By Sean Chase
After having their win-streak snapped on Saturday, the Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team unleashed a merciless onslaught against the Lumberjacks of Alpena Community College on Tuesday, March 23, winning 79-30. Their record is now 8-2.
“We took a tough loss on Saturday that all of us were hurting from,” said Shonyah Hawkins, a sophomore guard for the GRCC women’s basketball team. “So we needed a (win) for our confidence and to show the conference we can play.”
The Raiders opened the first quarter on a mission, as they jumped out to a 12-6 lead, after sophomore Jayla Bibbs dumped the ball off to sophomore Danielle Lamancusa for the layup. Alpena freshman Jade Schultz hit a 3-point shot, to cut the lead to 3. However, this was the closest the Lumberjacks would get in the contest, as GRCC ratcheted up their defensive effort, resulting in fast break points. The Raiders would end the first quarter up by 14-points, 21-9.
Hawkins got the scoring started in the second quarter for the Raiders, as they continued to grow their lead over the Lumberjacks, who were held scoreless for a 10-minute stretch. Unlike the first quarter, points were hard to come by in the quarter as both teams locked in on defense. When the buzzer sounded for halftime GRCC’s focus on making the extra pass, sent them into the locker room up big, 32-14.
“Anytime you’re playing against a 2-3 zone, you want to move the ball and move bodies, because if you stand around you’re gonna (have) no offense,” Hawkins said, to The Collegiate, when asked about the team’s display of passing. “So we just wanted to go into the game and move the ball. When we moved the ball and attacked the gaps, we saw results.”
Once the third quarter began, the Raiders continued to dominate the contest allowing the bench to get involved. Sophomore Abigale Rouwhorst, freshman Trayana Starr-Thurman and freshman Erin Kruithoff stepped in and GRCC never lost a step as they increased their 20-point lead to 41-points, at the start of the fourth quarter.
“I think this was a full-team effort,” said David Glazier, head coach for the GRCC women’s basketball team. “The kids understood they were probably going to get opportunities and it was what do they make of them. Abigale did a lot of nice things, seven rebounds (and) four points, Starr-Thurman had eight rebounds from a guard sport. I like the way our reserve kids, from top to bottom, took advantage of this opportunity.”
Even with a large lead, GRCC never let their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter. When the buzzer sounded signifying the end of the game, the Raider lead was 49-points, as they won 79-30.
“We’ve been talking the past couple of days about what we can do tonight that’s going to help us get better as we play these next games,” Glazier said. “Tonight was just kind of a stepping stone.”
The Raiders had five players score double digits on the night, with Hawkins (nine steals, seven assists and five rebounds) and sophomore Olivia Koetje (eight assists and two rebounds) tying for the lead with 14 points. GRCC also received contributions from Lamancusa (12 points, five rebounds and one steal), Bibbs (11 points, 14 rebounds and two steals), Kruithoff (10 points, three rebounds, one block and one steal), freshman Kyleigh Rau (four points, three rebounds, one block and one steal), Starr-Thurman (seven points, nine rebounds and two assists) and Rouwhorst (four points, eight rebounds and one steal).
Alpena was led by sophomore Mollie Girard, who scored 12 points, as well as grabbing three rebounds and two steals. The Lumberjacks also received contributions from Schultz (nine points and six rebounds), freshman Christina Dumont (four points, four rebounds and four blocks) and sophomore Keagan Fischer (three points, three rebounds and two assists).
Next the Raiders will head to Mount Pleasant, to play the Lakers of Mid-Michigan Community College on Friday, March 26, at 5:30 p.m.
“My thoughts are to go in there and dominate,” Hawkins said. “We beat them once at home. It was a close tough game and we came out on top. So we just gotta show them again that we can dominate.”
Editors Note: This post was updated with additional statistics on Saturday, March 27 at 12:38 p.m.