The Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team pulled out a thrilling overtime victory against Glen Oaks Community College on Jan 20.— the final score being 113-110.
The Raiders started the game on an 11-3 run against the Vikings which forced an early timeout. Once the whistle blew to continue regulation the Vikings seemed unstoppable. The Raiders couldn’t shut down the limitless three’s by the Vikings which forced them to focus their pressure behind the arc rather than in the paint. This allowed forward JoMel Boyd of the Vikings to take advantage of the pick and roll game. The Raiders made constant rotations to stop the big man but were unable to deter him from dropping a huge double-double (41 points and 13 rebounds).
The Vikings maintained their lead up to the final minutes of regular-time due to the Raiders being unable to get consecutive stops on defense. The game seemed almost sealed for the Vikings until freshman guard Darien Banks (38 mins.) lead the Raiders to a comeback with a career-high in both points (31) and three-pointers made (6).
Banks explained what helps him keep his composure when releasing big shots such as his clutch three-pointer and free-throw in the final moments to bring the game to overtime.
“Keeping the mindset that I have in practice,” Banks said. “…Staying prepared and coming together as a team — we knew what we had to do to win and we executed.”
The Raiders were lacking in communication during the game — the hardwood being silent for the most part. There was visible frustration for not being able to get through screens, allowing 14 three’s to fall, and forcing 16 turnovers that withheld them from eating at the deficit. With lots of jawing between the Raiders and Vikings, the team lacked focus which was visibly upsetting for GRCC Head Coach Jeff Bauer.
During the final moments of overtime, the Raiders received two technical fouls. One for sophomore forward Johnny Davis hanging on the rim after a huge slam and another immediately afterward for the bench players coming onto the court during the celebration.
“Sit down— we’ve gotten in trouble (technicals) for the last three games from you guys not growing up. You have to at some point, so do it,” exclaimed Bauer to his bench.
In one of their best shooting nights this season (44.4% from three and 56.8% overall), the Raiders also saw a gritty performance from sophomore forward Johnny Davis. Davis (31 mins.) contributed 23 points and 8 rebounds for the Raiders win, and spoke on what it took for the team to finish the 45-minute game.
“We knew we had a good advantage coming home being 7-1, 8-1 now,” Davis explained. “We just really wanted it and we knew we had to get this dub.”
The Raiders have improved their record to 10-8 overall and are facing two away games this week against Lansing Community College (Jan. 22) and Muskegon Community College (Jan. 25). The next home game for the Raiders will be on Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m in the Ford Fieldhouse. This game will follow the women’s team match that begins at 5:30 p.m.
Admission to watch both games is $3 for the general public and free for any individual with a GRCC student I.D.