By Jackson Heiden
The Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team came alive in the second half, overcoming a 16-point deficit but came up short, falling 81-77 to a vibrant Delta College team. The Raiders are now 1-2 overall.
Freshman guard Javonte Jones played a big role coming off the bench, leading the team with 21 points along with six assists. Redshirt-freshman Justus Clark also had a nice evening, recording his second double-double of the season with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard/forward Andrew Moore also contributed heavily as he scored 18.
The largest lead of the first half was held by the Pioneers (six points) as both teams could only muster a few bursts of points as they struggled to find their rhythm. Jones’ ability to act as a spark plug for the Raiders inclined spectators to believe he was destined to have a big game off the bench as he finished with 10 points as the first half buzzer rang.
“I was just trying to bring the energy,” Jones said. “I had a bad game the other night, and my coach texted me saying, ‘I believe in you, I need you to come out and do what you normally do.’ That’s exactly what I did.”
Five minutes into the second half, the Raiders looked like they were letting things get out of hand as they went down 63-47 until a 30-second timeout was called. Following the timeout, the Raiders went on a 17-4 run to bring the score back to within two.
“We shook up the defense a little bit,” said head coach Joe Fox. “I told the guys in the locker room, it wasn’t running a new defense much as we just woke up and turned it on.”
The 16-point comeback was primarily led by Clark, Moore, and Jones.
“This league is way too good to show up thinking you’re going to win without a fight,” Fox said. “You have to be ready to battle every night and I thought we were late, but it took us getting down to get there and we just can’t do that. Too big of a hole to climb out of.”
“We want to win these types of games,” Clark said.“Little things down the stretch that we messed up. I missed two layups down the stretch, even two free throws whereas if I would’ve made those we would’ve won. I could put this all on myself but there are other things throughout the game, maybe like a missed defensive assignment or something like that.”
The 1-2 Raiders will look to bounce back from the loss as they head to Lansing to take on Great Lakes Christian College JV on Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Doty Center.