The LAB — Live from Branson

by gclancers

Click here to follow the Grace men’s basketball team on their quest for an NAIA national championship in Branson, Mo. Grace’s sports information department will provide stories, analysis, photos, blog posts, video interviews and highlights from the NAIA Division II men’s basketball tournament continually throughout the week.

Sunday, March 4
Monday, March 5
Tuesday, March 6
Wednesday, March 7


A Day of Basketball for the Lancers — 3/7/12

Lancers began the day the same as usual with a morning practice. They started at 9 a.m. and went hard for an hour. On the agenda was to prepare for Briar Cliff. They discussed all aspects of how to play against their first round opponent. After practice the team headed to lunch.

The lunch today was Fuddruckers. It is a scrumptious burger place in Branson. The team enjoyed the lunch then headed to College of the Ozarks to enjoy a day of basketball. They spent most of the afternoon there watching Indiana Wesleyan University then a couple more games. The game was exciting as IWU lost in overtime.

After a few games and a couple interviews with the players they headed back to the hotel. They went back to get ready for the event of the night, The Parade of Champions. The team joined all 32 teams on the court to represent their schools. It was an amazing seen as all 32 teams spelled out NAIA under the spotlights. Once the event had ended it was the game of the night, not because of how close the game was.

The game was College of Ozarks vs Northwood the number 1 team in the country. The place was packed with nearly every team including Grace. The fans for Ozarks were crazy and loud despite losing by 17. The team left that game at the half to get a good nights rest before Game Day.

Tomorrow Grace plays Briar Cliff at 7:30pm CST. To get up to date scores follow @gclancers on twitter.

By Michael Blevins


Lancers Enjoy a Day of Fun in Branson — 3/6/12

The Lancers had a fun filled third day in Branson. Once again they started the morning with practice at 10 a.m. It was a good hard practice. However, that was just the beginning. The team then went and had lunch at the world-famous McDonald’s. Eating healthy was the theme of the day.

After the Lancers ate they headed out to the Branson Zipline. Unfortunately it was much too windy to participate on the zipline. From there they went and hit up the go-carts, where the Lancers caused a few pile ups. As other teams were racing like normal people the Lancers were too busy wrecking each other.

“I would have to say it was a tie between myself, Greg, and Ben as the worst drivers,” said Jake Peattie. These three had a 3-car pile up a few times in the race. After go-carts the team would go in real cars to the Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede.

At the show the team had whole chickens to eat. “Food was great,” said Elliot Smith. The show was possibly even better as the Lancers put on somewhat of a show too. “Some people from other teams were standing when Dolly came on, but all of Grace was up making a fool of themselves. It was awesome,” said Taylor Long.

After the events at the Stampede the team headed back to the hotel for the night. After interviews Dayton, Tannan, Bruce, Duke, Greg, and Jake the team headed to bed. You can find all these interviews on the blog soon!

Tomorrow the Lancers will have practice at the Branson Intermediate School then enjoy a day of basketball as the tournament tips off.

By Michael Blevins


Lancers Finish Journey to Branson — 3/5/12

The Lancers started early this morning by heading from St. Louis to Missouri Baptist University for practice at 10 a.m. The practice lasted two hours and had great intensity. “We’re still tightening up things we do. We’ll start preparing for Briar Cliff tomorrow,” said Jake Peattie.The preparation for the tournament begins tomorrow, but for today the team ate well! They headed to staple of Branson, Lambert’s, the home of the throwed roll. The team ate plenty of food and did not leave hungry. The team would need to get another good night’s sleep to rested as they prepare to take on Briar Cliff on Thursday night.

The team will have practice at 10 a.m. at Recplex in Branson. This will start the process to the Championship. Then they will head to the world-class Dixie Stampede and the Tip-Off Banquet.

By Michael Blevins


Lancers Head to Branson with High Hopes — 3/4/12

It is a different feel for the Lancers as they head out to Branson, Missouri, for the second year in a row. It is not the same attitude as last year. The attitude is more of expecting to win instead of not knowing what to expect. The team started their championship run with a trip to KFC in Effingham Ill.

Prior to getting on the road, the team attended church together then had a meal at alpha before leaving the OCC in three vans at 1:30pm. The drivers for the trip are Aaron Minglin, Coach K, and Coach Yeh. The first travel day includes the seven hour trip to St. Louis to stay in view of the Gateway Arch.

First off on the trip was the famous KFC buffet. As Ben Euler put it, “How could we not stop at the KFC buffet? It must be done.” It has turned into one of the traditions for the Lancers on their way to Branson. After the trip to KFC the team headed on to their hotel right next to the Arch of St. Louis.

The view was amazing but the team would need to get to bed early as early as possible for a morning practice at Missouri Baptist University, a different place than they have practiced in previous years. After practice the team will head the rest of the way to Branson and begin the quest for an NAIA Championship.

By Michael Blevins