Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week 5: Krupp’s Triple Sends Team 4 to 5-0 Start

                                                  1    2    F    
Team Lindstrom/Strietzel            36    31    68        3-2
Team 4                                         33    37    70        5-0

On the verge of losing our first game of the year, Zack Krupp wouldn’t let that happen for us. The 6-foot-5 Krupp buried a 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds remaining to give us a 70-68 win on Saturday morning against a very solid team captained by Jon Lindstrom and  Jon Strietzel.

Krupp’s three capped off a comeback in the closing minutes. We trailed by seven after a Paul Von Tobel rainbow, banked 3-ball with just under three minutes to play. Many of us thought this may have been the dagger to our hope of staying unbeaten. 

But with a couple of quick buckets and a trapping defense, we were able to tie the game with under a minute remaining. After they split a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left to take a one-point lead, Krupp took the ball down the court. While the rest of us were panicking not knowing who would take the final shot, Krupp channeled his inner Michael Jordan, sized up a 3 from the top of the key, and buried it. 

After the game, all we could ask ourselves was, “Did we really just win that game?” It had the feeling that we really escaped with one against a quality opponent. It was another great team win with everyone playing an important role in the victory.

The Week 5 devo, the “Bridge Diagram”, was a great reminder to us not only of how we can witness to people but also just how gracious God is in giving us eternal life and hope found through Jesus. We went through several verses that are essential to share with nonbelievers. The common theme we came across is that we must witness in a gentle, listening manner, one that identifies with the person. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God, but the amazing news is that we have the free gift of eternal life offered to us through Jesus Christ. 

Hawks Fail to Halt Stormers

Box Score
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The Harper College men's basketball team had a hard time slowing down a potent Milwaukee Area Technical College offensive attack on Wednesday night. The Stormers shot 56.9 percent on their way to a 96-70 victory over the Hawks on the campus of Alverno College.

Men's Basketball: Donte Harper 2014-15
Harper provided a lift off the bench with 12 points and five rebounds. (Jim Cummins)
The Hawks (9-20, 2-11 N4C) were led in scoring by Admir Suljic (Chicago, Ill. /Lane Tech) with a game-high 23 points (9-of-21 shooting). Davion Benton (Chicago, Ill. /Alcott College Prep) posted a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Donte Harper (Elgin, Ill. /Elgin) provided a lift off the bench with 12 points and five rebounds.

Milwaukee (21-7, 8-5 N4C) had four scorers in double figures, led by Kevin Kellner, who knocked down six 3-pointers and scored 22 points. Aaron Bailey added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Stormers, who knocked down 37 of their 65 shots on the night and led 53-29 at halftime.

Harper wraps up regular season play with a home game on Saturday at 3 PM against Madison College.

Gatlin Garners Player of the Week Honors

PALATINE, Ill. – Harper College freshman point guard Marcus Gatlin (Chicago, Ill./Curie) was named the NJCAA Region IV Div. III Men's Basketball Player of the Week yesterday.

Gatlin averaged 16 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 2.5 APG over a two-game span last week. Against College of DuPage, Gatlin scored 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. In Saturday's game against Joliet Junior College, the 5-foot-9 guard scored a career-high 17 points (8-of-16 shooting) and grabbed eight rebounds.

Men's Basketball: Marcus Gatlin 2014-15
Gatlin (with ball) was named Benton was named NJCAA Region IV Div. III Men's Basketball Player of the Week. (Kevin Tiongson)
In Gatlin's last four games, he has scored 15 or more points in every game and is averaging 15.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 2.3 APG over that span.

Gatlin's distinction marks the seventh time this season a Harper College men's basketball player has been named the Region IV Div. III Player of the Week.

Men’s Basketball Welcomes Kadeen Alansari to the Team

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College men's basketball team partnered with Friends of Jaclyn Foundation once again to welcome seven-year-old Kadeen Alansari as an honorary team member for the second straight year.

Men's Basketball: Kadeen Alansari Honorary Team Member 2015
Kadeen (center with basketball) and his family with the Harper men's basketball team prior to the game. (Doug Spiwak)
Kadeen and his family of Huntley, Ill. met the team prior to the start of the Wednesday, Feb. 4 game against Triton College and took a photo with head coach Justin Welke, his staff, and Hawks players before Harper took the court.

After warmups, he was introduced in the starting lineup as the honorary sixth starter for Harper. Kadeen then got in the middle of the huddle and fired up the team prior to tipoff. Finally, he was taken to center court by freshman Davion Benton (Chicago, Ill. /Alcott College Prep), where he did a jump ball against Triton 6-foot-9 center Donovan Smith (which he won).

Kadeen spent the rest of the game cheering the team on the bench and inspiring the Harper men's team.

"He meant the world to me. He had joy and energy, and he just inspired me," said freshman point guard Marcus Gatlin (Chicago, Ill./Curie), who scored a career-best 16 points in the game. "I broke down. Some people take life for granted, and he's not doing that."

Friends of Jaclyn is a non-profit organization that states their mission as,"Our mission is to improve the quality of life for children and their families who are battling pediatric brain tumors and to raise awareness about this insidious disease." They have been featured twice on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. Click here to view those videos.

Kadeen suffers from a health condition known as Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma. Kadeen's father Muhannad also attended Harper College from 1999 to 2000 and ran cross country and track and field for the Hawks. His mother attended Harper as well.

"Having Kadeen at our game and close to us throughout the night was so special because it allowed us to truly embody a phrase that our team uses daily: We before Me. We were able to touch the life of someone in our community and realize that serving others is what brings you true joy in life," Welke said. "I was very proud of how our guys embraced Kadeen and made his night special, and in the end, Kadeen made all of us feel special, too."

Harper Men Set PR’s at Chicagoland Indoors

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Several Harper College men's track and field athletes achieved personal-bests and qualified for nationals with their performances at the Chicagoland Indoor Championships hosted by North Central College on Saturday.

Edward Phillips (/Schaumburg) set a PR and qualified for nationals in the shot put with a toss of 12.99m. Phillips also PR'ed in the weight throw (9.83m). Tyler Block (/Conant) set PR's in both the 200-meter dash (23.99 seconds) and triple jump (11.89m). Nick Dorsen (/Palatine) cleared 1.72m (5'7 ¾") in the high jump for a personal-best.

Men's Cross Country: Adam Brauer 2014
Brauer notched a PR in the mile run at the Chicagoland Indoor Championships hosted by Central College on Saturday. (Jim Cummins)
In the 800-meter run, Jordy Arriaga (Wheeling, Ill./Wheeling) and Manny Franco (/Cary-Grove) both clocked their best times. Arriaga finished in 2:07.45, and Franco was just behind in 2:07.54. Adam Brauer (Palatine, lll./Palatine) ran a PR time of 5:01.66 in the mile run. Juan Barajas (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Schaumburg) notched a PR in the 3k with a time of 9:00.21.

The meet featured primarily four-year schools, including NCAA Div. I, II, and III schools as well as NAIA schools. Host North Central College won the team title with 188.50 points. Lewis University placed second with 83 points, and the University of Chicago was third with 58 points.

Harper is back in action on Friday, Feb. 20 at the North Central Cardinal Classic beginning at 5 PM. 

Hawks Go Cold in Loss to Joliet

Box Score

PALATINE, Ill. – It was another tough shooting day for the Harper College men's basketball team. The Hawks shot just 30.4 percent for the day in a 66-55 loss to visiting Joliet Junior College Saturday afternoon inside the Wellness & Sports Center.

The Hawks (9-19, 2-10 N4C) found it difficult to score both inside and outside in the game. With the Wolves (18-10, 4-8 N4C) starting 6'5" Darious Randolph, 6'7" Kylee Beheler, and 6'7" Matt Hund on the interior, Harper was forced to take its game outside, where they struggled, making just 4-of-30 threes.  The Hawks trailed 30-24 at halftime after Admir Suljic (Chicago, Ill. /Lane Tech) (15 points) beat the buzzer on a 3-pointer.

The Wolves opened up their biggest lead of the game with 7:40 remaining in the game on a Randolph (15 points) layup to make it 51-37. Marcus Gatlin (Chicago, Ill./Curie) kept Harper in the game as he scored 15 of his career-high 17 points in the second half. His layup with 1:40 left cut the Joliet lead to 61-55.

Men's Basketball: Marcus Gatlin 2014-15
Gatlin scored a career-high 17 points against Joliet on Saturday afternoon. (Kevin Tiongson)
After a defensive stop, Suljic had a chance to cut the Joliet lead to three, but he misfired on a three. The Wolves closed the game on a 5-0 spurt, highlighted by a Randolph windmill dunk on the fast-break.

Davion Benton (Chicago, Ill. /Alcott College Prep) added 11 points and nine rebounds for Harper. Daymeann Stewart led Joliet with 17 points, and Matt Hund put up 13 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks.

The Hawks take the court next at Milwaukee Area Technical College (20-7, 7-5 N4C) on Wednesday at 8 PM.

Nicholson’s Big Day Not Enough for Hawks

Box Score
Daily Herald Article

Despite 30 points from Joslyn Nicholson (/Cary-Grove), the Harper College women's basketball team lost 82-56 to a hot-shooting Joliet Junior College team on Saturday afternoon inside the Wellness & Sports Center.

Women's Basketball: Joslyn Nicholson 2014-15
Nicholson scored 30 points and grabbed 13 rebounds on Saturday against Joliet. (Jim Cummins)
Nicholson was 13-of-29 from the floor in the 30-point effort and also grabbed 13 rebounds for the Hawks (9-17, 3-8 N4C). The sophomore is averaging 23.7 PPG (seventh in nation) and 11.6 RPG (23rd in nation). Kim Herzog (/Buffalo Grove) and Sarah Nelson (/Warren Township ) each scored eight points, and Lane Winkler (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows) added seven points and nine rebounds.

Joliet (19-9, 8-4 N4C) shot 52.3 percent (34-of-65) for the game and led throughout. Four Wolves reached double figures led by Le'royia Campbell with 17 points. Chavon Banks added 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Bernasia Fox and Naomi Mayes each had 11. Joliet led 42-29 at halftime.

The Hawks take the court next at Milwaukee Area Technical College (20-7, 10-2 N4C) on Wednesday at 6 PM.

Harper Women Compete at Chicagoland Indoors

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – In its second meet of the season, the Chicagoland Indoor Championships hosted by North Central College, the Harper College women's track and field team had several athletes achieve personal-bests.

In the 200-meter dash, Danielle Reptowski (/Schaumburg) set a PR with a time of 31.08 seconds. In the 800-meter run, Cynthia Siddiqui (/Palatine) notched a personal-best with a time of 2:49.69. Stephanie Chaires (Palatine, Ill./Christian Liberty) ran a career-best 5:40.31 in the mile run, and Shayan Dussard (/Hoffman Estates) set a PR in the weight throw with a hurl of 10.43m.

Women's Track and Field: Mary Piltaver 2014
The Harper women competed at the Chicagoland Indoor Championships hosted by Central College on Friday. (Jim Cummins)
In a loaded 60-meter dash field, Leah Kloss (/Grayslake Central) placed ninth overall with a time of 8.08 seconds.

The meet featured primarily four-year schools, including NCAA Div. I, II, and III schools as well as NAIA schools. Lewis University collected the team title with 143 points, and host North Central (94.50 points) took second place by edging the University of Chicago (92 points).

Harper is back in action on Friday, Feb. 20 at the North Central Cardinal Classic beginning at 4:30 PM.

Harper Loses to Rival DuPage, 76-70

Daily Herald Article

Davion Benton Dunk on

Davion Benton Dunk on

PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College men's basketball team closed to within four points in the closing minutes against rival College of DuPage on Wednesday night but ultimately lost 76-70 in the N4C contest inside the Wellness & Sports Center.

The Hawks (9-18, 2-9 N4C) trailed for most of the second half and by 11, 67-56, with 8:36 to play in the game but slowly crept back in the game. Davion Benton (Chicago, Ill. /Alcott College Prep)'s layup with 3:39 to play cut the Chapparals' (16-10, 6-5 N4C) lead to 69-65, but Jonny Woolf answered with a 3-pointer to put DuPage back up seven.

Admir Suljic (Chicago, Ill. /Lane Tech) (game-high 24 points, eight rebounds) put Harper within four again with a 3-pointer, but DeAndre Manuel's layup put DuPage up 74-68 with 1:10 to play. The Hawks would draw no close than to within five the rest of the way.

Men's Basketball: Davion Benton 2014-15
Benton scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. He also had a highlight reel dunk that was featured on and (Jim Cummins)
Benton had a monster game for the Hawks with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Benton's dunk over a DuPage defender at the 17:45 mark of the first half was featured on and Marcus Gatlin (Chicago, Ill./Curie) added 15 points (6-of-9 shooting) and seven rebounds. The Hawks shot 40 percent (26-of-65) in the game and outrebounded their opponents 40-37.

The Chapparal bench was a big factor in the win, scoring 53 points. Woolf led the way with 20 points, seven rebounds, and six assists, and Fredricks Joshua canned five 3-pointers and finished with 16 points in just 19 minutes of action. DuPage shot an impressive 55.2 percent (16-of-29) in the second half and 46.7 percent (28-of-60) on the night.

The Hawks led for a good portion of the first half until Woolf's free throws tied it at 24-24 with 3:36 to play. The Chapparals took a 32-31 lead into halftime.

The Hawks play their next game on Saturday as they host Joliet Junior College (17-10, 3-8 N4C) at 3 PM.

Hawks Play Complete Game in Victory over DuPage

Box Score
PALATINE, Ill. – The Harper College women's basketball team was clicking both on the offensive end and defensive end of the court on Wednesday against visiting College of DuPage. The Hawks notched a season-high in points and forced 25 Chapparal turnovers on their way to a 75-49 victory inside the Wellness & Sports Center.

Harper (9-16, 3-7 N4C) was led offensively by point guard Kim Herzog (/Buffalo Grove), who scored 22 points and dished out seven assists while knocking down four 3-pointers. The Hawks canned 11 triples as a team. Joslyn Nicholson (/Cary-Grove) had another solid game with 20 points, seven rebounds, and five steals. Lane Winkler (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows) knocked down four 3-pointers of her own and finished with 16 points and eight rebounds. Sarah Nelson (/Warren Township ) scored nine points, and Ashonte Sims (/Normal Community West) added eight points and 10 rebounds.

Women's Basketball: Kim Herzog 2014-15
Herzog scored a game-high 22 points and dished out seven assists in the victory. (Jim Cummins)
Perhaps more impressive than the offensive showing was the Hawks' defense that forced 25 DuPage (7-18, 1-10 N4C) turnovers that turned into 30 Hawks points. Harper also took care of the ball and also turned it over eight times in the game, a season-low.

The Hawks took the lead for good less than three minutes into the game and led 38-22 at halftime. Harper shot 42 percent (29-of-69) on the night.

The Hawks play their next game on Saturday as they host Joliet Junior College at 1 PM.

Nicholson Named Co-Player of the Week

PALATINE, Ill. – In this week's Region IV Report, Harper College sophomore forward Joslyn Nicholson (/Cary-Grove) was selected as the NJCAA Region IV Div. III Co-Player of the Week, sharing the honor with Shonnice Vaughn of Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Women's Basketball: Joslyn Nicholson 2014-15
Nicholson was named Region IV Div. III Co-Player of the Week. (Jim Cummins)
The 5-foot-10 forward averaged 29.5 PPG, 14.5 RPG and 1.5 SPG in two games last week. She scored 38 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a 70-54 win over Triton College. The Hawks' top scorer followed it up with a 21-point, 14-rebound performance at Wilbur Wright College on Saturday afternoon.

In 23 games this season, Nicholson is averaging 23.6 PPG (seventh in nation), 11.7 RPG (22nd in nation), and 2.3 SPG. She is shooting 72 percent (121-of-168) from the free throw line.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Week 4: Team 4 Pulls Away Late For 68-49 Win

                                             1              2              F
Team MB                             24           25           49           0-4
Team 4                                 27           41           68           4-0

We had an 8:30 tip against league commish MB Johnson and John Clancy’s team as we looked to get to 4-0. Playing against the league commish is similar to playing against a prominent figure such as Barack Obama, but we didn’t show those jitters to start the game.

We came out flying out of the gate, scoring on fastbreak buckets and taking a big double-digit lead early. However, our opponents made a comeback with a stout zone, and we weren’t crashing the glass as effectively as usual.

They cut the deficit to one at 25-24 with a minute left before Ben Asper scored one of the most bizarre buckets you’ll ever see. Ben was putting pressure on them, and their inbounds pass hit their own net, wrapping the net around the rim (like what happens on a pure swish). Additionally, Ben ended up with the ball and put up a 10-footer as time expired. The ball rattled around the rim and somehow went in to give us a 27-24 lead at halftime.

In the second half, Brian Ramsland channeled his inner Steph Curry and finished the game with five 3-pointers, not to mention a couple of nice mid-range jumpers. While it took a while to finally pull away, we did so in the final seven minutes as we got back to what we do best, getting defensive rebounds and running like madmen down the court! This may sound sick, but I get energy from running the break with reckless abandon with my partner in crime, Eric Freckman!  Nothing fires me up more than taking off like the pidgeon-toed freak I am and dishing to a teammate or scoring a layup!

It’s so much fun to play on this team. While winning is fun and 4-0 is a nice record to have at this juncture of the season, I know I’m surrounded by teammates who love to share the ball, encourage me on the court, and play their hearts out.

The devotional for the week was titled “To Really Live” and we focused in on Paul’s attitude in Philippians 1:19-21. Despite being in prison, Paul saw his situation as a win-win. If he were to continue living, he’d be doing so for Christ.  If his life was taken for Christ’s sake, he’d be with God in heaven in a much better situation. What a great reminder to us because we are often times caught up in our circumstances and lack this bigger perspective. I pray that this team lives out this perspective more and more with each week!

It was great to have a discussion about how we are demonstrating in our everyday lives that Christ is exalted above all else. We saw both ends of the spectrum and  that it’s hard to exalt Christ when things are tough as well as when things are going really well.

Week 5 is a 9:30 AM tip with Jon Lindstrom’s team. We will have Vince back to make our team seven strong, and Justin Perlut is still out with a lower body injury. With some beefy bodies and sharpshooters, this will be another great test!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Week 3: Team 4 Grinds Out Victory

1              2              F
Team 4                 30           31           61           3-0
Team 1                 33           19           52           0-3

With the 10:30 AM game, we had plenty of time before tipoff on Saturday morning. We would be suiting up six players this week as we were without the services of Justin Perlut and Brian Ramsland.

Playing against a 0-2 team captained by Gabe Clayborne and Josh Settles, we knew that despite their record, they’d come ready to play. They had Joe and Thomas Martin on the squad, two of our former teammates from last year’s highly successful maroon team.

We found out pretty quickly that this game would be no walk in the park, despite them getting an immediate technical foul for having six players on the court (we were all puzzled by what was going on). After the confusion, our opponents came out firing, burying 3-pointers and scoring in all sorts of ways. We trailed 28-16 at one point but closed the half on a 14-5 run to cut the deficit to 33-30.

We came out stronger in the second half, taking control of the game. We really stepped it up on defense and only surrendered 19 points in the half. On a day where we didn’t really hit many 3-pointers and weren’t effective on the fastbreak as usual, it was nice to find other ways to be effective and pull out a win.

Our devotion this week was titled “Reconciliation Up Close”, a study on how the Lord used Peter despite his failures. It was a good reminder of God’s grace and that he is not bitter with us, loves us, and wants us to serve him.

Week 4 is a 8:30 AM tip against Team 8 captained by MB Johnson and __________. Without Justin Perlut (lower body injury) and Vince Bartolome, we will be getting plenty of exercise again with just six players.