head coach. Ingle is a transfer student from Creighton University. His reasoning for transferring is personal but is looking to expand his basketball career here at Grand View. Ingle said, I dont feel like I am replacing anyone. I am just trying to fill a role on the team. I am still getting used to playing with everyone in practice but we can only keep getting better with the rest of the season. Schaefer said, Whenever you have guys missing from your line up it takes awhile to have kids come up and redefine their roles. The team is looking to its leaders, Kevin Smith, junior post and Jamel LeBranch, senior guard. Coach feels that smith has a strong presence on the boards and LeBranch does a great job leading for the team. In Dec. Smith was selected as the MCC player of the Week for mens basketball. It was Smiths second MCC weekly honor of the season according to the Grand View website. Schaefer still has high hopes for the rest of the season. But the only expectation is to work hard and try get better everyday, Schaefer said. Winning the MCC conference is still not out of the realm of possibilities according Schaefer. However, he said they would have to do a great job with the rest of the season and have to have some help with other teams getting knocked off.

Wrestling team prepares for national tournament


WRESTLING, FROM PAGE 1

individual is ranked, the more points their team receives. The Vikings are without a wrestler at 157 pounds and throughout the season have been forced to bump an athlete up a weight class, from 149 pounds, just to save a forfeit. As a young team, the thing we struggle with is depth, Mitchell said. When you have a weight class where you have to bump someone up, it shows and thats what were dealing with. Even with a hole in the line-up, the Vikings have maintained high ranking by having two weight classes with two Viking wrestlers ranked in each.

At 133 pounds, we have two of the best guys in the nation, Mitchell said. But in a dual meet we can only use one of those guys. Thats why I think we are a better tournament team than a dual team. The Viking wrestling team has 10 ranked individuals, the second most for any NAIA team. Although national recognition is nice, Mitchell said the team doesnt look too far into them. Although seniors Matt Burns and Glenn Rhees have won national titles while wearing a Viking singlet, neither wrestler entered the tournament as the top seed. Rhees is currently ranked No. 2 at 174 pounds and Burns sits at No. 4 in the 149 lb weight class. Both wrestlers said they plan

on repeating as national champions in their final season and rankings wont hold them back from doing so. The Vikings depth has allowed them to successfully shuffle wrestlers between weight classes in winter break dual victories over No. 13 Morningside and No. 15 Lindsey Wilson, KY. The Vikings lone loss in the Lindsey Wilson dual came at 157 pounds. However, the shuffle is harder to execute over higher ranked opponents with depth. Especially teams who have full sized 157 lb athletes in their line-up. This proved true for the Vikings with tough losses against No. 5 Cambellsville, KY, No. 7 Lindenwood, MO and No. 8 McKendree, IL.

Coaches Poll

National Rankings
Place Wrestler
2nd 2nd 4th 4th 6th 8th 8th 8th 8th 12th Omi Acosta Glenn Rhees Travis Evans Matt Burns Nick Coffman Alex Peitz Jeff Rau Tommy Perez Derek Nightser Ty Knowler

Weight
133 174 133 149 141 125 141 184 197 165

(lbs)

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