Men’s Basketball Clipped by Grace Bible In Season Opener
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The Calvin men’s basketball team opened its 2009-10 season on a losing note, falling to the Tigers of Grace Bible College by a score of 83-68.
Calvin will face Lake Forest in the consolation game on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. while Grace Bible moves on to play Davenport – an 88-73 winner over Lake Forest – in the championship game at 3:00 p.m.
“We’re just inexperienced as a group,” Calvin coach Kevin Vande Streek said of his teams 0-1 start to the year. “The only way we can get that experience is to come out and play, and unfortunately we played a good team, and they were better than us.”
The victory was the first by Grace Bible in 10 tries. Now 7-2, the Tigers are the defending National Christian College Athletic Association champions.
Senior Matt Veltema led the Knights with 19 total points. Junior Brad Schnyders chipped in 13 and seniors Trent Salo and John Mantel both added 8 apiece. Off the bench, freshmen Brian Powell and Tom Snikkers finished with 6 and 5 points respectively, and sophomore Brian Haverdink came in and scored 3 points as well as leading the team with 3 assists.
“I thought in the first half defensively, especially the first ten minutes or so, we were just really poor,” Vande Streek said, “and it’s frustrating because that’s what we really want to hang our hat on.”
“One good thing I saw was that when we got down by a bunch we didn’t fold,” he continued, “but whenever we got close we gave up a lay-up or an uncontested three, and that’s everybody’s responsibility, mine included.”
“We’re all in this together and we all need to work to get better,” Vande Streek concluded.
The first half saw Grace jump out to an early lead, a lead it would maintain over the entirety of the game. Calvin never led at any point, but did manage to keep it close at points.
Grace started the game on an 18-4 run, with senior Brandon Herlein scoring 12 of those points. Calvin battled back throughout the half, cutting the deficit to 46-41 by the break.
In the second half the Knights put them in the best possible position to make a move for control of the game. They cut the lead to 60-58 at around the 10-minute mark in the half, but then the Tigers pulled away and never looked back, pushing the score to an eventual 83-68 finish.
From the field, Calvin shot 39.3 percent as compared to Grace’s 49.3 percent.
“For tomorrow we’ll watch some tape and shoot around a bit and point out a few things to the guys,” Vande Streek said of the team’s mentality moving forward, “so we’ll watch and try to learn something from there and put it in to practice tomorrow.”