Home Featured News Clutch shooting isn’t enough as the Raiders drop triple-overtime marathon against Jackson

Clutch shooting isn’t enough as the Raiders drop triple-overtime marathon against Jackson

(Photo Courtesy of GRCC Athletics)

By Jackson Heiden

Strong overtime defense only got the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team so far Thursday night, as they dropped a heartbreaker in the final minute of the third overtime, losing 124-119 to Jackson College. 

Despite a second-half defensive collapse, the Raiders picked up right where they left off, shooting 40% from the three-point line and 50% overall from the field during the first half. 

“We played so fast during the first 10 minutes of the game,” said GRCC’s head coach Joe Fox. “We were pushing the ball, we were pressuring on defense, and it was really great.”

Although the Raiders’ were a bit undersized due to redshirt-freshman guard Nyuon Nhial and freshman forward Alex Ehnis being out (the coach declined to mention why), the Raiders’ first-half dominance was led by scoring 13 points off of turnovers along with grabbing 10 points on fast-break opportunities. 

The Raiders came out of half looking to maintain their lead and continue to add to their first-half dominance by running the clock a little bit more and running through their sets. However, their three-point shooting dried up significantly, making only two of their nine attempts. 

With the ball back in their possession as the clock was winding down, the Raiders got a nice look at it with about six seconds left, and then-freshman guard Diego Ledesma, in his first game appearance, grabbed an offensive rebound with about two seconds left on the clock and got it up off the glass and it just rattled out. 

“It would’ve been a tough shot to get to go in,” Fox said. “But just to get that shot off was really good. So we almost ended regulation.”

The Raiders were down eight with a minute left in the first overtime causing them to start applying full-court pressure. This proved beneficial as they forced the Jets to turn the ball over five times in the final minute. The Raiders started to chip away at the eight-point deficit. With about 20-seconds left and being down by three, sophomore guard Ryel Daye had a nice step-back jump shot to send it to a second overtime. 

The second and third overtime was much of the same as the Raiders and Jets would trade buckets. Both teams would only score six points in the second overtime to push it to a third.

With a little under a minute to go, tied at 116, the Raiders would shoot a three that rattled out, pushing the Jets to go to the other end and knock down a three-pointer, to go up three. The Raiders tried to do the same but proved unsuccessful as the fatigue set in. The Jets knocked down a couple of free throws and sealed the win in the Raiders’ second conference game of the season dropping to 6-7 overall and 1-1 in conference play. 

The Raiders offense came alive as six players scored double digits including all of their starters. On the other side of the ball, the Raiders had a season-high 21 steals along with 42 rebounds. 

Redshirt-sophomore guard Andrew Moore led the scoring, knocking down  27 points,  stealing the ball four times, and grabbing six rebounds. Daye followed up Moore’s offensive outburst by recording a double-double scoring 24 points and grabbing a team-leading 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Myron Brewer would have himself a nice evening scoring 15 points while grabbing eight rebounds and two blocks. Redshirt-freshman guard Danyel Bibbs played facilitator as he would also record a double-double scoring 11 points along with a team-leading 11 assists. Redshirt-freshman Brockton Kohler had himself a quiet night but was still productive, scoring 11 points. 

“Ryel Daye in his second game having a double-double in both of them,”  Fox said. “As a 5’10” guard, and you rebound the ball like the way he does, having 21 rebounds in his first two games, and hitting those big shots with lots of energy is really, really fun.” 

Ledesma had quite the first game of the year scoring 16 points along with seven rebounds, four assists, and five steals. 

“He did a really nice job creating his own shot and was really looking strong defensively,” Fox said. “He took the first semester and worked himself into shape and so it was nice to see some of those dividends and his hard work pay off last night.”

The Raiders continue their season and look to get back in the win column as they come back home to take on Lansing Community College, Saturday, Jan. 15 at 3 p.m. at the Gordon Hunsberger Arena. 

“They have a really good roster,” Fox said. “They have a few guys who transferred in so it’s pretty much an entirely new roster for them compared to two years ago. They play similar to us, really fast-paced so it should be a fun one.”

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