INDIANOLA, IA – On Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 almost every seat in Cowles Fieldhouse was filled with Simpson and Central College fans to support each of their men’s basketball teams in the opening round of the IIAC (Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) tournament.
The team to advance from the first round would play in the semi-final round of the tournament for a chance to potentially make it to the championship game.
Cowles gym was completely filled with colors of red, energy and a whole lot of tension. It was the third time this season that Simpson and Central were meeting up.
The first go around was back in January where the Storm beat the Dutch by a close one: 64-63. The second round, Storm made more of a statement when they beat the Dutch for the second time, 81 – 72.
Unfortunately, third time wasn’t a charm for the Storm on Tuesday night as they fell to Central 76 – 66. The atmosphere and upbeat, aggressive style of play would of painted the picture of a closer game.
Even when the clock winded down to it’s final seconds, the Storm continued to show fight and hustle – they never gave up for a minute.
When the buzzer rang, just like that, eight seniors ended their lifelong basketball career last night.
Austin Turner, Dj Dafney, Cort Singleton, Ryan Skaar, Brook Thompson, Cody Good, Sabonis Smith and Jamie Montgomery were in it from the beginning together and stuck it out through all the grueling 5 a.m. pre-season running and lifting, 2-hour daily practices and post-season workouts.
“For me, it was really about the relationships I formed with the people on the team,” Sabonis Smith said. “We were all really close and that’s what made it so special.”
The group of seniors were instrumental in creating a culture change on the men’s team and turning around the program from a 10-40 record during their first two seasons – to a 31 – 21 record their last two seasons with two back-to-back trips to the IIAC tournament.
These men have been a crucial factor not only on the court, but in the lives of Simpson students their past four year here. And for that, we congratulate them on their incredible accomplishments and dedication to this college over the past four years.