It was a heartbreaking weekend for Hope College basketball as both the men’s and women’s teams were edged out in sectional semifinals. The men were beat-out by Hanover College in a buzzer beater fade away, ending the Dutchmen’s 23-7 season. Leading scorer of the game was Dante Hawkins (’18) with 28 points. Seniors Mitchell O’Brien and Chad Carlson led the way with rebounds and assists. O’Brien had eight rebounds and Carlson gave Hope four assists. Unfortunately, the strong performance by the Dutchmen was not enough to beat the Panthers and their season came to a close this past Friday.
This year we’ll be saying goodbye to six seniors: Mitchell O’Brien, Cody Stuive, Chad Carlson, Harrison Blackledge, Keith Brushwyler and Zach Littleson. These men have done am outstanding job for the program and will be missed by the Hope program. Over the past four years, these seniors saw and helped guide Hope to 85 wins with only 28 losses. Both in 2013 and 2015, the Flying Dutchmen took first in the MIAA and tied for second in their 2014 season. Again, this year, Hope was number one in the conference with a 13-1 record.
Each of the seniors fought extremely hard in their final game. Blackledge put up 20 points for the Dutchmen and helped tremendously in the offensive drive, Carlson put up another 12, O’Brien gave the team nine points and again snagged eight rebounds. Brushwyler gave Hope a point and rebound, and Littleson came off the bench for five to help boost Hope’s energy.
The women also faced a tough loss this past weekend and will also be losing six seniors including Paris Madison, Allison Hedrick, Tyra Smith, Elizabeth Perkins, Angelique Gaddy and Mandy Traversa.
It was another close score for the women who found themselves losing to Christopher Newport by only five points. Hope’s season ended with a 24-5 record. Leading scorer for the game was Smith with 17 points and Victoria Swift (’19) who gave the Dutch seven rebounds. It was a solid night for the women, but unfortunately they came up slightly short in the sweet 16.
Although it was a tough loss, the women have a lot to be proud of, boasting 103 wins for the seniors over the past four years with only 13 losses. The women also have two first place finishes in the MIAA and two second place standings over their four years. This year the women were 14-2 in the conference only being edged out by 15-1 Trine.
Smith had a solid final performance for the Dutch putting up big shots and staying tight on defense. Madison had three rebounds and two assists for the Dutchmen while also giving Hope five points. Hedrick added another point to the score with three rebounds and two assists as well. Gaddy scored eight with two rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks giving her a solid overall performance for the night. Traversa put up another 11 points with four rebounds, with a block and steal for the night. Perkins, unfortunately, faced an injury earlier on this season and was not able to compete but has been a key component to Dutch’s success during her time at Hope.
It’s sad to see them come up short after a great season.