As her time with the Midland women’s basketball program winds down, Joelle Overkamp was able to enjoy a week to remember last week.
The Omaha Gross graduate scored a game-high 27 points last Wednesday as the Warriors stunned No. 1-ranked and previously unbeaten Concordia 86-77. Then on Saturday, Overkamp and fellow starting guard Megan Kucks were honored on Senior Day as Midland led Mount Marty by 25 at halftime and rolled to a 75-54 win.
“It was probably the most exciting and fun week of basketball I’ve had here,” Overkamp said. “Not many people can say they beat the No. 1 team in the country and then having Senior Day the next game was fun and a nice way to celebrate the four years I’ve had here.”
Overkamp has had productive years with the Warriors. A 3-pointer from the left side of the key in the opening minutes against Mount Marty gave her 1,600 points for her career. She’s seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,606 — 12 points away from fifth place and 123 away from second.
Overkamp said she never imagined she’d end up that high on the scoring list when she arrived at Midland. It’s been a pleasant surprise for her coach, too.
“I felt she would be a decent offensive player. I thought that she would be able to score in multiple ways,” coach Shawn Gilbert said. “But I never expected her to be one or two of the top scorers consistently in our league.
“When you have a player that scores like Jo scores, part of your system usually is you’re doing things to get them open. We run very little for Jo. Jo is one of those players who takes what the defense gives her. She finds a way to score.”
The 5-foot-11 Overkamp is third in the GPAC in scoring at 16.7 points per game. She’s also among the top 10 in rebounding, steals, field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
She said she worked on her outside shooting entering her senior year, and that played a role against Concordia when she hit four 3s. Her 3 early in the fourth quarter put Midland up by 14, and the Warriors closed it out from there.
“Concordia’s always been a thorn in our side,” Gilbert said. “You strive to compete with and beat the top teams in your league, and Concordia has been that the last three or four years. To get that win in that situation was special for these kids.”
Midland had lost eight of its previous 11 games before knocking off Concordia. It also marked the first time since 2001 that the Warriors had defeated Concordia — a 35-game streak.
Kucks, an Elkhorn South graduate, also topped the 1,000-point career mark this season. Gilbert said his two seniors, who played summer basketball together in high school, have been high character student-athletes and ideal models for the program.
Overkamp will graduate in May and begin work at KPMG after this summer. But as of now, basketball is her focus as Midland (13-14) plays at College of St. Mary at 6 p.m. Wednesday before finishing the regular season against nationally ranked Northwestern and Hastings.
“It feels good to kind of have the momentum that we have right now,” Overkamp said. “This is the time you want to be playing well.”
In other Midlands notes:
» Another Omaha Gross graduate recently reached a milestone on the basketball court.
Jake Hansen scored his 1,000th career point for Hastings College on Jan. 17 when the Broncos upset then-No. 4 Briar Cliff. Hastings is making that a habit: They have upset four ranked teams since Jan. 13.
Hastings has helped tighten the GPAC race. With the regular season ending next week, Briar Cliff and Morningside are tied for first at 11-4. Northwestern is next at 10-4, following by Dakota Wesleyan at 9-6 and Hastings and Concordia at 7-7.
» Concordia dropped to second in the women’s NAIA Division II poll as unbeaten Southeastern Florida took over the top spot. Five GPAC teams are in the top 15 with Northwestern ninth, Dakota Wesleyan 10th, Hastings 12th and Morningside 15th.
Despite its loss to Midland, Concordia still leads the GPAC at 15-1, two games in front of Dakota Wesleyan and Northwestern. Hastings and Morningside are next at 11-5. Hastings guard Shandra Farmer was named the league’s women’s basketball player of the week for the third time this season.
» Karli Seay scored 48 points Saturday in a win over Eastern Wyoming, breaking a 38-year-old Western Nebraska Community College women’s basketball record for points in a game. The previous record was 38 set by Mary Ullrich during the 1978-79 season.
“I didn’t even think I scored that much to break it. But it is pretty cool,” said Seay, who scored 32 after halftime.
» The Peru State men’s basketball team, winner of eight of its last nine and 10-3 in Heart of America Conference play, faces a huge week. On Wednesday, the Bobcats play at William Penn, leader of the Heart North by one game over Peru, and then Peru travels to Heart South leader Central Methodist on Saturday.
» Bellevue swept the North Star Athletic Association basketball players of the week.
BJ Shelton earned the men’s honor after averaging 26.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in two league wins. Shelton scored a career-high 32 in a win over Presentation.
Caletria Curtis picked up the women’s honor as she averaged 20.5 points and 12 rebounds in two wins. Curtis scored a career-high 24 and matched a program record with 15 rebounds in the win over Presentation.
» The UNK women’s basketball team beat Washburn and Emporia State by single digits last week and is 11-0 in games decided by 10 points or less. The 18-3 Lopers, winners of seven straight, are tied for second with Pittsburg State in the MIAA.
» Lincoln Northeast grad Ryan Garver of Nebraska Wesleyan was named the IIAC player of the week after averaging 22 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.5 steals and 3.5 assists in two wins. He also hit 7 of 9 3-pointers. The Prairie Wolves (19-3) host Loras on Wednesday in a battle of first-place teams in the IIAC.
» Wayne State senior thrower Michaela Dendinger set a school record with a throw of 54-10¼ in the shot put over the weekend at the Frank Sevigne Invitational in Lincoln. That’s the top throw in NCAA Division II.
For the Wayne men’s team, Clay Kramper set a school record in the 200-meter dash at the Lincoln meet with a time of 22.07 seconds, breaking an 11-year-old record.
» The 12th-ranked UNK wrestling team beat Newman 45-6 in Sunday’s dual to wrap up its fourth MIAA regular-season title since 2014. The Lopers will try to add the league tournament title Sunday in Wichita, Kansas.
» The baseball and softball seasons have started at the Division II level, and Northeast Community College‘s inaugural baseball season will begin Thursday with a doubleheader in Hesston, Kansas. Northeast’s roster is made up of 29 freshmen and the head coach is former UNK pitching coach Marcus Clapp.
Midland’s all-time women’s basketball scoring leaders:
1, Cindy Hays 2,567 1988-1992
2, Kari Kramme 1,729 1979-1983
2, Jill Hayden 1,729 2000-2004
4, Nikki Gargano 1,711 1998-2000
5, Eileen Troy 1,618 1972-1976
6, Patty Schmidt 1,607 1993-1997
7, Joelle Overkamp 1,606 2014-2018