Hoops hopes ready to rise


DEFENDING CHAMPS — The women’s basketball team poses for a picture following their MIAA tournament championship game win last March. They are once again expected to be near the top of the MIAA and national polls. (Hope.edu)

It’s that time of year again Hope College. Basketball season. For decades, basketball has been the epicenter of the Holland and Hope College communities. Hundreds of Hope alumni and other community members have season tickets to watch the men’s and women’s teams compete. Not to mention the incredible support of the student body involved with the Dew Crew, which is the name of Hope College’s student section.

For the men, Head Coach Greg Mitchell is entering his third season leading the Flying Dutchmen and will look to build on last year’s MIAA regular season title and trip to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Though the team has lost four key contributors to graduation in Brock Benson, Ben Gardner, Sam Otto and Alex Eidson, they are also returning a strong senior class in, Chad Carlson (’17), Cody Stuive (’17), Harrison Blackledge (’17), Keith Brushwyler (’17), Mitch O’Brien (’17) and Zack Littleson (’17), as well as returning starter Dante Hawkins (’18). Also keep an eye out for first year letter winners Teddy Ray (’19) and Pete Smith (’19) who will be counted on to contribute off the bench.

The men will begin their regular season on Nov. 18 in the University of Wisconsin- Stout tip-off tournament, but were fortunate enough to get the chance to play in an exhibition game at Indiana University last night against the Hoosiers, who are part of the Big Ten Conference in NCAA Division 1. This opportunity will pay huge dividends this year and in the future for recruiting purposes. Not many Division 3 programs get the experience of playing against Division 1 competition.

For the women, Head Coach Brian Morehouse will be entering his 22nd season leading the Dutch. The women will look to repeat their success from last season when they were crowned MIAA regular season and tournament champions. However, they will look to flip the script from last year when they lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Hope will need some new players to step up as they look to fill the void of All-American Maura McAfee, who they lost to graduation last spring. Look for seniors Elizabeth Perkins (’17), Angelique Gaddy (’17) and Mandy Treversa (’17) to be key contributors on both ends of the floor. The Dutch also return Madison Geers (’18), Paris Madison (’17) and Francesca Buchanon (’19) who all played important roles on the team last season.

The women will begin their season on Nov. 15 within the friendly confines of DeVos Fieldhouse against Wheaton College (Ill.).

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