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Raiders finish regular season on a high note

Grace Lodes attempts the open layup (Kristen Schestag)

By Shane Madden  

The Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball team poured in the threes on their way to a 60-53 victory over Glen Oaks Community College.  

Freshman guard Sally Merrill shot four of eight, a season-high, from behind the line on her way to 23 points. Freshman guard Marlene Bussler hit two more, finishing with 12 points and five assists.  

“I think it was a mix of shooting with confidence, and to be honest, Glen Oaks played a majority of the game in a 2-3 zone and to our kids credit they moved the basketball and found open shooters in open spaces,” said GRCC head coach David Glazier. “Not surprised, it’s something we know they have in them and it’s good to see some shots go down and that’ll help their confidence moving forward.”

In the absence of forward Grace Lodes, who sat out for the second game in a row, the Raiders had to hustle to fill the hole in the paint. Freshman forward Allison Kellogg pulled in a game-high 12 rebounds to go with her 10 points, the sole double-double of the contest. Freshman guard Emersyn Koepke grabbed nine, while freshman forward Alyssa Katerburg had seven. 

Glazier addressed questions as to her health and availability with the postseason looming.   

“She’s good, she was cleared to go last night (Friday),” Glazier said. “But given we already had the third seed locked up, and we want to win every game, but it wasn’t a must win game. So, winning the game versus her reinjuring herself, the return on investment wasn’t worth it. It was also really good for the rest of the crew to get out there and figure some things out in the event she can’t go.”

The first half started slow, then it nearly stopped. After trading buckets during the first quarter, neither team could find the net in the second, and both teams headed to the locker room ice-cold with the Vikings leading the Raiders 19-18.  

The Raiders have proven again and again that they are a second half team, and this game was no different. They poured in 25 points in the third, taking the seven-point lead they carried through the final buzzer.  

The season finale win brings the Raiders to 18-10 on the season, but their 14-4 conference record has them seated near the top. They are locked into the #3 seed of the Great Lakes District A tournament and set to host the #6 seed (to be determined) on Tuesday, March 1, at 6:30 p.m.  

“We know we’re going to play one of three teams. We’re gonna give them (the players) a few days off, I don’t think they’ve had a day off from the gym in the last 45-60 days,” Glazier said. “It’s been a lot of go, go, go. By Monday we hope to know who we are playing, and if not, we will prepare for a couple different options and go from there.”

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