The Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team dropped a nail-biter Wednesday night against the Jackson College Jets at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.
The Raiders jumped out to an early lead, opening the game on an 8-0 run thanks to back-to-back threes from sophomore Hallee Breimayer and freshman Rayven Mondy. It wasn’t until halfway through the first quarter that the Jets finally put points on the board.
The Jets managed to find a way to climb back into the thick of things and had a late first half surge that put them within two. Right before the half however, Mya Jordan hit a layup and the ensuing inbounds pass from the Jets was stolen by Breimayer and put in to give the Raiders four points in less than three seconds. The Raiders carried that 31-25 lead into halftime, but the second half was a different story.
The Jets opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run and took their first lead of the game. Head coach Dave Glazier gave props to the Jets for their stick-to-itiveness and ability to rip off points in a quick manner.
“(The Jets are) just a good team,” Glazier said. “Good teams make runs. We talked about it at halftime. Somebody is going to make a run, let’s let it be us, and unfortunately in that third quarter it was them.”
The Jets did indeed seize momentum from the Raiders outscoring them 19-9 in the third quarter and taking a 44-40 lead into the fourth quarter. Mondy echoed her coach’s sentiments saying there wasn’t much that could be done when a good team gets hot.
“They just made a run, it was simple as that,” Mondy said. “All good teams have runs.”
Mondy got the start again in place of the injured Mady Miller whom Glazier described as “day-to-day.” Mondy was the hot hand from beyond the arc shooting 5-for-10 from three-point range. Her 16 points was a team high for the Raiders. Glazier hasn’t been the least bit surprised with Mondy’s performance as of late and said she’s grasping what’s expected of her.
“It’s what we’ve expected it to be,” Glazier said. “For Rayven, it’s just been about finding her place within the offense and having a good understanding of what we’re trying to do. I think she’s doing that at a better rate now. She’s defending pretty well which helps us keep her on the floor.”
Mondy talked about her confidence always being high, but the key to her stellar performance as of late have been the trust she feels from her teammates.
“My teammates have put more trust in me especially with Mady being out,” Mondy said. “I have to step up and play a bigger role so it’s not even a confidence thing. It’s my teammates coming around and helping me out. Coming my way, putting their trust in me to give me the ball to shoot it, and I have to execute it.”
Despite the second half woes from the Raiders, they managed to go on a modest 6-0 run to pull within two points. As the game wound down, the Raiders needed a defensive stop and got it with just 18 seconds left.
Trailing by one point, Glazier drew up a play for his team but it was stopped by the Jets when one of their players managed to get their hands on the ball and force a jump ball. The arrow pointed to the Raiders, so Glazier and his team got one more chance. Just before the clock hit zeros, Aaliyah Sargent threw up a shot from deep that missed just left giving the Jets a 54-53 win and the Raiders their second consecutive loss.
Glazier talked about the play he had drawn up for the potential game-winning shot and said it’s a play that the team has a lot of confidence in despite coming up short.
“We just have an inbound play that kind of clears things,” Glazier said. “It’s a little ISO (isolation) play. The pass was a little bit long, we didn’t really get it settled and then it kind of broke down. That happens. It’s a play that we’ve had a lot of success on this year, last year. Kids were confident, that’s what we wanted to run… We just didn’t get it done.”
Breimayer and Jordan were both in double figures for point totals with 10 and 12 respectively. Sophomore forward Emily Pendred had six points and added an astounding 22 rebounds in the losing effort.
The Raiders fall to 3-6 in the conference and 12-8 overall. There’s no time for the Raiders to dwell on the loss however as they’ll be back in action on Friday, Feb. 8 when they host the Muskegon Community College Jayhawks at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse at 5:30 p.m.