Beaver Men’s Basketball Piles on the Points


Allie Hartman

Tanner Frost, Sports Editor

Four games in, 16 quarters of play dominated, and 378 total points racked up. Safe to say, the BVU Men’s Basketball team is off to a perfect start to their season.

Under new leadership in first-year Head Coach Trevor Johnson, the Beavers and their 22 man roster have been red hot across the board, and from beyond the three-point line. With a powerful offense lead by key returners and a defense determined to prevent any opportunities for their opponents, the team is off to their first 4-0 start in over a decade. 

Picked to finish 8th in the American Rivers Conference in the preseason coaches poll, the Beavers have been flying by their non-conference opponents in preparation to upset the ARC. 

With the lone returning All-Conference selection from 2018 in Tim Jeffries (2nd Team) shooting well to start the year, alongside Storm Lake native Michael Demers, the Beavers only got stronger from last season.

Add in prolific scorer Dominic Sesma who is back after an early season-ending injury last winter, Brendan Gary in the post crashing the boards, Lincoln Rock racking up steals once again, and a large paint presence in Noah Schmitt. BVU has a major recipe for success.

The season began up north in St. Peter, Minnesota where the team traveled to take on the Gustavus Adolphus Gusties. A 42-36 lead opened the game up for Buena Vista until halftime, where the team regrouped and refreshed themselves on offense. A 54 point second half was more than enough to seal the game, 96-73 in favor of BV.

Jeffries leads the offensive charge with 20 points to his name, while Demers picked up 18 and Sesma finished with 13. 

Off until next Tuesday, BV did their homework on Bethany Lutheran for another road trip, this time to Mankato, Minnesota. This time around, Buena Vista was prepared from the tipoff. Exploding to a 20 point lead at halftime, the Beavers cruised to another away victory 92-76 over the Vikings. Once again, Jeffries lit up the scoreboard with 26 points while Demers picked up 15. 

Back to resting for a few days, both Buena Vista and long-time rivals Simpson prepared for the ARC/SLIAC challenge, where the two usual foes would team up over the course of last weekend to take on Fontbonne and Westminster College from the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. 

With the Storm leading the way on Friday night in their victory over Fontbonne, the Beavers would have to follow their act up against Westminster College. 

Fortunately for the home fans in Siebens Fieldhouse, BV did just that. 

Improving upon their first two games, the Beavers ran rampant and shot lights out at home, defeating their first opponent of the weekend 87-54. Saturday’s game would prove more of the same story, as the Beavers once again dominated in a 103-68 victory over Fontbonne. 

The pair of ARC teams would sweep the cross-conference challenged 4-0, and Buena Vista’s record would improve to the same mark. When asked what’s impressed Head Coach Trevor Johnson so far this year, he had nothing but praise for his squad. 

“The thing that has impressed me the most so far this season is just how hard our guys are playing on both ends of the floor. The guys have done an amazing job of buying into what we want to do as a program and they are seeing some of that pay off with the results we have been able to get so far,” says Johnson. 

The Beavers have now scored an average of 94.5 points per game while holding opponents to a mark of 67.8. Safe to say, Coach Johnson has been pleased with his team’s output thus far. 

“Offensively, we have a team loaded with guys that are capable of filling it up every night. The thing that has made us click is that we also have a bunch of unselfish guys who are willing to make the extra pass to get an even better shot,” adds Johnson. “Defensively, we are still a work in progress putting in our new defensive system but we have been able to see flashes of what we are capable. One example is holding Westminster to 17 points in the second half. We are still growing and learning but our guys have been able to cover up some mistakes by playing hard and that has been good to see.” 

Two of the major contributors to the so-far prolific offensive are the aforementioned duo of Tim Jeffries and Michael Demers. Though the two have been experiencing success individually, they realize its because of a multitude of higher purposes.  

“Our team has so much potential. One thing we need to do to continue our success so far is to just take it one game at a time. That’s our goal, go 1-0 every day. We’ve got to give it our all in everything we do. I cannot wait to see where this season leads us as we continue to clean things up,” says Demers.

Demers also attributes his success so far in the season due to his improved shooting over the summer, and how well Coach Johnson has translated his game plan to the team. Jeffries echoes Demers’ sentiment as well. 

“We just need to keep listening to what Coach Johnson and the staff are preaching. We have a great coaching staff and they make sure that we are working hard in practice and that translates to the court when it’s showtime,” says Jeffries. 

However, the team’s loss of their teammate and near family member Canyon “Moose” Hopkins has driven the squad to work harder than ever.

“I really wanted to pay tribute to my brother “Moose” this season. I feel that he would have been one of the top players in this league and every game I just want to go out and make him as proud as possible through the way I am playing,” says Jeffries. 

Buena Vista will be back in action this week with another trio of non-conference opponents in Crown College, Augustana University, and the University of Northwestern (MN). 

As Crown is the next team up on the schedule for the Beavers on Wednesday night, Coach Johnson and his staff make sure the team isn’t overlooking the 1-2 Storm. 

“As we go into this next week of games, we are really going to be focusing on cleaning things up on the offensive side of things. We were able to put up points over the weekend but I felt that we were a little sloppy at times and turned the ball over too much,” says Johnson. “If we can get those numbers down we will be in a really good place. On the defensive side, we just want to continue improving our team defense and make sure we are getting guys back in transition and into the right positions.” 

BVU’s matchup with Crown will begin at 7:00 in Siebens Fieldhouse.