Photo by Sonja Brandt
By Elisha Meyer
Students from across the midwest witnessed both Bulldog basketball teams claim the championships from the 69th annual Concordia Invitational Tournament in Geisman Gymnasium.
Hosting this year’s tournament was Concordia University Chicago but distance, as well as weather conditions, didn’t stop Bulldog nation. Several buses left the Seward campus on Thursday, carrying both basketball teams, the cheer and dance squads, the Bulldog Band, and several other college students sporting Bulldog gear. CUNE was also responsible for bringing students representing the mythical Concordia University Hawaii to the tournament.
The tournament was also attended by the Concordias of Ann Arbor and Wisconsin, amounting to a total of four Concordias to compete in cheer, dance and men’s and women’s basketball.
The Lady Bulldogs came into the tournament ranked third in the country, making them the only ranked team present at the tournament. The Bulldogs had no trouble against their semifinal opponents from Ann Arbor, defeating them 74-49. The game was dominated by seniors Philomena Lammers and Grace Barry, as the two of them combined scored 37 points, half of the Bulldogs’ points for the night.
The finals would prove not to be an obstacle either as the Lady Bulldogs once again claimed victory, this time over Concordia University Wisconsin 102-47. Both Lammers and Barry cooled down, but not senior Colby Duvel, who went off for 19 points to lead her team in scoring in Saturday’s contest. Barry was the one to earn MVP honors, with 30 combined points.
The Lady Bulldogs performed as expected, winning CIT for the seventh year in a row, but the men’s tournament ended up being a toss-up between the Concordias of Wisconsin and Nebraska. The Bulldogs, coming off a loss to top-ranked Morningside College, refused to be denied once again and defeated Ann Arbor 79-57 in Friday’s semifinal contest, behind junior Sam Scarpelli’s 15 points.
The tournament win was matched up against Wisconsin the following day. While the Falcons had given the Bulldogs problems in the past, a 53-point first half from the Bulldogs put any doubts to rest. A one-handed slam dunk from junior Ryan Holt sent the crowd into a frenzy, putting an exclamation point on the 92-55 victory. Senior Tanner Shuck earned tournament MVP honors after posting a combined 31 points over the span of both games.
The dance and cheer teams also competed at CIT. While they didn’t bring home any championships of their own, both teams put up solid performances in competition. Cheer scored a 74.32, good enough for third place behind Chicago and Ann Arbor. Dance placed fourth with a score of 51.33, within three points of third place. Both teams will display their talents at the Concordia Invitational this Saturday in Walz Arena.