Closing in on the GLIAC Tourney

Ferris tied with Ashland at third in GLIAC standings going into the final stretch

With five games left to play in the regular season and three of those in Big Rapids, Ferris State basketball is up against two more GLIAC opponents at home this week.

Ferris first looks to take on Northwood on Thursday, Feb. 11 before taking on Lake Superior State on Saturday, Feb. 13.

Tied with Ashland for the No. 3 spot in the conference, the Bulldogs are ready to fight to stay among the top teams in their conference.  6-foot-5 senior wing James Chappell believes the Dawgs have what it takes to bring that fight.

“With five games left in the season, I just think that as a team we have to be more together than anything,” Chappell said. “We have a real strong group and if we are all on the same page, we are lethal together.”

Chappell also talked about head coach Andy Bronkema and his vision as the regular season begins to slow down.

“I think coach wants us to focus on the team we are playing at the moment,” Chappell said. “We focus more on the game in front of us because it is so important.  We never really talk about the season ending, but we all know the regular season is coming to an end.”

Chappell led the Dawgs in both points and rebounds last weekend against Northern Michigan University to give him a triple-double on the day.

6-foot-10 senior center Jared Stolicker is fourth in all of the GLIAC in field goals made (157-242) and field goal percentage (64.9).  Although he is the point leader on the team, Stolicker still knows the importance of a cohesive unit.

“Everyone on the team has the same goals, no one’s individual goals get in the way of our team’s mission,” Stolicker said. “We all buy into the system we have in place, and as long as we can stick to our system and game plan we are tough to beat.”

Stolicker credits a defensive state of mind to creating more offense and opportunities of the team.

“Our defense works right into our offense; we like to get stops on defense and get a quick transition into the offense,” Stolicker said. “On the defensive end we are pretty versatile.  We rebound pretty well and we have a lot of shot blockers, and even when they do not get the blocks, they alter the shots.  It all goes back to that ‘team first’ mentality, we go out every night and play for each other.”

The last time that the Bulldogs met up with the Timberwolves of Northwood in Midland, they brought an 83-76 victory back to Big Rapids. Sophomore guard Drew Cushingberry had a dominant performance in that game, scoring 18 points shooting seven-for-nine from the field.

The last encounter with Lake Superior State in Sault Ste. Marie saw a Bulldog victory 86-82 with sophomore guard Noah King leading the charge with 18 points.

With two of the four Bulldog losses this season coming at home and some very good top teams at the top of the GLIAC, Ferris basketball will be looking to come out on top this week to stay among the top teams in the conference.

Bulldog basketball first hosts Northwood on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. before taking on Lake Superior State on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.  Both games will be played at Jim Wink Arena.