Home Featured News GRCC outmatched by a talented Mid Michigan squad, 83-65

GRCC outmatched by a talented Mid Michigan squad, 83-65

Sophmore #33 Isaac Warning goes for a layup vs. Mid Michigan College (Alena Visnovsky/The Collegiate).

After a pivotal conference win on Saturday, the Grand Rapids Community College men’s basketball team hosted the second ranked team in the conference, Mid Michigan College, on Wednesday, Feb8. In a game of runs, the Lakers outmatched the Raiders with their size and aggressiveness winning the game 83-65.

“Mid Michigan is definitely a talented team,” GRCC head coach Joe Fox said. “They have a few older players that are taller and very physical.”

Right from the jump, the energy on both teams was evident on either side of the ball. Freshman forward Seth Schuitema started only his fifth game of the season after his 26-point performance on Saturday. The Raiders flew around the court getting a few turnovers, but the score stayed at 6-5. 

From this point on, the Lakers went on a 12-0 run within three minutes to put the score at 18-5 and force GRCC to use a timeout. Mid Michigan’s length and aggressive defense forced a few Raider turnovers while making them uncomfortable on offense. Sophomore’s Brockton Kohler and Isaac Warning gave a spark for the Raiders during the Laker run, but GRCC seemed distant throughout.

Fox believed a few things hurt the team instead of one glaring issue. 

“The little things hurt us especially early in the game,” Fox said. “We made multiple good runs, then gave up a second chance shot. You have to compete a full 40 minutes to win tough games.”

The Lakers pushed the lead all the way to 23 points with around 10 minutes remaining in the first half, but GRCC started to get a stretch of defensive stops to condense the Laker lead. An 11-0 run cut the deficit to 12 points for the Raiders, but the Lakers answered back with a 9-0 run of their own. The first half was a game of runs, as the Raiders ended the half on an 11-0 run to put the lead at 44-34 in favor of the Lakers. 

“We were the more physical team in the second half of the first half and were able to put a good run together,” Fox said.

The second half started with  both the Raiders and Lakers struggling to finish shots in the paint. Warning remained a presence in the paint for the Raiders, but they could not take advantage on the offensive end. After the first four minutes, both teams resumed the physical and fast-paced play. The Raiders brought the deficit within eight points, but the Lakers did an excellent job of keeping a slight lead throughout the rest of the game. Mid Michigan held an 11 point lead with 12 minutes left and only increased the lead from this point. The Lakers finished the game on a 26-17 run to win by 18 points. 

Although the Raiders were not able to win the game, multiple players had performances that kept GRCC within striking distance. Kohler led the team in scoring and rebounding  with 13 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Danyel Bibbs displayed relentless effort throughout the game, scoring 12 points, grabbing three rebounds, and passing for three assists. Freshman guard Bashir Neely gave a spark off the bench as he scored 12 points while shooting 2-3 from three. Lastly, Warning had an impressive performance as he consistently made plays on the offensive end while getting a few defensive stops as well. He finished with nine points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks. 

When asked about what the team can take from this game moving forward, Warning said he believed the team’s grit is a stepping stone for success. 

“I think the way we played when we battled back is the way we have to play the whole game along with finishing plays on both ends of the floor, on loose balls, and on layups,” Warning said. 

With the loss, the Raiders moved to 15-6 on the season and 4-4 in conference play. The big games continue, as GRCC travels to Escabana to take on the best team in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Bay College on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 3 p.m. 

Fox is trying to establish some urgency in the final games of the season to prepare the team for a playoff run. 

“It is go-time now,” Fox said. “We have seven games remaining to set us up for a playoff run.” 

The team believes they are close to a successful postseason while having the need for slight adjustments. 

“I feel like we just need to be more aggressive on the boards and execute to finish out these games,” sophomore Chris Coleman said.

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