The number 31 jersey worn by Cherokee's Autumn Bartel , seen here driving the ball upcourt, will never again be worn by any member of the Morningside women's basketball team. Photo contributed.
Cherokee Washington alum Autumn Bartel, daughter of Dale and Linda Bartel of Cherokee, was one of two former Morningside College basketball players to have her uniform number retired prior to the start of Tuesday night's game against Dakota Wesleyan University. Bartel and Dani Glass were he standouts for a 2008-2009 Morningside team that ranks as one of the greatest in NAIA II history. They led the Mustangs to a 38-0 record and NAIA II National Championship last season - becoming only the second team in history to capture the NAIA II national title with an undefeated record. In their four years of competition, Bartel and Glass led Morningside to a combined recrd of 121-22, four GPAC regular season championships and two GPAC post-season tournament championships. Morningside was undefeated over the final 55 regular season games of their careers. Both players were named to the 2009 NAIA II All-American first team, while Glass was also named the NAIA Division II National Player of the Year and the GPAC Player of the Year, while Bartel was named the MVP of the National Tournament and the GPAC Defensive Player of the Year. Bartel led the Mustangs in scoring last season with an average of 15.2 points per game, and also ranked second on the team in assists and steals. She graduated as Morningside's fifth leading career scorer with 1,731 career points and is also 19th in career rebounding at Morningside.
Gass is the only three-time NAIA II first-team All-American and the first four-time first-team all-GPAC selection in Morningside history. She finished her career as the fourth leading career scorer and second leading rebounder in Morningside history, becoming only the second player in Morningside history to amass more than 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. She is also Morningside's all-time leader with 451 career steals.
A reception was held for the Bartel and Gass in the Buckingham M-Club Room during halftime of Tuesday evening's men's basketball game.