Mac, CCC to clash on Wednesday

By Steve Sell
November 08, 2016

McPherson College and Central Christian College’s men’s basketball teams could play each other 25 times a year.

And every game would be an instant classic.

The Bulldogs and Tigers always make for great basketball theatre and the next production the teams put on will take place on Wednesday at CCC’s Alexander Arena.

The women’s game tips off the action at 6 p.m., with the headline game starting approximately 8:00. A highlight of the night is always the boisterous student sections that turn out from both schools and it makes for ear-splitting excitement.

Both games will be aired on 96.7 KBBE-FM with Matt Cole on the call. Pre-game is 5:45.

The Tiger men will be playing their fourth straight KCAC team to open the season. They opened with losses to expected second-division teams Bethel and Kansas Wesleyan, but then bounced back last Friday with a 10-point win over KCAC championship contender Friends.

CCC coach Tony Romero was an interested observer this past Saturday when Tim Swartzendruber’s Bulldogs improved their record to 3-0 with a 78-44 rout of Bacone College at the Sport Center.

“I have a lot of respect for Tim and how much success his program has had,” Romero said. “They are off to a good start this season. It is evident his returners have put in some work in the offseason and they have added some good, new pieces.  We are going to have to play well, they have added some depth and size to their front line, we will need to do a great job on the boards. Offensively we will need to do a better job being efficient and valuing our possessions than our previous three games. This is always a fun game for both schools and the community.”

The Tigers won last year’s meeting on the Bulldogs’ home court, 78-63. 

Both teams have a lot of experience. The cast of characters for this year is much the same as the main player the Tigers are missing is Alonzo Stafford, while Kyle Lakin was the only Mac senior. 

The Bulldogs opened their season winning their first two games by a total of six points. Then on Saturday, Mac blazed to a 42-18 halftime lead over Bacone and continued to pull away for a rare blowout. Fourteen players scored for Mac, which was led by DeAndre Henson’s 16 points.

Swartzendruber is wary of the Tigers’ talent. He saw that first hand last year when CCC used its athleticism to pull away.

Central’s win over Friends definitely caused Swartzendruber to sit up and take notice.

“That was a big win for them,” Swartzendruber said. “Tony does a great job and they’re well coached. Michael Gholston is an outstanding player for them and it’s certainly always tough to win over at their place.”

• MAC WOMEN EYE 3-1 START — In the women’s game, the Bulldogs will try to move to 3-1 and repeat last year’s success against Central when they ran away to win, 106-49.

Mac has begun the year with two wins in three games, the most impressive coming in the season opener against Randall University when they knocked off a Saints team that was among the nation’s best. After losing to Haskell last Friday, the Bulldogs bounced back with a 10-point triumph over Bacone on Saturday as freshman Cami Richardson had a 21-point, 12-rebound double-double.

Central is 1-3 and this is a brutal week for the Tigers. They lost 91-38 on Monday to Mid-America Christian and after Wednesday’s game with the Bulldogs, they also play games on Friday and Saturday against Oklahoma Wesleyan and Grace University, respectively, as part of the CCC Classic for Christ at Alexander Arena. CCC has had only seven players available and depth is a serious issue.

The Tigers are led by Piper Kalthoff, who has had games of 30 and 18 points so far.