By Kaia Zimmerman
Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball won in a close game against Mid-Michigan College on Friday, Feb. 26, 56-50 extending their record to 2-1.
One noticeable change was the starting five for The Raiders with usual starters Shonyah Hawkins and Abigale Rouwhorst out of the starting lineup and Eurasia Green-Boyd and Erin Kruitoff getting their first starts of the season.
“For the first four years as head coach it’s usually the same starting lineup,” said women’s basketball head coach David Glazier. “This group understands that in certain games, it’s going to be a matchup thing, and it’s going to be how we look up against a certain group, so we made a little change to see what would cook from it.”
Sophomore Jayla Bibbs was a deciding factor in the win by her aggression on the court and defensive performance. She came up with four, timely steals to put the Raiders ahead.
“My defense is what turns me on, so for me to get it going and then to have my teammates along with me playing defense that’s what helped,” Bibbs said.
Top scoring performances by Olivia Koetje (10), Trayana Starr-Thurman (13), and Shonyah Hawkins (15) also helped the team secure their second win.
The referees for the game had both benches angry. There were a total of 43 personal fouls as well as a technical foul on Head Coach David Glazier for arguing with the referee. Sophomore Eurasia Gree-Boyd fouled out in the fourth quarter. There was obvious frustration on the court from the Raiders as the referees were calling everything.
Impressive defense by the Raiders and Lakers caused a low scoring first quarter. The defense for the Raiders played well and aggressively, but personal fouls and turnovers by the Raiders gave them a slow start on the offensive end giving the Lakers an early lead, 14-9.
The Raiders started to get more energy in the second quarter and were more aggressive than the first quarter causing them to take the lead early. Raiders defense showed up causing another low-scoring quarter. The Raiders forced two shot-clock violations for the Lakers. The Raiders had a comfortable lead, but two big threes by the Lakers at the end of the quarter made it a tight game at the half, 24-22.
Bibbs gave the Raiders a spark in the third quarter. Bibbs had three steals early in the third quarter, two coming off back-to-back drives. Her intensity was also matched by her teammates as they were coming up big on the defensive end to keep the game low scoring. The third quarter was a back and forth battle that ended in a tie score, 37-37.
In the fourth quarter, both teams were going back and forth making shots to keep it tight the whole way through. The Raiders started to gain a lead but missed two big shots to keep the Lakers within striking distance. The lead for the Raiders was by 3 with two minutes left in the game. The game was a one-possession game until freshman Trayana Starr-Thurman hit a big three to give them a two-possession lead with less than a minute on the clock. The defense held the Lakers at the end to secure the win for the Raiders.
This win gave the team more trust in each other and also gave them more momentum for the season ahead.
“This gives us a lot of momentum,” said sophomore Olivia Koetje. “It gives us some hope. I know we are going to be better for the rest of the season and I am excited for the rest of the season.”
The team hopes to continue their win streak next week as they travel to Flint Michigan on Wednesday, March 3 to face Mott Community College. You can watch the game starting at 5:30 p.m. on Mott Community College’s Youtube Channel.
Editors note: This post was edited on Feb. 27 at 6:28 p.m. to adjust day of team’s game against Mott Community College.