By Ariel Christy
The Raiders have struggled with winning since their return from semester break however they seem to be getting it right once again. The Raiders have steadily improved their record at home after coming off a win against Lake Michigan College before the Kellogg Community College game Monday night. At the Fieldhouse with a large crowd of fans the Raiders defeated Kellogg 92 to 84 and improved their record to 9 – 9 overall.
Although Kellogg had impressive outside shooting throughout the game and tough defense, the Raiders had an answer for everything.
Sophomore forward Jason Pratt responded to Kellog’s perimeter shots. Pratt who has been plagued by injury and illness most of the season had battled back against Kellogg. Finally felling well, he answered Kellogg’s outside shooting by scoring 9-for-16 from the field including 4 3-pointers.
Pratt picked a good night to shine considering several basketball coaching staffs were in attendance Monday night including NCAA Division I Eastern Michigan and Division II schools Grand Valley and Ferris State.
GRCC Head Coach Kelley McEwen felt the Kellogg game would be a good one for Pratt. Despite his illness and injury McEwen knows how tough Pratt can be especially with Pratt’s impressive record setting high school football background.
“I think he absolutely can play D-I or D-II,” McEwen said in an interview with Brian VanOchten of Mlive. “They like his football attributes. They know he’s a tough kid. They know he’s a good athlete. He averaged 28 points per game in high school as a point guard. He’s finally healthy, and he’s just learning how to play at the collegiate level.”
Besides Pratt several other GRCC players had key contributions to the win. Forward/Center Jake Visser out of West Catholic High School put in work in the paint and scored 20 points. Kalamazoo native Quinntrai Lampkins scored 14 points. Guard Alex Lyle from Wayland High School scored 11 points. Point Guard Gabe Rivera kept the Raiders focused and in command combined with his own 13 points and eight assists.
Impressive Kellogg Guard Ronald Bracey out of Cincinnati, Ohio, led the Bruins with 27 points and 11 rebounds. The Bruins now have a 10 – 12 record overall.
Now that the Raiders have a few more wins under them and an improved record they go on the road to face Glen Oaks Community College on February 9 then rival Muskegon Community College on the 11th.