By Jackson Heiden
The three-ball got it done in a much-needed victory as the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team secured a tight 87-84 win against Alpena Community College.
The Raiders hit a season-high 13 three-pointers after a slew of poor performances and were led by redshirt-sophomore guard Andrew Moore with 19 points, followed by redshirt-freshman point guard Justus Clark who put up 18 points along with five rebounds. The Raiders had a huge lift off the bench as freshman guard Javonte Jones secured a double-double with 14 points along with 11 rebounds. Freshman Rico Wade, Myron Brewer, and redshirt-freshman Brockton Kohler would each have a solid nine points to help snap the Raiders’ three-game losing streak.
The Raiders came out exchanging shots with the Lumberjacks. Halfway through the first half, the Raiders took a timeout and the offensive flurries started to rain down as they proceeded to go on an 11-0 run, making it 26-19 before the Lumberjacks would go to the line for two free throws.
“I thought we were a little bit slow to get things started,” said GRCC head coach Joe Fox. “There were things we could’ve done better as we were kinda going through the motions.”
After a close first-half battle, the Raiders caught fire again as they scored a huge 51 points in the second half to outpace the Lumberjacks.
“We were really, really attacking the ball,” Fox said. “Players attacking the hoop, playing really fast pace. A bunch of stuff we want to do.”
While only scoring four points and missing the first six games due to an injury, redshirt-freshman guard Nyuon Nhial would have himself a confidence booster of a game as he was the leader of the second-half run.
“He played really, really well,” Fox said. “He was super active, blocked a couple of shots, grabbed some rebounds, and helped get us out in transition.”
The Raiders will go into the season break finishing up out-of-conference play with a 5-6 record.
To start the new year and second half of the season, the Raiders will return to their conference play grind as they will be playing three games in six days. The Raiders will be back home for their first game of the new year when they take on Mid-Michigan Community College at the Gordon Hunsberger Arena on Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
“They’re a really solid team,” Fox said. “Their roster will say a lot of freshmen but it’s a lot of experienced guys. Four of their starting five returned from last year. They have a lot of good shooters and a really nice point guard as well.”