By Aaron Stoner
The Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team faced the Grace Christian Tigers on Friday night in a highly competitive contest that saw the Raiders secure their seventh win of the season.
In the first half, the Tigers took an early 6-0 lead with back to back three pointers from deep behind the line.
An impressive take from freshman Cam Spicer followed by a Grace turnover and easy put back from center Diego Robinson would see the Raiders keep it close. But consecutive threes from Grace forward Jason Long in under a minute would put the Tigers ahead 12-6.
The rest of the first half was an exciting back and forth, with both teams trading baskets like it was a white elephant Christmas party.
Freshman guard David Hearns scored an impressive driving layup, and forward Ike Kanu threw down a monster slam to bring the many Raider fans to their feet.
The half would end with the Raiders forcing back-to-back turnovers, keeping their defensive pressure high, getting easy scores from Spicer and a lovely, high arcing three from guard Sammie Ryans.
The Raiders would hold a tight, 43-38 lead at halftime.
When the buzzer sounded signaling the start of the second half, the Raiders would inbound to Hearns who would push the ball up the floor and find sophomore guard William Otole for a quick three.
A Ryans jumper at the top of the key, and a mean put back from Robinson would give the Raiders their biggest lead of the night, 55-43.
The Tigers starting point guard Thomas Hill’s determined play on offense kept his team close during the majority of the second half with some clutch shooting that helped narrow his team’s deficit to seven.
Hill would finish the night as the Tigers’ leading scorer, with 17.
But it was the starting point guard for the Raiders who refused to be out done.
Whether it was finding an open teammate for an easy shot or sizing up his defender and driving to the basket for a strong finish and foul, Hearns owned the night and finished with 16 points on 5-9 shooting. He totaled 33 minutes played and helped lead his team to an impressive 85-73 win.
Kanu added a double-double scoring 13 and pulling down 11 rebounds.
Robinson totaled nine points and eight rebounds, with sophomore Ryans adding 18.
The Raiders are off for their holiday break until Jan. 3 when they travel to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan to take on the Lakers of Mid Michigan at 7:30 pm.