By Kaia Zimmerman
The Grand Rapids Women’s Basketball Team lost on Friday, April 23 against Pima College, 78-64, in the consolation bracket in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II to end their historic season.
The Raiders had one of the best seasons in GRCC women’s basketball history, qualifying for the national tournament for the first time in program history and winning the regional tournament. In addition, head coach David Glazier was named NJCAA Great Lakes District C Coach of the Year, and sophomore Shonyah Hawkins received MCCAA player of the year honors.
“I can’t express how grateful I am to all 11 of these young women who gave everything they possibly had to make this season possible,” Glazier said. “Whether they played a ton of minutes or they were just really great in practice, each one of them owns an equal share of what this is.”
The Raiders were led by Hawkins who had 14 points and three rebounds. GRCC also received contributions from sophomore Eurasia Green-Boyd who had 10 points and six rebounds, sophomore Danielle Lamancusa who had nine points and seven rebounds, and sophomore Jayla Bibbs who continued her rebounding success with 17 rebounds along with six points.
The first quarter started out slow because of great defense by both teams. Four minutes into the quarter only four total points were scored with the Raiders leading 3-1. Lamancusa had a nice start, scoring the first five out of six GRCC points. GRCC started to heat up at the end of the quarter as Hawkins would drop seven in the quarter along with five from Lamancusa. The Aztecs battled alongside the Raiders to keep them close at the end of the first quarter, 18-15 with Raiders leading
The Aztecs took the early lead in the second quarter, but the Raiders fought right back when they went on a 11-0 run to put them up by 11, 29-18. The Raiders were led by Green-Boyd who had five in the quarter along with sophomore Olivia Koetje who had four. The Aztecs went on a run near the end of the quarter catching up to the Raiders lead. Pima would hit a last second buzzer beater to take the lead from the Raiders going into the half, 31-30.
In the third quarter, the Aztecs came out strong going on a 7-0 run to go up by seven. The Aztecs momentum continued when Hawkins was called for a questionable technical foul that put her at three fouls and gave the Aztecs four tries at the charity stripe. The Raiders would try to get back in the contest, and at one point in the quarter made it a two-possession game, but the Aztecs extended their lead to 12, 60-48, going into the fourth.
Pima continued to build momentum from the third quarter into the fourth when they went on a nice run to seal the victory. The Aztecs did not let the Raiders score any points until there were two minutes remaining in the game. One bright spot was freshman Jasmyn Koon who came off the bench in the final minutes to hit some great shots and had eight points in the quarter. The Raiders fought to the end, but could not recover, falling to the Aztecs, 78-64.
Even with the tournament losses, this Raiders squad will go down as one of the most successful teams in Raiders basketball history.
“Being a leader of this team and also playing through a pandemic has really made me cherish the little moments that I have had,” Lamancusa said. “There were so many teams who had to cancel seasons because of (COVID-19). I tried to come in every practice and game and play like it’s my last.”