By Jackson Heiden
Redshirt-freshman guard Brockton Kohler scored a season-high 25 points in the first of two games as the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team played in a weekend tournament hosted by St. Clair Community College.
But Kohler’s impressive performance was not enough to help the Raiders avoid back-to-back losses.
The Raiders lost the first game to St. Clair Clippers 92-51 and followed up that with a frustrating game against the No. 1 ranked Mott Community College Bears, losing 89-59.
“We got real banged up,” said GRCC head coach Joe Fox. “They kept the pressure on the whole time. The guys played hard and they just couldn’t get the shots to fall. It was kind of a snowball effect.”
Kohler, who recently dropped 24-points in the Raiders’ previous game against Delta College (11/29), came out strong on the offensive posting 25 points, two rebounds, and two steals against St. Clair.
“He played great,” Fox said. “He was really aggressive, looking for his shot, along with playing really physical defense. He really answered the bell.”
Outside of Kohler’s offensive outbreak, the rest of the Raiders’ starting five struggled to shoot a rough three of 19 from the field with a combined eight points. However, freshman guard Jovante Jones came off the bench and was the only other Raider to score in double-digits with 14 points.
Forward Nyuon Nhial played some important minutes with the exit of freshman forward Matthew Richards. Nhial grabbed six rebounds and four points while playing important defense.
The Raiders did their best to forget the first loss as they geared up to take on the No. 1team in the country, the Mott Community College Bears, in the second game.
The Raiders showed promising defense but it wasn’t enough to prevent a disappointing, 89-59 loss to the Bears.
“I thought the first half of the first half had a lot of good energy,” Fox said. “We got stops, which let us break out and get some easy ones in transition. It was a heavyweight fight and we threw a couple of good punches.”
The Raiders were led in scoring by redshirt-sophomore Andrew Moore, who scored 22 points along with three rebounds in the loss to the Bears. Kohler continued to be a problem on the court and was more dangerous on the defensive side of things in the second game, grabbing six rebounds along with scoring 11 points with five assists. Richards had a nice return to the floor as he would have 11 rebounds along with four points.
Jones filled in for the injured redshirt-freshman and starting point guard, Justus Clark, and had himself a nice afternoon even though his numbers weren’t there.
“He was really moving the ball around,” Fox said. “He was able to beat his guy off the bounce. He did a nice job getting things started and then we were able to shift the defense a little bit and that allowed us to get some stops and push out in transition.”
The Raiders will look to get one more shot to play upset against the No. 1 team in the country as they travel to Ballenger Field House to have a rematch against Mott Community College Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.
“We’ll have tomorrow (Sunday) off to heal up,” Fox said. “Then we’ll get back to film, adjust a little bit from what we saw from today and get ready to come out with the same energy.”