More news about: Central

After seeing a late lead melt away in the final minute and with a short bench growing even shorter, the Central College men's basketball team got another clutch bucket from guard Jamel McKnight (senior, Austin, Texas, Hendrickson HS) and an 87-84 comeback victory over Simpson College Wednesday night.
Down by as many as 12 in the first half and by 13 midway through the second half, the Dutch (7-9 overall, 4-3 American Rivers) were resilient. They staged an 18-1 run to jump up seven in the first half before trailing at the break, 47-45. It was a 15-2 surge that tied the game at 71-71 with 7:37 left in the game.
The already undersized Dutch, who lost starting forward Caden Mauck (sophomore, Kansas City, Mo., Blue Springs South HS) to injury earlier in the season, for most of the night were also without starting forward Seth Wood (junior, Branson, Mo.), the team's top rebounder and 3-point shooter, who suffered an injury in practice earlier in the week. He appeared for 4 minutes and had to leave the game.
But playing with a four-guard lineup, Central grabbed an 82-77 lead with 2:21 left, only to see the team's top scorer, guard Jaden Moody (junior, Cambridge, Ballard HS) foul out with 1:39 left. Simpson took an 84-83 lead with 34 seconds remaining.
With a makeshift lineup, that's when the Dutch again turned to McKnight, who hit the game-winner with 3 seconds remaining in an 83-81 victory at Luther College Saturday. This time, McKnight drove the lane to put Central up 85-84 with 20 seconds remaining.  Guard Shimar Jones (senior, Marshall, Texas) added a layup 11 seconds later and Central dodged a couple of late Simpson 3-point tries to secure the win.
"We had some guys step up," coach Craig Douma said. "I'm so proud of this team."
Guard Adam Flinn (sophomore, Wildwood, Mo., Lafayette HS) had 23 points while McKnight had 20 points and five assists. They played 38 and 39 minutes, respectively. Moody finished with 21 points. Flinn, Jones and forward Thomas Spoehr (freshman, Bennington, Neb.) each had six rebounds.
But it was defense that won it, Douma said. Simpson (9-6 overall, 3-4 conference) hit 53.3 percent of its shots in rolling up 47 first-half points but was limited to 37 points on 40.0-percent shooting after the break.
"We played great defense down the stretch," Douma said. "We got some key stops. Our fans really helped us out. They were our sixth man. They came up big."
Central shot 54.1 percent for the night, including 42.1 percent from 3-point range. The Dutch hung close on the boards, trailing 38-34.
It's a young Central squad but becoming game-tested.
"We're growing up," Douma said. "We're showing some toughness."
Saturday the Dutch are at Dubuque to take on Loras College in a conference women's-men's doubleheader. Start time was moved up to 2 p.m. due to forecasted difficult winter travel conditions. Loras is 13-3 overall and 5-2 in the league, good for second place, after defeating Luther College 86-78 at Decorah Wednesday night. Central dropped a pair of regular-season games against the Duhawks in the regular season last year, then knocked them off on the road in the conference tournament semifinals.
The Dutch have climbed into a three-way tie for third place in the league. But they may still be without Wood and Mauck Saturday, Douma said.
Saturday's games will be broadcast on KRLS-FM (92.1) with Cory Houser. The broadcast can be accessed via