By Kaia Zimmerman
Grand Rapids Community College continued their four-game win streak with a statement win against Glen Oaks Community College on Friday March 5, 63-31.
The defense has been one of the biggest contributors to their success and it shows on the box score. In the first four games, they averaged 14.3 steals per game along with 3.5 blocks per game. The team continued their dominance on the defensive end only giving up 31 points overall and the Vikings had a 14.5% shooting percentage for the game. In the first half, they held the Vikings to just nine points and dominated both ends of the floor.
“(We) were understanding the strengths of the offensive skill set for their lineup and forcing them to do things they aren’t as comfortable doing,” Head Coach David Glazier said. “Every player that went into the game last night bought into our defensive game plan.”
The Raiders really showed the depth of their team against the Vikings as everyone on their roster played and everyone scored at least two points on the team.
Coming into the game sophomore Shonyah Hawkins was averaging 18.5 points per game, and she continued the success against the Vikings dropping 16 points along with four steals, three assists and seven rebounds.
Sophomore Jayla Bibbs also made an impact in the game with her defensive performance. Bibbs came into the game averaging 11 rebounds per game and got 13 rebounds against the Vikings along with a block and six points.
The team came out strong in the first quarter going on a 12-0 run to get the game started. They were forcing bad shots on the defensive end which turned into quick scores on the offensive end. Sophomore Danielle Lamancusa started the game out strong with four points in the first few minutes. On the offensive end, they were taking good shots and running the plays well to create good opportunities to score. The Raiders would cause the Vikings to shoot 8.3% from the field going 1 for 12. They would dominate the first quarter going up 18-4.
The team continued the success on both ends of the court in the second quarter. The Vikings had no answer to the Raiders success, and could not get up any good shots to make a difference in the game. The Raiders maintained and extended their lead they created in the first quarter, as everyone was getting involved to help the team. The Raiders would go into halftime up 34-9.
The third quarter would end up having the same result as the first two quarters played. The defense came out strong which then turned into great shots on the offensive end. The Raiders have dominated in the third quarter this season. Through the first five games they outscored teams 99-57 in the quarter. Against the Vikings they outscored them 16-4 in the third quarter to extend their lead even further going up 50-13.
During the fourth quarter, the Raiders were getting everyone involved and were working well as a team to close out the game. The Vikings would end up scoring more than they did in the three quarters before, but the Raiders continued their success on both ends of the court to secure the win, 63-31.
This game is now their fourth win in a row and Glazier attributes the success to the team working more together and communicating.
“We talk a lot more and communicate better, and part of that is playing more together,” said Glazier. “We didn’t get a summer to figure that all out, and so the team is continuing to figure out how to play as a team.”
GRCC’s dominant performance against the Vikings, combined with the three wins they strung together before Friday night’s contest, has brought the team together.
“This win is just helping us gain trust in each other and helping us play as one,” Hawkins said.
The Raiders will look to continue their momentum when they will play Delta College at the Ford Fieldhouse on Tuesday, March 10 starting at 5:30 p.m. You can catch the game on GRCC’s Youtube Channel.
“They are going to be a challenge (because) they press a little more,” Glazier said. “They are going to pressure us a little different than other teams so far. We have to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and just buy into a game plan and go out and execute it.”