The Dutch boys basketball team currently have a record of 18-3 overall, 11-3 in the Little Hawkeye Conference. Last Tuesday night, Feb. 18, the Dutch defeated the Centerville Reds, 77-52. Junior Isaac Naaktgeboren led the scoring card with 25 points. Naaktgeboren is currently first in the conference for points per game (averaging 17.9) as well as leading the conference in rebounds per game (averaging 10.1) Not only has Naaktgeboren been contributing on the offensive side of the ball, but the defensive side as well. He is third in the conference for overall blocks, with 27.
“Growing up, it was something that I did was play basketball a lot. From just shooting hoops in the driveway everyday to playing in AAU tournaments with all my friends. I have always had a feel for the game of basketball from a young age. When I hit high school I worked really hard to be on varsity my freshman year. When I figured out that I was not going to be on varsity freshman year, I worked really hard to be on it the next year. I then reached my goal and started varsity as a sophomore. Now, this year, I have been successful, but there is still a ton of room for improvement,” said Naaktgeboren.
Naaktgeboren’s buckets more often than not set up by junior Seth Johnson. Johnson has a total of 102 assists on the season (third in the conference) but also shows up on the defensive side of the ball with 34 steals (fifth in conference).
“Scoring points is fun, and you get more recognized for it, but assists are more exciting than points, I think. The feeling of giving someone a good pass and making them feel good is awesome,” said Johnson.
Though Naaktgeboren has proved to be one of the top players in the conference, the Dutch bring much more than just one player, rather more of a team effort. Having five players on the court that can threaten the opposing team in so many aspects helps to have the final scoreboard look completely lopsided. Senior Jordan Pingel averages 15.6 points per game, which puts him at fourth in the conference for that statistic.
“It has been a very successful season and I wouldn’t say I’m surprised. Coming into the season I had a good feeling that we were going to have a sucessful season with the returning and new players we have. If we play the way we have been, I believe that we have a great chance to make a run in the playoffs,” said Pingel.
The regular season has come to an end for the Dutch, and they will take the momentum from last Tuesday night’s game into tonight, in which they will face the Washington Demons. The Demon’s overall record is 6-9, and the Dutch are looking to get some pay back on the Demons after they knocked the Dutch out of the third round of the football playoffs.
“Obviously, I am not a huge fan of Washington because of football, but we will work as a team to not let it become about that and focus only on what we need to do. Having said that, based on what I know we will do, we are going to crush them,” said senior Nathan Clayberg.