By Pierson VanGorp
After a win against Olivet JV on Wednesday, the Grand Rapids Community College basketball team won a hard fought battle against Cornerstone’s JV team 102-94 on Friday, Nov. 4.
“They are a very talented team so I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort,” GRCC head coach Joe Fox said. “We have a lot to work on but we took steps in the right direction this week.”
As soon as the game started, it was evident it was going to be a high-paced offensive battle. The Raiders kept a slight lead throughout the first half and continued to stay in front due to their aggressive defense.
“Most of our offensive output was a direct result of our defense,” Fox said. “We had 25 steals and forced 32 turnovers mixed with incredible effort at the end of the game.”
The Raiders kept a slight lead of 48-43 at the half. After halftime, it felt like GRCC could not miss as they shot 48% from the field and 44% from the three. The Raiders turnover-creating defense allowed them to get multiple easy buckets in the second half and eventually held off the Eagles to win by eight points.
Sophomore Danyel Bibbs led all GRCC scorers with 27 points along with three assists and four steals. One player who did not play in their first game was freshman Bashir Neely, and he made his presence known on Friday. Neely scored 17 points along with a team high eight steals and two assists. Fellow freshman JaJauan Walker made a strong impact scoring 13 points on 6-7 shooting with two steals as well. Sophomore Rico Wade added 14 points and sophomore Chris Coleman had a team-high four assists.
Following Friday’s victory against the Eagles, the Raiders improved to 2-0 on the season and look to continue their winning streak on the road against Great Lakes Christian College on Tuesday, Nov. 8. The team’s strategy has been trusting the process and taking one game at a time.
“2-0 feels great, but I’m more impressed with the process than the results,” Fox said. “We’re staying focused on trying to improve every day.”