Concordia looks for strong finish as Vogt plays final home games

Concordia looks for strong finish as Vogt plays final home games

SEWARD, Neb. – This week will mark the end of senior Adam Vogt’s playing career within the friendly confines of Walz Arena. The Bulldogs will look to get back on the right side of the scoreboard as they host No. 7 Midland (22-4, 12-4 GPAC) at 8 p.m. on Wednesday and then Northwestern (14-12, 7-9 GPAC) at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be streamed live and free online via the Concordia Sports Network.

Home basketball promotions this week:
-Wednesday: Concordia vs. Midland (6/8 p.m.) – Red out game (fans are encouraged to wear red in support of Heart Health Month). Prizes will be given away at halftime.
-Saturday: Concordia vs. Northwestern (2/4 p.m.) Fan Appreciation/Senior Day. An ice cream social will be held in between games.

Close calls
Prior to Saturday’s defeat at Dakota Wesleyan, the Bulldogs’ previous six GPAC losses all came by six points or less. Nine of the team’s 25 games have been decided by six points or fewer. Concordia’s record in those contests is 2-7. The two victories have come over nonconference foes Kansas Wesleyan and Concordia Wisconsin.

Adam Vogt day
Saturday is unofficially “Adam Vogt day” for Concordia men’s basketball. Vogt, who has played in 102 career games as a Bulldog, will play at Walz Arena for the final time. The senior from Syracuse, Neb., has 868 career points and has increased his scoring productivity each season, posting averages of 4.1, 6.4, 10.1 and 14.5 over his four seasons. Vogt has stuck it out through three different head coaches – Grant Schmidt, Marty Kohlwey and now Ben Limback.

Vogt: “My four years on the basketball team have been the best years of my life. Everyone says that college athletics is a full time job but it never felt that way because I loved it so much. I had no idea what CIT was when I came in as a freshman, but winning it as a sophomore and senior will be memories that I never forget. Playing for three different head coaches has been a challenge but it will ultimately be a blessing when I become a coach myself. The main thing that I will miss is being with my teammates on a daily basis and the great conversations/debates that have been had in the locker room. I wouldn't trade my experience on the basketball team here for anything. It has truly been a pleasure playing for Concordia.”

Head coach Ben Limback on Vogt:

“Adam Vogt represents everything a Bulldog student-athlete should be – passionate, tough, unselfish, a great teammate, excels in the classroom and a great role model for kids. It has truly been an honor coaching Adam his senior year. As the only senior on this year’s team, it has been fun to see him grow as a leader. It is this leadership and his championship character that will greatly be missed. On behalf of all the players and coaches in the program, we want to thank Adam for his loyalty and dedication to Bulldog basketball and wish him God’s blessings the rest of his senior year and after graduation.”

Previous meeting with Midland
A stifling Midland defense (ranked eighth in NAIA Division II in scoring defense) held the Bulldogs to 31.9 percent shooting in a 70-45 Warrior win in Fremont, Neb., on Jan. 8. Marcus Franklin topped Midland with 16 points while Concordia did not have a single individual reach double figures in scoring. The 45 points are a season low output for the Bulldogs.

Previous meeting with Northwestern
Another slow start doomed the Bulldogs, who fell behind 40-23 at the half after shooting 26.7 percent in the first half. Concordia nearly rallied all the way back, getting within three in the final minutes. It even had a chance to tie late, but Robby Thomas’ 3-pointer misfired. Northwestern, a preseason nationally-ranked squad, escaped with a 60-56 victory behind 17 points from Zack Leeper.

Concordia at a glance
Individual leaders
Scoring: Adam Vogt – 14.5
Rebounds: Robby Thomas – 7.4
Assists: Thomas – 2.12
Steals: Vogt – 0.81
Blocks: Thomas – 1.92
Team
Scoring offense: 70.1 (10th in GPAC)
Scoring defense: 77.9 (10th in GPAC)

Midland at a glance
Individual leaders
Scoring: Ben Imig – 17.1
Rebounds: Alex Starkel – 5.2
Assists: Imig – 3.46
Steals: Imig – 1.41
Blocks: Montrel Billups – 1.17
Team
Scoring offense: 77.2 (7th in GPAC)
Scoring defense: 65.4 (1st in GPAC)

Northwestern at a glance
Individual leaders
Scoring: Zack Leeper – 19.0
Rebounds: Jordan Baker – 6.5
Assists: Joey Habtemariam – 3.62
Steals: Habtemariam – 1.42
Blocks: Baker – 0.60
Team
Scoring offense: 74.5 (9th in GPAC)
Scoring defense: 75.0 (5th in GPAC)

Weekend outlook

While the Bulldogs have been eliminated from contention for the GPAC tournament, there is still plenty of motivation to finish strong. Limback says his team wants to send senior Adam Vogt out on a high note. They also want to build momentum with a young team that will have a solid nucleus back next season.

Midland presents a significant challenge on Wednesday night. The Warriors rank first in the conference in both scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. They had won six-straight games until falling victim to an upset at Morningside over the weekend. Head coach Todd Eisner’s club is still mathematically alive for the GPAC crown and is a virtual lock to make the national tournament.

On the other hand, Northwestern (Saturday’s opponent) is still fighting to remain in the top eight and advance to the conference tournament. The Red Raiders own the GPAC’s sixth-leading scorer in Zack Leeper. Northwestern is 5-7 on the road this season. The first meeting between the Bulldogs and Red Raiders went down to the wire in Orange City.

11 February 2014

Senior Adam Vogt