By Aaron Stoner
The Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team battled the Ancilla College Chargers Saturday afternoon at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse in a hard fought, high scoring contest, earning a 84-75 victory and ending a two-game skid.
“I really like how balanced we were,” head coach Dave Glazier said following the Raiders’ win. “We talked about how important this one was with wanting to hold down the fifth (playoff) spot, and I like how everybody stepped up.”
The first half featured sophomore point guard Hallee Breimayer leading the way for the Raiders dropping numerous three pointers for her squad and netting 11 first half points.
Breimayer would get help from fellow teammate, sophomore forward Mya Jordan whose tenacious play on both ends of the court was the spark the team needed to continue its early dominance and help fuel the team to an early 26-15 lead after one quarter.
The second quarter saw the Raiders buckle down and play some seriously ferocious, committed defense forcing the Chargers into some incredibly challenging looks, causing them to shoot an ice cold 31 percent from the floor.
With Mady Miller back in the fold after almost a month out nursing a knee injury, her back-to-back threes late in the second put the Raiders ahead 44-33 at halftime.
“It was really nice to have Mady Miller back,” Glazier said. “Just getting her back in the mix and trying to figure out time for her, but yeah, this was definitely a team win.”
In the third quarter, strong play down low from sophomore Emily Pendred created headaches for the Chargers as they struggled to deal with Pendred’s presence in the paint.
“After our last game against (Lake) Michigan, my focus tonight was really on rebounding and helping my team out in that way,” Pendred said. “So yeah, I think I definitely did my part.“
Pendred finished the night with 12 points and 14 rebounds, earning a double-double.
With continued strong, unselfish play, the Raiders furthered their lead and kept the Chargers on their heels.
A gorgeous no-look feed from guard Aaliyah Sargent to center Kendall Griffioen who finished it off with an easy lay in, a beautiful elbow jumper from Jordan, as well as a deep corner three from Breimayer stretched the Raiders’ lead to as much as 18.
In the fourth, Ancilla did their best to claw back with some timely buckets, but with under two minutes to play, it was the big time, clutch free throws from Miller and Sargent that kept the Raiders ahead and helped seal the victory.
Glazier talked about the impact the victory had as the Raiders get ready to finish up their season and prepare for the playoffs.
“Bottom line, it was a team win,” Glazier said. “Credit to these kids, because we talked about being ready and playing four quarters, and they did, they really, really did.” We’ll get back in the gym on Monday and get ready for the next one, but (right now), it’s that one game at a time mentality, and still treat each remaining game like a playoff game.”
Breimayer finished the night as the Raiders’ leading scorer with 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting as well as dishing out six assists, with Jordan adding 16 points, three steals and six blocks.
The Raiders travel to Battle Creek, Michigan to play the Kellogg Community College Bruins on Monday, Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m., and then are back home to close out the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 27 to take on the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Cougars at 5:30 p.m. in the Ford Fieldhouse.