2003-2004 - Basketball schedule/results

20-9 Overall, 11-7 GPAC


Nov. 4 York College York, Neb. W 99-95 (OT)
Nov. 13 Concordia Seminary St. Louis, Mo. W 108-84
Trojan Classic:
Nov. 14 Culver-Stockton Hannibal-LaGrange, Mo. W 63-54
Nov. 15 Hannibal-LaGrange Hannibal-LaGrange, Mo. W 77-62
Nov. 19 Bellevue University Seward, Neb. W 73-67
Nov. 22 Dana College* Blair, Neb. W 80-64
Nov. 25 Hastings College* Hastings, Neb. W 72-57
Nov. 29 York College Seward, Neb. W 95-77


Dec. 3 Midland Lutheran* Seward, Neb. W 90-57
Dec. 6 University of Sioux Falls Sioux Falls, S.D. L 73-70
Dec. 11 Doane College* Crete, Neb. L 80-77
Dec. 13 Briar Cliff University* Seward, Neb. W 72-61
Perkins Classic:
Dec. 29 vs. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Spearfish, S.D. L 73-70
Dec. 30 vs. Black Hills State Spearfish, S.D. W 73-61


Jan. 7 Nebraska Wesleyan* Seward, Neb. W 66-52
Jan. 10 Dordt College* Sioux Center, Iowa L 67-66
Jan. 14 Morningside College* Sioux City, Iowa W 92-82
Jan. 17 Dakota Wesleyan* Seward, Neb. L 93-84
Jan. 21 Dana College* Seward, Neb. L 85-73
Jan. 24 Mount Marty College* Yankton, S.D. L 61-60
Jan. 27 Midland Lutheran* Fremont, Neb. W 103-98
Concordia Invitational Tournament (CIT):
Jan. 30 vs. Concordia River Forest Seward, Neb. W 72-51
Jan. 31 vs. Concordia Ann Arbor Seward, Neb. W 75-68


Feb. 4 Doane College* Seward, Neb. W 85-65
Feb. 7 Northwestern College* Seward, Neb. W 99-93 (OT)
Feb. 10 Hastings College* Seward, Neb. W 83-44
Feb. 18 Nebraska Wesleyan* Lincoln, Neb. W 80-67
Feb. 21 Morningside College* Seward, Neb. L 90-89
GPAC Tournament:
Feb. 23 vs. University of Sioux Falls Sioux Falls, S.D. L 66-60

*Indicates Great Plains Athletic Conference Games
All Home Games in BOLD

2003-04 Roster

No. Name Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
10 Garrett Rathke G 5-11 Fr. Cairo, Neb.
12 Scott Beck G 6-1 So. Scribner, Neb.
14 Steve Carretto G 6-0 So. Wisner, Neb.
20 Rick Dietze F 6-4 Sr. Lincoln, Neb.
22 Dan Masters G 6-1 Jr. Battle Creek, Neb.
24 Anthony Elias G 5-10 Sr. San Jose, Calif.
30 Thad Sankey G 6-3 So. Collinsville, Ill.
32 Jon Ziegler G 6-2 Fr. Lincoln, Neb.
34 Ryan Wolff F 6-6 So. Sandy, Utah
40 Daryl Werner F 6-6 So. Syracuse, Neb.
42 Jason Jisa F 6-4 Jr. Seward, Neb.
44 Wes Gehring F 6-6 Fr. Creston, Neb.
50 Marcus Wernke F 6-9 Jr. Phoenix, Ariz.
  Curtis Bryanty G 5-9 So. Houston, Texas
  Trevor Osten G 6-0 Fr. Columbus, Neb.
  Richard Schwartz G 6-3 So. Denver, Colo.
  Jason Larson G 6-2 So. Mead, Neb.
  David Anderson F 6-4 So. Kearney, Neb.
  Jose DeGue G 6-2 So. Miami, Fla.

GPAC coaches point to Northwestern to repeat

Great Plains Athletic Conference coaches in a preseason poll picked Northwestern to repeat as conference champions in 2003-04. Concordia, last year’s post-season champion, was tabbed to finish fourth, trailing Sioux Falls and Mount Marty. The Red Raiders have won two of the last three NAIA Division II men’s basketball titles.

Dietze hits 39 in 99-95 overtime to open season

4 NOV 2003

Rick Dietze hit 11 of his 39 points in overtime, including nine free throws, as the Concordia men's basketball season opened with a 99-95 victory over York on Nov. 4. Anthony Elias' three-point shot with 17 seconds remaining allowed the Bulldogs to tie, 82-82, at the end of regulation. 

“This was the best and most talented York team that I have coached against,” Bulldog Coach Grant Schmidt said. “They brought in a whole new team and changed their style of play on us.”He admitted the Bulldogs were fortunate to win. York opened with a 14-6 in the first four minutes and led, 22-17, midway in the first half and went into the break with a 43-39 margin.

Elias’ big shot allowed the Bulldogs hope to avoid a loss and they took control of the game in overtime. “Obviously,” Schmidt said, “we need to get control just a little bit sooner than that.”Concordia ran a set in overtime that exploited York’s attempt to match up with Dietze, who took over. “Rick deserves a lot of credit,” the coach said. “He gave York all kinds of trouble with his attacks to he basket, and they could not find a good match-up for him, nor keep the ball out of his hands.”

Elias provided Concordia’s only real experience in the backcourt as the Bulldogs were without the services of Scott Beck. Freshman Jon Ziegler got the start and the most experienced at the position only had time with the junior varsity.

“I was very pleased with what those guys showed,” Schmidt said. Thad Sankey and Garrett Rathke came off the bench and played very solid as well, he said, and Ziegler played an excellent game after a rough opening four minutes.

“The strongest performance off the bench was that of sophomore Ryan Wolff,” the coach said. “Ryan looked very confident and strong out there and gave us a great effort.”

“We saw very little that we prepared for and just ended up staying close enough to tie it in the end,” he said, “but we will continue to get better and hopefully get back to playing some defense.”

The preparation this week is for a game on Thursday at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, followed by participation in the Trojan Classic at Hannibal, Mo. The 4 p.m. games on Friday and Saturday will pit them against Hannibal-Lagrange and Culver-Stockton. The Bulldogs are not home until they face Bellevue on Nov. 19.

Four scored in double figures at York with Dietze joined by Elias with 17, Ziegler with 13 and Jason Jisa with 11. Jisa had 10 rebounds and Daryl Werner seven. Elias had four assists and three steals. Alain Leroche paced the York attack with 28 points with Nate Harris adding 21.

Bulldogs add three wins on trip to St. Louis area

13-15 NOV 2003

A three-game weekend journey to the St. Louis area allowed the Concordia men’s basketball team to advance its record to 4-0. “I was extremely pleased with the trip,” Coach Grant Schmidt said. “Our guys made an improvement with their defensive effort and we gained more confidence.”

The wins were over Concordia Seminary 108-84, Culver-Stockton 63-54 and Hannibal LaGrange 77-62. The Bulldogs face Bellevue (4-1) in their first home game on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Great Plains Athletic Conference play opens Saturday at Dana at 4 p.m. and continues at Hastings next Tuesday at 8 p.m.

“We will see how we respond to an early test on the road in this tough league,” Schmidt said. The task against Bellevue is complicated by the return of Drew Olson, NAIA All-American honorable mention guard who directed the 2002-03 Bulldog offense, as an assistant to Bruin Coach Todd Eisner.

“Bellevue is probably the best defensive team that we will play,” Schmidt said, “and having Drew as their assistant coach will not help matters for us.” Concordia wound up as the only unbeaten team at the four-school Trojan Classic at Hannibal, Mo., that included Sioux Falls.

“Jason Jisa had an excellent three games for us with his all-around effort and leadership,” the coach said. “Rick Dietze continues to lead us offensively, but Anthony Elias really picked up his game and it was good to see Scott Beck play well." Marcus Wernke did not play in his post position because of tendonitis in his knee. The 108-84 victory over Concordia Seminary on Friday evening at St. Louis offered a good opportunity for the Bulldogs to get back to work after a layoff from the York game.

“There was a lot of offense and very little defense,” Schmidt said, “but we improved in some areas gained some confidence.” Seminary guards Joel Wallschlaeger (‘94), and Pete Nafzger (‘99) used to start for the Bulldogs.

“They really pressured our young backcourt and forced a fast-paced game,” he said. Five Bulldogs were in double figures – Dietz with 20, Jisa 15, Thad Sankey 13, Jon Ziegler 12 and Elias 10. Beck had 10 rebounds. Jisa, Beck and Garrett Rathke each had six assists. Schmidt was pleased with the effort in the win over Culver-Stockton.

“We challenged every shot, cut off the lanes and rebounded well,” he said. The key was the improvement on defense, he added, against a senior-loaded team that plays a half-court ball-control game similar to Concordia’s style. The 1-2 Wildcats kept the cold-shooting Bulldogs off balance with a three-fourth court trap.

Dietze led with 17 points despite struggling from the field. Jisa just played a good game on both ends of the floor, the coach said, scoring 15 points and grabbing nine rebounds along with four blocks and three steals and held one of their top players to five points. Beck had 11 points and 10 rebounds along with five assists and three steals. Concordia hit only three of 14 free throws in the final two minutes.

“It could have cost us the game,” Schmidt said, “but we continued to make stops and controlled the glass and we were able to beat a very solid team.” The Bulldogs picked up their fourth win of the season with a 77-62 victory over Hannibal-LaGrange on Saturday evening. “Playing the host school always makes you worried in the final contest,” he said, “and three games in three days had me concerned about our fatigue factor as well.”

The Bulldogs were down 16-4 after the first seven minutes, when Ziegler, Ryan Wolff and Wes Gehring came off the bench to jolt the offense. “That allowed us to pull close,” Schmidt said. “We are not a team that can just sit on the perimeter and shoot three's -- we must penetrate the gaps and attack the basket.”

Concordia took a 33-25 lead into halftime and continued that effort into the second half. Jisa, Wolff and Daryl Werner shared time guarding All-American candidate Phillip Clophus in the post and held him to five points, 17 under his average.

“Their effort was outstanding and won us the game by controlling him,” he said.

Elias had his best game of the season with 17 points without any turnovers while handing out five assists to go along with four steals.

Bulldogs 6-0 after win at Dana; defense stiffs Bellevue, 73-67; Schmidt goes for win #300

25 NOV 2003

Concordia men's basketball cruised to a perfect 6-0 record on Saturday afternoon, downing Dana College, 80-64, in the opening game of the Great Plains Athletic Conference schedule.

The Bulldogs had added incentive on Tuesday night at Hastings College as they sought to nail down their coaches’ 300th victory at Concordia. The win at Dana brought Grant Schmidt’s record to 299-147 in his 15th year at the school. It followed a stalwart defensive effort last Wednesday night in the Bulldogs’ home opener that resulted in a 73-67 win over Bellevue.

“Beating a very good Bellevue team and then starting the GPAC with a win on the road against a Dana team that was coming off a five-point road loss to Northwestern made this a very good week,” Schmidt said. “I felt that Jason Jisa and Scott Beck had very good games, and I continue to be impressed with the play of our younger guys off the bench.”

Concordia takes York College, a team they defeated, 99-95, in double overtime in the season opener, in a Cattle Classic game on Saturday at 3 p.m. They entertain Midland Lutheran in a Dec. 3 GPAC game at 7:30 p.m.

Four scored in double figures at Dana with Beck hitting eight of 13 field-goal attempts to pace the attack with 20 points and seven steals. Jisa added 14 points, hitting three of five shots from three-point range, and pulled down eight rebounds. Rick Dietze and Anthony Elias both scored 12. Elias made nine assists. The Bulldogs led at half, 35-32. The Vikings came into the game 3-2 with all of their wins at home, scoring more than 90 points in each. “Our whole game plan was to get control of the tempo,” Schmidt said, “and slow them down.”

The coach spread the praise of the effort, saying Beck really battled from start to finish, Elias had control of the offense and hit from the perimeter, Jisa played a good defensive and rebounding game along with hitting critical 3's, Rick Dietze finished strong after struggling most of the night but and Daryl Werner had a good performance on both ends of the floor.

“The highlight of the game was the performance and poise that the kids off the bench showed,” he said. Jon Ziegler, Ryan Wolff and Wes Gehring combined to shoot 4-8 from three-point range and added a lift on defense. Gehring, a freshman, impressed Schmidt down the stretch with what he defined as the confidence and poise of a four-year starter.

Concordia outscored Bellevue 17-11 in the final 8:34 after the Bruins had taken a 51-45 lead with 13 minutes left. The Bulldogs caught up at 56-56.

Jisa scored nine of his 23 points in that time frame to pace the rally, including a key basket with 2:30 left that sealed the win. The biggest lead was 66-60 at 3:46 and Bellevue's Jared Andersen led the late Bruin charge to pull within 68-65 and 70-67. Jisa hit two free throws and Dietze contributed a conventional three-point play off a Beck assist in the final minute to preserve the margin.

After jumping ahead 7-2, the Bulldogs were scoreless for five minutes to allow the Bruins to make it 20-9 about eight minutes into the game. But the Bellevue five, now 4-2, had its own scoreless period of about six minutes as Concordia pulled ahead, 22-20. The visitors led at half, 34-32. Dietze scored 19 (15 in the second half) and Beck 15 (seven for 12 from the field to go along with four assists) to help pace the Bulldog attack. Beck pulled down nine rebounds and Jisa eight. Beck, Ziegler and Jisa all had three steals. 

“Bellevue is an excellent defensive team and very physical,” Schmidt said, “and we actually showed that we could not only handle it but did a better job at it than they did.” Four Bruins were in double figures -- Andersen and James Mills, each 15, Donell Deleon-Thompson 12 and Brent Heller 11. Bellevue was eight for 25 from the field in the second half after hitting 13 for 30 in the opening period. The Bruins were 21 of 26 at the charity stripe to help make up for scoring nine fewer field goals than Concordia (30-21).

Schmidt gets win #300 as Bulldogs open his 15th season 7-0

25 NOV 2003

Coach Grant Schmidt got his 300th victory at the helm of the Concordia men’s basketball program and his team won its seventh straight of the 2003-04 season -- 72-57 at Hastings on Nov. 25. “It was very satisfying to get to this point,” Schmidt said, “but hopefully there are a lot more ahead for us.” Rick Dietze scored 28, adding a spark by hitting three consecutive three-pointers. Schmidt, in his 15th season at Concordia, has guided the Bulldogs to three Nebraska-Iowa Athletic Conference titles as well as eight NAIA national tournament appearances.

“One person is not responsible for the success that the program has experienced,” he said, “and that is still true today. You are only as good as the people that you surround yourself with, and I have been and continue to be surrounded by special, special coaches, players, family and friends.”

Hastings led, 35-30, at half despite not making it to the free-throw line the entire period. “We had a problem with Hastings zone defense in the first half,” Schmidt said, “and we lost our aggressiveness and intensity.”

The Bulldogs finished strong, he said, after turning both of those items around in the second half.Jason Jisa added 14 points and Scott Beck 11. Rebounding efforts were spread with Dietze and Jisa each pulling down six and Beck and Daryl Werner each five. Beck added five assists.

“I told the team prior to the game that no team is good enough to win on the road in this league with anything but their best effort,” the coach said. "The communication on defense, the ball movement on offense, the level of intensity picked up in the second half -- and Dietze found his shot," he added.

Torrid attack downs York, 95-77, at Cattle Classic

29 NOV 2003

It was a “different” game as Concordia defeated York, 95-77, at the Cattle Classic on Saturday afternoon. The two teams went overtime in the season opener with the Bulldogs prevailing, 99-95. 

“This was a team that gave us a lot of problems back on November 4,” Schmidt said, and the Bulldogs did a better job at post defense and avoiding turnovers.York employed a press the entire game.

“We did a great job of breaking it down,” the coach said, and in the second half were able to feed Jisa, Dietze and Werner for open cuts to the bucket.

“The player of the game was easily Jon Ziegler,” he said. “His first-half performance was as complete of a game as a player could play. He made steals, hit from three, rebounded, played great defense and attacked the basket with a lot of confidence.

Dietze and Ziegler combined for 39 of the Bulldogs’ 49 first-half points.

“The unselfishness of the players and their execution in the press break and half-court offense was very encouraging,” Schmidt said. “We looked like a very experienced team.”

The Bulldogs hit 60 percent of their field-goal attempts with four players scoring in double figures: Ziegler 26, Dietze 22, Jisa 17 and Wes Gehring 10. Ziegler, who also pulled down eight rebounds, was 10 for 14 in field-goal attempts. It was 49-33 at half. York was led by Alain Laroche with 29 points.

Bulldogs enter NAIA ratings at No. 7

The NAIA Division II ratings that were released on Dec. 2 found the Concordia Bulldogs sitting at the No. 7 spot. Two other GPAC teams also were in the Top 25 -- Northwestern at No. 14 and Sioux Falls, the Bulldogs' opponent on Saturday, at Nov. 23.

Concordia shuts down Midland Lutheran, 90-57

3 DEC 2003

The Bulldogs rolled over Midland Lutheran, 90-57, at Seward on Dec. 3. “A very complete game for us,” Schmidt said. “We really did well in every aspect of the game and never allowed them to gain any confidence or momentum.”

Concordia stretched a 43-32 halftime margin to 71-42 in the first nine minutes of the second half. Dietze led the attack with 20 points with Anthony Elias adding 16, Jisa 15 and Jon Ziegler 13. The Bulldogs controlled the boards, 41-34, with Daryl Werner pulling down eight. Werner and Jisa each stole the ball three times and Elias turned in four assists. Jisa blocked three shots. The Bulldogs connected on 51 percent of their 57 field-goal tries and 24 of 36 free throws. Adam Lamprecht and Jacob Lentfer each scored 12 and Matt Turner 10 for the Warriors, who are 6-3, 1-1 in the GPAC. 

“Elias did an excellent job of attacking them in the half court,” the coach said. “He just kept them off balance and really showed a lot of poise and confidence.” The point guard determines the flow, control and ultimately the outcome of the game, he said. “Anthony was instrumental in that.”

Solid performances by Dietze, Jisa and Ziegler really caused problems for Midland, the coach said. “This game was over with 10 minutes left to play and that is a tribute to the effort and intensity with which we played.” Adam Lamprecht and Jacob Lentfer each scored 12 and Matt Turner 10 for the Warriors, who are 6-3, 1-1 in the GPAC.

Sioux Falls torrid in second half in 73-70 win

6 DEC 2003

Sioux Falls shot 68 percent from the field in the second half as the Concordia men’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season, 73-70. The Bulldogs led at half, 36-31, at the South Dakota school, but only connected on 32 percent in the final stanza. 

“This was a tough loss,” Coach Grant Schmidt said, “even though it was a very good team. I really felt that we could have played better and should have walked away with a win.” 

This week the Bulldogs, who stepped into the NAIA rankings of Dec. 2 at No. 7, play at Doane College on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. and at home on Saturday against Briar Cliff University at 4 p.m.

“Hopefully we can benefit from this loss,” Schmidt said, “and refocus and become a little bit more hungry for this week’s games. We seemed to play without a little intensity and edge on Saturday, and whether it was a 4 1/2 hour drive or not, we have to get that edge and attitude back.”

Rick Dietze scored 23, Jason Jisa 12 and Scott Beck 11. JD Roberts hit 20 for Sioux Falls with Steve Esselink and Beau Fitts each adding 18. Esselink played the last three seasons for the NCAA I Minnesota Gophers.

“He is their top player,” Schmidt said, “and was really controlled in the first half by Jason Jisa as he held him to only four points. Esselink led a 9-0 run midway in the second half. “We did not recover,” the coach said.

“Sioux Falls was more physical than we were,” he said, “and they were the first team to push us around inside this year. They had two kids that really caused tough physical match-ups for us.”

The Cougars turned in a better shooting percentage from the field (62) than the free-throw line (55). The Bulldogs connected on 40 percent from the field, but hit 17 of 20 free throws (85 percent). “Offensively,” the coach said, “we were settling for the perimeter shot instead of attacking the lanes and that got us in trouble.” 

Beck’s eight rebounds led that department with Jisa making six assists.

Late Doane splurge halts Bulldogs, 80-77

11 DEC 2003

A late splurge by Doane College led to an 80-77 loss at Crete on Dec. 11. The Tigers didn't take a lead until 1:08 was left to play. 

“Very frustrating,” Schmidt said. “We lost control of this game and should not have been beaten, but some rather unfortunate situations in the game created a very stressful and frustrating atmosphere and we did not handle it very well.” 

Concordia led at half, 47-37, and was in front 14 points five minutes into the second half before the drouth that allowed only 10 points in the final 10 minutes. “I was very concerned with our inability to capitalize on Doane's mistakes at the start of the second half,” Schmidt said. “We scored four points in our first 10 possessions and turned the ball over four times in that stretch.”

They did hold Doane to one point in that stretch, he said, and were in the position to capitalize. “But we didn't,” he said, “and you cannot afford to do that on the road, as we now know.”The Bulldogs had balanced scoring with Rick Dietze hitting for 18, Anthony Elias 12, Jon Ziegler 11 and Scott Beck 10. Jason Jisa grabbed 12 rebounds, 11 on defense, and blocked two shots.

Ziegler blocked three shots and Beck and Daryl Werner each turned in four assists. The Bulldogs had three more field goals (33-30) than the Tigers, but only got to the free-throw line 12 times, connecting on six.

Doane hit on 15 of 25 from the charity stripe. Doane got its first lead at 77-75 when Bryant Bryshonne hit a three-pointer with 1:08 left and Brent Cole's steal and layup with 18 seconds remaining made it 79-75. Jarred Royal scored 18 and Cole 17 for Doane.

Concordia prevails over Briar Cliff, 72-61

13 DEC 2003

A three-minute 9-0 run late in the first half proved the difference as Concordia advanced to 10-2 for the season and 4-2 in GPAC play with a 72-61 win over Briar Cliff at Seward on Dec. 13.The Bulldogs are rated No. 9 in the Dec. 9 NAIA vote, a drop from No. 7 the previous week. The next poll comes out Jan. 6. 

“I’m very pleased with the excellent start the team is off to,” Coach Grant Schmidt said. “Our returning players are doing a very good job and seem to really have developed a good chemistry out there, but the plus has been the play of two freshmen and is a big reason why we are doing well at this point.” He called the contribution of Jon Ziegler a very big plus and recognized the play of Wes Gehring. Ziegler just continues to get better and better each week, he said, and Gehring plays so hard and with confidence.

“It is hard to believe that this is their first year of play.”The next GPAC action finds Nebraska Wesleyan coming to Seward on Jan. 7.

“This team has a big challenge ahead of them in January,” Schmdit said, “but if we can do well we will be in a great position to finish strong with seven of our last eight games at home.” 

The Bulldogs are idle for the week before entering the Perkins Classic at Spearfish, S.D., on Dec. 29-30. They are scheduled to play South Dakota Tech at 6 p.m. the first day and follow against Black Hills State at 8 p.m. on the second day. Season records find Tech at 8-4 and Black Hills at 3-9. Both are 2-2 in the Dakota 10 Conference.

Schmidt was honored in a post-game ceremony for achieving 300 wins in his 15th season. It actually was win No. 303 over the Chargers against 148 losses over the years. Balanced scoring was a plus for the Bulldogs as Dietze popped in 17, Ziegler 15, Jason Jisa 13 and Scott Beck 11. Jisa had eight rebounds, seven on the defensive end, as well as four steals, two blocked shots and six assists, a department Anthony Elias led with seven. Briar Cliff came out aggressively with a match-up defense in an attempt to keep the Bulldogs from attacking the lane and getting high-percentage shots. We made some adjustments to our offense,” Schmidt said.

“The guys did an excellent job of distorting their zone and we ended up with some easy baskets. Michael Turner led Briar Cliff with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Bryce Meyers added 12 points.

A lot of credit goes to Jisa for his effort, the coach said, as he held their leading scorer scoreless in the first half. “In the second half we tried Jason out defensively in the post, and he ended up with four steals and two blocked shots that really gave us a big lift.”

Cold shooting, pressure defense halt Bulldogs, 73-70

29 DEC 2003

Concordia hit only 13 of 39 shots in the second half on Dec. 29 as they lost, 73-70, to South Dakota Tech in the Perkins Classic at Spearfish, S.D. The Bulldogs led at half, 40-39, over 9-4 Tech. The Bulldogs scored only eight points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. They were two for 13 from three-point range in the final stanza and six for 23 for the game, 29 for 72 in total field goals. Tech used a full-court trap to disrupt Concordia's attack in the second half. Tech had a 62-55 lead with about eight minutes remaining, but the Bulldogs came back to momentarily regain the lead with 4:28 remaining and held a one-point margin at the two-minute mark.

“Losing in the final minute was very disappointing to us,” Schmidt said, “but I was more concerned with our lack of control and confidence down the stretch in this game. The layoff affected our continuity on the offensive end and in the second half we committed 11 turnovers.” They were two for 13 from three-point range in the second half. “That is not going to allow you to win too many games,” he said, “especially against a good team.”

Rick Dietze led the Bulldog scoring with 20 points while Daryl Werner added 15 and Scott Beck 13. Werner hauled down 13 rebounds with Jason Jisa picking off seven. Jisa also blocked two shots and Beck stole the ball three times. Beck and Dietze each led with four assists.

Justin Vangraefschep led Tech with 25 points and Chris Bieber added 16. “Rick had another consistent effort and played well,” the coach said, “but the person who played his best game of the season was Daryl Werner. His performance was excellent and he really kept us in it with his overall effort on each end, and I never wanted to take him out.”

Tech hit some big shots down the stretch, Schmidt said, and the Bulldogs could not overcome poor execution, turnovers and poor shooting in the final half.

Forward Wes Gehring, 6-6 freshman from Creston, Neb., did not play after dislocating his shoulder in the practice prior to the tournament. “His absence hurt us,” Schmidt said, “especially in the loss. That is a sign as to how valuable he has been to us.”

Dietze hits for 28 in 73-61 win over Black Hills State

30 DEC 2003

Senior Rick Dietze scored 28 points to lead Concordia to a 73-61 win Dec. 30 over Black Hills State in the Perkins Classic at Spearfish, S.D.

The Bulldogs advanced to 11-3 for the season by hitting 48 percent of their field-goal attempts. A 17-29 pace (58.6 percent) in the first half allowed a 46-35 margin at the break.

Coach Grant Schmidt credited defensive effort and focus for the victory. “We were pretty disappointed with the loss the night before,” he said, “and the guys came out and gave one of their best efforts of the year, which allowed us to leave the tournament on a very pleasing note.”

Daryl Werner’s 11 points put him in double figures on back-to-back nights, a first for his career. Jon Ziegler added nine, Scott Beck eight and Ryan Wolff seven.

“Daryl and Ryan did not get pushed around inside,” the coach said, “which allowed us to control the game.”

Jason Jisa had seven rebounds and four steals while Beck and Ziegler each made four assists.

“Rick totally frustrated Black Hills with his inside/outside play,” Schmidt said.

Ryan Sikkink scored 16 for the Yellow Jackets. Newman defeated South Dakota Tech, 54-52, in the other classic contest.

Late rally vaults Bulldogs past Wesleyan, 66-52

7 JAN 2004

Concordia went on an 8-0 run just before the midway point of the second half to open a 46-38margin that lasted the rest of the way in a 66-52 win over Nebraska Wesleyan. 

The Wednesday night contest at Seward put the Bulldogs at 5-2 in the Great Plains Athletic Conference with an overall record of 12-3 while Wesleyan fell to 7-4, 4-3 in the GPAC. The run included six free throws.Jason Jisa was four for six from three-point range, including two in the last four minutes of the second half that helped cut a 19-12 Concordia deficit to 25-22 at half. The Prairie Wolves opened it to 31-24 before Concordia took the lead for good at 40-38 at the 12:56 mark. 

Jisa led the Bulldog attack with 19 points with Rick Dietze adding 15 and Scott Beck 12. Beck topped rebounders with 10 while Anthony Elias had four assists and four steals. Drew Snyder topped Wesleyan with 22 before fouling out with 4:52 remaining. Matt Harms pulled down nine rebounds.

Dordt edges Bulldogs in final seconds, 67-66

10 JAN 2004

Dordt picked off an inbound pass and scored on a Luke Ruter layup with 4.9 seconds to defeat Concordia, 67-66, in a GPAC game at Sioux Center, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon. Concordia had a three-point lead at 66-63 with 20 seconds to play before Dordt's Bret Van Wyk hit a long two-point basket to cut the lead to one. Rick Dietze led the Bulldogs with 24 points with Jon Ziegler, who had four assists, adding 17 and Scott Beck 14. Jason Jisa had nine rebounds and Dietze seven. Dordt led at half, 36-34. Van Wyk had 21 points to lead the Defender attack.

Concordia knocks off Morningside, 92-82

14 JAN 2004

Rick Dietze hit 9 of 11 from the field and didn't miss in nine trips to the free-throw line for a 28-point total as Concordia defeated Morningside, 92-82, in a GPAC game at Sioux City, Iowa, on Jan. 14.

Five Bulldogs scored in double figures. Jason Jisa scored 20 by hitting five of his 11 field goal attempts and converting seven free throws without a miss. Anthony Elias added 11 and Jon Ziegler and Scott Beck each 10.

Concordia led, 45-38, at half after hitting 63 percent of 27 field-goal attempts. They connected on 55 percent for the game. “After two straight games where we averaged 19 turnovers,” Coach Grant Schmidt said, “we played an outstanding game offensively and turned the ball over only five times. This was the key to the game and I was very pleased to see this type of execution and efficiency.”

Jisa led the rebounders with nine while Beck pulled down seven along with dishing out six assists. Wes Gehring came up with three steals. The win before 900 put Concordia at 13-4, 6-3 in GPAC play, and broke a four-game Morningside win streak (9-9, 6-3 GPAC). 

The coach spread out the credit. “Rick and Jason had an exceptional night for us as they really came focused and poised to give a great effort. I was also pleased with our guard play as Anthony, Jon and Scott combined for only four turnovers and they each scored in double figures. If they have that kind of productivity, we are very hard to beat.” Final credit went to Gehring and Sankey, he said, as they provided a big lift off the bench and some critical minutes in the second half.

Dakota Wesleyan holds on for 93-84 win

17 JAN 2004

Dakota Wesleyan met the challenge after Concordia pulled within 52-50 with 11:09 remaining to upset the Bulldogs, 93-84, in a GPAC game at Seward on Jan. 17.

The Tigers moved quickly to a 23-10 lead at 10:32 of the first half and Concordia trailed at half, 45-32. The win brought Dakota Wesleyan to 9-13 for the season, 3-6 in the GPAC, and the NAIA No. 20 Bulldogs dropped to 13-5, 6-4 in GPAC play. The Mitchell, S.D., team was torrid from the field, hitting 67 percent of its field-goal attempts in the first half, missing only one two-point shot. They converted 15 of 18 free throws in the final four minutes to thwart any attempt of a comeback by the Bulldogs. They were 22 of 29 from the line.

“What is so frustrating about this loss,” Coach Grant Schmidt said, “was that we were soundly defeated and it took place on our home floor, by a team that should not have been able to do that. I am disappointed in myself, and some of the decisions or lack of decisions that were made, and that I couldn't motivate this team better than what they showed. A well-prepared, well-coached team should not lose a game like this, and for that I am very disappointed.”

Jon Ziegler sparked the second-half thrust of the Bulldogs, connecting on four field goals in a five-minute spurt, including two from three-point range. Matt Culhane and Steve Deibert answered with three’s and Michael Stevenson’s drives brought the margin back to 64-52 at 7:03, which the Tigers maintained the rest of the way. “At that point we never got back into it and the game was over,” Schmidt said.

“Ziegler deserves a lot of credit,” Schmidt said of the first-year player. “He took his game to another level in the second half. If we are going to be any good down the stretch, our veterans, our leaders, have to be the ones to do that consistently. To Jon's credit, he is doing just that.”

Rich Dietze led the Bulldog scoring with 25 while Ziegler added 20 and Anthony Elias 19. David Nour scored 23 and Stevenson 19 for Dakota Wesleyan.

Erdmann hot spell helps sink Bulldogs, 85-73

21 JAN 2004

Bruce Erdmann scored 11 points in 1.5 minutes just after Concordia had taken a 35-34 lead on the first basket of the second half. The Crookston, Minn., junior guard included three from three-point range in the spree and ended the night of Jan.21 with 29 points, 7 of 11 from beyond the arc. 

Concordia battled back to pull within 65-64 with 5:51 remaining, but the Vikings responded and connected on 12 of 14 free throws the rest of the way to push their record to 10-11, 4-6 in the GPAC. 

“We just really struggled against Dana with our emotions,” Coach Grant Schmidt said. “Every one was pressing and offensively and defensively there was just no consistency or chemistry.”

Concordia defeated Dana, 80-64, on Nov. 22. 

Six Bulldogs scored in double figures with Rick Dietze and Jon Ziegler each with 13, Scott Beck with 12 and Ryan Wolff and Anthony Elias each 10. Jason Jisa recorded 10 rebounds, two blocks and two steals and Elias made seven assists. Beck stole the ball four times. 

Chris Carder and Mark Esser each scored 14 for the Vikings and Chad Harder had 10 rebounds and four steals.

Mount Marty continues streak over Bulldogs, 61-60

24 JAN 2004

Mount Marty edged Concordia, 61-60, in a GPAC game on the afternoon of Jan. 24 at Yankton, S.D. It was Mount Marty's fifth straight win to boost its record to 16-7, 7-4 in the GPAC.The Bulldogs are 4-7 since they won nine straight to open the season. The Warriors sit at 11-11, 4-6 in the GPAC. 

“The outstanding start to our season is now causing a time for alarm for a lot of the players and that is not allowing us to be confident out there anymore,” Coach Grant Schmidt said. “And no matter how hard you play, if a team has lost its confidence they become extremely vulnerable, and that is the position we are in.”

Justin Bonnichsen’s block caused Rick Dietze’s shot to bounce off the rim with 6.1 seconds left in the loss at Yankton, S.D., and a three-pointer failed with four seconds showing.Jason Jisa hit a three-pointer with 4:40 remaining to tie the game at 56 all and the Bulldogs led, 60-59, on Dietze’s jump shot with 37 seconds remaining. Bonnichsen made the deciding layup with 21 seconds remaining.

“I was very pleased with our game,” Schmidt said. “The team played as one and with a lot of intensity. Our defense was excellent and that came down to desire and effort. We had lost that fire and I was pleased to see the intensity back in our players style of play.”

Anthony Elias, Scott Beck and Rick Dietze each scored 15 points for the Bulldogs with Jisa adding 10. Daryl Werner controlled the boards with nine grabs and Beck pulled down seven. Elias picked up four steals.

“Offensively,” the coach said, "we are still in a hole. We just are not shooting the ball well and it is tough to gain confidence without seeing the ball go in the hoop. If we can keep our chins up, eventually something good will come back our way.”

Six Bulldogs in double figures in 103-98 victory

27 JAN 2004

Six Bulldogs scored in double figures as Concordia kept the scoreboard flashing in an 103-98 Great Plains Athletic Conference victory over Midland Lutheran at Fremont on Jan. 27. Rick Dietze scored 21 points, 7-8 at the free-throw line, and pulled down six rebounds. Jason Jisa added 20 points while Scott Beck scored 19 and led the team in rebounds with 12 and assists with seven. Jon Ziegler had 12 points, Ryan Wolff 11 and Anthony Elias 10.

Concordia, now 14-7 (7-6 in the GPAC), led 51-45 at half.The Warriors trailed by as many as 11 in the second half, but closed to 95-93 with 2:56 remaining. Dietze answered with a three-pointer to push the margin back to five. It was one of 15 three-point shots the Bulldogs connected on in 29 attempts during the game.Jacob Lentfer scored 28 for the Warriors (11-12, 4-7 GPAC), hitting 10 of 15 field-goal attempts, while Adam Lamprecht added 25.

Records indicate the last time the Bulldog exceeded the 100-point mark was Nov. 15, 2001, with a 104-78 win over Concordia Seminary.

20-0 spurt propels Bulldogs past Ann Arbor, 72-51

31 JAN 2004

Concordia Nebraska went on a 20-0 run midway in the second half that allowed them to pull away from Concordia Ann Arbor on Jan. 30 in a first-round game of the Concordia Invitational Tournament. The Bulldogs led at half, 31-24. 

An 11-0 run by the Bulldogs midway in the first half put them in front for the rest of the way after the Cardinals had held a 17-14 margin at 11:41.Rick Dietze scored 24 points, hitting 10 of 17 field-goal attempts, while Ryan Wolff added 12 and Scott Beck 10. Matt Mikel and Jared Adamson both scored 11 for Ann Arbor. The Cardinals only hit 33 percent from the field while the Bulldogs connected on 44. Damon Friday of Ann Arbor grabbed seven rebounds while Dietze pulled down six for the Bulldogs. Jason Jisa had five assists and two blocked shots for the winners.

The Seward team faces Concordia Wisconsin in the CIT championship game at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Bulldogs come from behind to earn CIT crown

31 JAN 2004

A 9-0 run capped by Jason Jisa's three-pointer with 7.5 minutes remaining put Concordia in a lead that held the remainder of a 75-68 victory over Concordia Wisconsin in the finals of the Concordia Invitational Tournament at Seward on Jan. 31. The Mequon team led most of the first half, which ended 33-31, and used its own 8-0 run to take a 46-33 lead five minutes into the second half. It was the sixth straight CIT championship for Concordia and its 19th in 22 years.

Anthony Elias led the scoring parade with 20 points while Rick Dietze added 14 and Jon Ziegler and Scott Beck each 12. Ryan Wolff pulled down nine rebounds and Elias led with six assists.

Ryan Wietor, who earned the MVP award for the tournament, scored 34 for the Falcons.

Elias and Dietze also were named to the all-tournament team with Damon Friday of Ann Arbor and Lonale Rowry of River Forest. Concordia Ann Arbor defeated Concordia River Forest, 70-62, in the men's consolation finals on Jan. 31.

Concordia Wisconsin commanded a 51-33 lead at half and went on for a 103-73 first-round victory over Concordia River Forest on Jan. 30.

Concordia Nebraska went on a 20-0 run midway in the second half that allowed them to pull away from Concordia Ann Arbor on Jan. 30 in a first-round game of the Concordia Invitational Tournament.

The Bulldogs led at half, 31-24. An 11-0 run by the Bulldogs midway in the first half put them in front for the rest of the way after the Cardinals had held a 17-14 margin at 11:41. Rick Dietze scored 24 points, hitting 10 of 17 field-goal attempts, while Ryan Wolff added 12 and Scott Beck 10. 

Bulldogs in quick start win 85-65 over Doane

4 FEB 2004

Concordia jumped off to a 21-9 lead in the first six minutes and rolled on to an 85-65 GPAC victory at Seward on Feb. 4. Five players scored in double figures as the Bulldogs advanced to 17-7 and into a tie with Doane in the GPAC standings at 8-6.

Ryan Wolff in his first start scored all of his 19 points in the first half, which ended with Concordia out front, 44-29. The closest Doane ever got was 26-20 with 8:14 remaining. Rick Dietze and Scott Beck each poured in 15 points with Anthony Elias adding 14 and Jon Ziegler 11. Ziegler with 10 and Dietze with seven led the rebounding. Ziegler also led in assists with five.Brian Jakubowski and Adam Schueth each scored 10 for the Tigers while Jarred Royal picked off 10 rebounds. Concordia shot 47 percent from the field while Doane was at 37 percent. Both teams took 21 three-point shots with the Bulldogs hitting eight and Doane four. It was 62-42 midway in the second half. 

Doane defeated Concordia, 80-77, on Dec. 11.

The Bulldogs next take on Northwestern, the conference leader and No. 9 in the NAIA ratings, on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Concordia upsets Northwestern, 99-93, in OT

7 FEB 2004

Things didn't look too rosy for an exhausted Concordia men's basketball team when Cody Kuipers' three-pointer with three seconds left sent the GPAC game with Northwestern into overtime at 82-82. The Bulldogs pulled out the victory over the NAIA #9 Red Raiders in overtime, 99-93, at Seward on the afternoon of Feb. 7.

Northwestern took its first lead of the afternoon at 84-82 and nine points by Marcus Leloux in the extra period put the Red Raiders in front, 93-92 with 51 seconds on the clock.Jason Jisa connected on a three-pointer with 35 seconds left to put the Bulldogs in front for good at 95-93. Anthony Elias and Rick Dietze both made two free throws in the remaining seconds to ice the win. Concordia hit on all eight of its free-throw opportunities in overtime.

Northwestern came into the game at 11-2 in GPAC play and 18-5 overall while the Bulldogs advanced to 18-7, 9-6 in the GPAC with the win. Jon Ziegler led the five Bulldog scorers in double figures with 22 while Elias added 19, Jisa 18, Dietze 16 and Ryan Wolff 13.

The nets were warm with Concordia hitting on 54 percent of 56 shots and Northwestern 50 percent of its 58 shots. Kuipers scored 33, including 12-12 at the free throw line.

It was 35-30 at the half after Concordia held 12-point margins at 18-6, 23-11, 26-14 and 28-16.

Concordia rolls over Hastings, 83-44

10 FEB 2004

Concordia rolled over Hastings, 83-44, at Seward on Feb. 10 after a slow start that found it trailing 8-3 after about five minutes. Anthony Elias hit a three-pointer for a 15-14 lead with 11:23 left in the first half and the Bulldogs never trailed again. A 15-0 run to end the half made it 41-23 at the break.

Another run of 13 unanswered points midway in the second half put it out of reach at 74-34 with five minutes left. The Bulldogs hit 60 percent of three-point attempts with Ryan Wolff and Jason Jisa both hitting three without a miss.

Rick Dietze led the Bulldogs with 33 points and nine rebounds while Jisa netted 20. Reserves Marcus Wernke blocked five Bronco shots and Wes Gehring grabbed five rebounds. Elias dealt out four assists to lead that department. Mike Snyder, who had five rebounds, and Brad Toepfer both scored 10 for Hastings, which sat at 3-13 in the GPAC after weekend play. Dietze led the GPAC in scoring after the past week left him averaging 20.7 in conference games and 19.4 for the season.

Bulldogs in control at Nebraska Wesleyan, 80-67

18 FEB 2004

The Concordia men's basketball team advanced its victory string to seven with an 80-67 GPAC victory over Nebraska Wesleyan at Lincoln on Feb. 18. The Bulldogs finish the regular schedule at home against Morningside College at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Morningside in its first season in the GPAC rests in second place with a 12-4 mark. The Mustangs are 15-12 overall and entered the NAIA ratings for the first time this week at No. 24.

Concordia led the Prairie Wolves, 39-32, at half as it racked up its 20th win of the season against seven losses, 11-6 in the GPAC. Wesleyan came with 49-47 with 13:27 remaining but dropped behind, 58-50, inthe next two minutes. Anthony Elias led Bulldog scorers with 24. Rick Dietze scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half. Wes Gehring added 11 and Jason Jisa 10. Dietz pulled down eight rebounds an Gehring six.

The Bulldogs hit 46 percent of their field-goal attempts, hitting 11 of 28 from three. Scott Beck had four assists, three steals and five rebounds.

Matt Harms led Wesleyan, 11-11 and 8-9 in the GPAC, with 26 points.

“We had a great game out of Anthony Elias,” the coach said. “He was efficient in all aspects of the game and really caused problems for NWU.”

Schmidt was pleased to see Daryl Werner, who has been slowed by an ankle injury, play well.“We were getting beat up inside all night,” he said. His injury has caused him to take a different role, but his play at the end was very refreshing to see, and I know that Daryl felt good about it as well.”

Huge comeback gives Mustangs 90-87 edge

21 FEB 2004

Brad Schmit hit a three-pointer with 1.6 seconds remaining to cap at comeback that defeated Concordia, 90-89, on Feb. 21. The Bulldogs led 69-46 with 10:23 remaining and the Mustangs' only lead was at the final bucket. The Bulldogs missed nine free throws in the final five minutes as the loss broke a seven-game winning streak. 

While the season went down to one game at a time, Coach Grant Schmidt said, a plus side is that the loss put them in the playoff bracket they preferred.

“Whoever deals with the challenge ahead of them in the healthiest and confident manner will be successful,” he said. "The collapse was very disappointing, he said, but Morningside was incredibly efficient with their shooting and hit some very deep three's that couldn’t really be defended."

“Give credit to their kids for a great comeback,” he said.In addition to Dietze’s 36, Jason Jisa added 11 and Anthony Elias 10. Eddie Ceaser scored 33 and Schmit 26 for Morningside. The Mustangs hit 58 percent of 32 field-goal attempts in the second half, including six of 13 threes, after trailing, 46-30, at the break. The Bulldogs connected on 44 percent of 61 shots, hitting 12 of 26 from long range.

Starters Scott Beck and Jisa fouled out with 3.5 minutes remaining with Concordia in front, 80-74.

“We are not the GPAC champs this year due to three different one-point losses which all came on last-second plays,” Schmidt said. “It is pretty difficult for even the strongest to cope with internally.” While it hurts, he said, we have no excuses or reason to whine. “We know how we put ourselves in that situation and unfortunately we lost.”

Sioux Falls ends Bulldog season, 66-60

23 FEB 2004

A Sioux Falls comeback ended the Concordia men's basketball season, 66-60, in the quarterfinals of the Great Plains Athletic Conference championships at Sioux Falls on Feb. 23. Steve Esselink led a surge that gave the Cougars the lead at 58-57 with 2:40 remaining after they trailed at half, 34-31. Sioux Falls had an early 11-point lead.

Jon Ziegler and Anthony Elias each scored 12 to lead the Bulldog attack with Daryl Werner add 10. Rick Dietze was held to four points.

Esselink scored 29 points, 22 in the second half.

Dietze's 21.2 leads scoring in GPAC

A Concordia senior finished the 2003-04 season as the leading men’s scorer in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Rick Dietze, a 6-4 senior from Lincoln, scored 56 points in his final two regular-season games to finish with 594 points, a 28-game average of 21.2. “Rick had a fantastic week,” Coach Grant Schmidt said.He scored 20 in the 80-67 victory on Feb. 18 at Nebraska Wesleyan, a place where he had never won during his career. “He played outstanding and really was a difference maker as well,” Schmidt said.Dietze scored 36 in a disappointing last-second 90-89 loss to Morningside at home on Feb. 21.

“Rick was simply amazing in this game,” he said. “He played one of his best games of his career and has nothing to be ashamed of. He scored from inside and out, as well as hit three critical free throws when no one else could down the stretch. We have been pretty blessed to have a player like Rick Dietze, and Saturday was truly no exception, he did everything he could and deserves all the credit in the world.”

Dietze named to All-GPAC first team

Rick Dietze earned All-GPAC first-team honors for the 2003-04 season. Jason Jisa was named to the second team and Scott Beck and Jon Ziegler earned honorable mention in the post-season honors by the Great Plains Athletic Conference. 

Dietze, Jisa earn GPAC player-of-year awards

Rick Dietze headlines the Great Plains Athletic Conference 2003-04 all-conference team with his selection as the Scheels/GPAC men’s basketball player-of-the-year. Jason Jisa was named the GPAC defensive player-of-the-year.