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Warriors Seize Opportunity against Moody

Warriors Seize Opportunity against Moody

By Samuel Tschetter

In a hotly contested game, Calvary pulled out a win against their regional opponent, beating the Archers 68-63.

Calvary opened the scoring in this one with Ques Harris stealing the ball and getting an easy layup. The teams then went back-and-forth trading leads with neither team able to get ahead by more than four points for longer than one possession. With four minutes left in the first half a pair of Ben Jones free throws tied the game at 30. In the final 20 seconds of the half, a Braydon Unruh three followed by a quick layup from the Archers sent Calvary to the locker room with a 43-40 lead. 

Moody came out of the break shooting much better and opened the half on a 21-5 run, holding CU scoreless for nine minutes, and taking a 61-48 lead over the Warriors. Head Coach Matt Sanders said that at this point, “They really just wanted it more than we did.” This led to a series of substitutions for the coach, removing and later reinserting all five starters, who from that point on, ”Put on a show defensively.”

This allowed Calvary to begin their comeback, as Unruh converted a one-and-one opportunity to cut the lead to 10 with 8:49 left. Just over a minute later Unruh nailed a three off an assist from Zeb Green to cut the Moody lead to five at 61-56. With 6:38 left in the game, the Archers scored their final points extending their lead to 63-59. It was all CU from then on. Jay Lems knocked down an open three to pull the Warriors to within one, and with 3:10 to play Zeb Green tied the game with a free throw. With just over a minute left in the game, Unruh drove the ball coast-to-coast, scoring the go-ahead layup. Green then added three points over the final 24 seconds as Calvary earned the 68-63 win. Green said after the game that despite the early defensive struggles, “It was good to see the team fight together until the end.”

A great defensive effort in the final ten minutes of the second half greatly aided the Warriors’ comeback. After Moody went on a 21-5 run to open the half, Calvary flipped the script and went on a 20-2 run of their own to close out the game. After the game, Jay Lems said, “We struggled defensively [early on], but we got stops down the stretch when it mattered.” The Warriors did just that, holding Moody to just two points over the last 11 minutes, and scoreless for the final six. 

Unruh led all scorers with 26 points, going 6-7 from the free-throw line and adding five assists. Green finished with another double-double tallying 15 points and 13 rebounds. Lems made it three double-digit scorers for the Warriors with 11 points.

Bobby Kirpas led the Archers with 19 points, shooting 50% from the floor.

With the win Calvary moves to 6-5 on the year, going 2-0 on their Illinois road trip. This is the second time this season Calvary has won a pair of Friday-Saturday road games, with come from behind victories in both Saturday games. 

The Warriors return home to take on Oklahoma Panhandle State at the Pyramid Athletic Center on Friday. 

Warriors with First Victory Against NCAA Opponent

Warriors with First Victory Against NCAA Opponent

Calvary’s defense led to easy offense and helped the Warriors pull away for the 78-54 win in St. Louis Friday night against Principia College.

Both teams traded baskets early and then Principia led by six midway through the first quarter. But after a pair of threes and transition layups from Taylor Hunter the first quarter ended tied at 16.

In the second quarter, the Warriors turned up the defense allowing only two Panther field goals. Head Coach Tressa Shoemaker was pleased with the defensive effort, “Our girls came ready to play today. They did a great job on defense stopping the drive and utilizing help defense.” Two early free throws from Anna Holloway gave Calvary a lead they would never relinquish. The Warriors headed into halftime up 32-24.

In the third quarter, Calvary’s offense picked up where it left off scoring 29 points.  They went on a great 13-0 run sparked by great defense and headed to the fourth with an 18 point lead 61-43.  It was more of the same from there as the Warriors extended their lead to 24 taking the game from the higher division opponent 78-54.

Hunter led the scoring for the Warriors with 27 including five 3-pointers. Holloway added 22 and was a perfect 4-4 from the foul line. Avery Kornstad led the team with 7 rebounds.

Sophia Hathaway led the Panthers scoring 24 of their 54 points.

The win moves Calvary back to .500 on the season at 5-5. The Warriors get a rematch against Cottey College on Tuesday.

Calvary Earns Second Highest Team GPA in Country

Calvary Earns Second Highest Team GPA in Country


It was a banner year for Division II basketball program Calvary University as the NCCAA released their annual Winter/Spring 2018-19 Scholar Teams. To be eligible for this award, teams needed a minimum grade point average of 3.40 on a 4.00 scale for all combined student-athletes on the team.

 Southwestern Christian University’s women’s basketball team took the lead this year with a 3.78 team GPA, as Calvary University followed closely behind in second place out of the 31 teams that received national recognition.  The Lady Warriors collectively achieved a 3.74 team GPA to receive this honor.

 “What we’ve seen across our level of basketball is the importance of the student in the term student-athlete,” Head Coach Tressa Shoemaker said. “One of the most important things we can do is to promote an environment where we foster growth in the classroom and in turn, develop the next generation of teachers and leaders to continue that mindset.”

 “We seek to recruit highly motivated ladies who are academically driven to be great,” said Shoemaker.  “They love the Lord and are seeking to grow in their relationship with Him above all.  They care about their classes and their degree with all that they have, they are highly motivated, they have a high GPA, they are selfless and sacrificial, and they display a great work ethic.”

 “Our program and our recruiting have both been carefully designed for excellence in all areas,” said Shoemaker. “Here are the pillars of what we strive for in the classroom.

  1. We advocate for our Academic Center.
  2. We implement mentors, study groups, and accountability.
  3. We put teammates together in classes to help motivate and encourage each other.
  4. We think studying is important.
  5. We educate on our academic standards.

 “I am proud of this team,” stated Shoemaker. “They have taken a lot of ownership in what we’ve asked them to accomplish both on and off the court.  Every girl on this team had a choice to make each day to take responsibility for their academics. Some of these ladies told me that they were making it a goal to do better in the classroom than the previous semester. That showed dedication and sacrifice for themselves and for their teammates. They desired to strive for excellence and to make sure they wouldn’t let their teammates down. The future is exciting for the ladies in this program.”



Moody Dashes Calvary’s Regional Dream 70-73

Moody Dashes Calvary’s Regional Dream 70-73

Despite battling back at several points throughout the game, the Calvary basketball team couldn’t overtake the red hot Moody Archers as the team fell 70-73 in the semifinals of the NCCAA DII Regional Tournament on Friday night. Ques Harris led the Warriors with 24 points and six rebounds in the loss. “We credit Moody and their staff as they played with a veteran poise that we just didn’t have all the way through,” Warrior Head Coach Matt Sanders said. “I thought our game plan was solid and I am proud of my guys for continuing to battle to the end.”

From the opening tip, the Archers jumped out to an early lead as Calvary found it tough to find the scoring column. “We missed entirely too many layups and easy buckets that would have pushed us over the top,” Sanders said. The Warriors weren’t about to go down easily as they came roaring back toward the end of the first half with solid defense. “At the half, we stressed to the team how bad they needed to want it,” stated Sanders. “They responded well and we were able to turn a ten point deficit into a lead with a few minutes to go. The lead didn’t hold up in the end as Moody ended up winning 73-70.”

“I challenged our guys that we missed getting that one final championship play,” Sanders said. “I felt like we were ready and that we would come away with the win but that just didn’t work out for us.” The off-season begins for us next week. This team is hungry and we are still on a mission.”

Defense Propels Warriors to 62-59 Victory over Bears and  #2 Seed in Coming Tournament

Defense Propels Warriors to 62-59 Victory over Bears and #2 Seed in Coming Tournament

Zak Kirkman hit a free throw with under a minute to play to help the Warriors defeat a tough Barclay College Bear team 62-59 in Haviland, Kansas on Friday night. With the win, the Warriors are 4-2 in the MCCC Conference heading into tournament week. This important win helped them earn the #2 seed for the upcoming tournament that will take place in Kansas City. 

“I am always grateful for every win,” Warrior Head Coach Matt Sanders said. “We had a long drive today.  Barclay pressured us all evening and we were really fortunate to win that game.  We were the best defensively we have been all season.”  The Warriors came into the game after losing a tough one Tuesday night vs. Manhattan Christian. Defensively they wanted to make a big impact on this game.

In the opening half, Calvary held Barclay to 25 points.  It was a great defensive half.  There were missed offensive opportunities with some missed layups that would have given them a larger lead at the half, but the team responded in a large way as the second half was beginning. They came out and went on a 15-2 run to start the 2nd half.  Turnovers once again were an issue but the team got key stops and rebounds when it counted most.

“I felt like we overcame a lot of adversity late in the game,” said guard Ben Jones. “We really came together as a team to get the job done.”

“These guys worked hard and we are happy to be heading home 4-2 in the conference,” Coach Sanders said. “It has been a long time since Calvary University has been in this position and we are just beginning.”  Ben Jones finished the night with 12 points and 11 rebounds. He had a monster alley oop dunk that will be on the season highlight reel for sure.  Zeb Green finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

The Warriors return home for a game on Thursday evening as the team begins play in the 2019 MCCC Conference Tournament.