By Kevin Lopez
The Raiders are on another three-game win streak after smashing Alpena College 72-39 during a road game on Saturday, Feb 18. The Raiders have won five out of the last six games and put their record at 14-7 with their conference record at 8-3.
In the first, the Raiders jumped out to a quick lead and never let it go as they had 20 unmatched points in the first nine minutes of the game. Their opponent, the Lumberjacks, couldn’t get anything going in the first quarter as their offense failed to generate a basket until there was less than a minute left in the quarter. The team shot a combined 15% from the field as the Raiders led going into the second quarter, 20-5.
Sally Merrill, a sophomore forward, led the team in scoring with 19 points, while also splashing two 3-pointers in the game.
“It felt good for me to hit my shots early and be effective,” Merrill said. “I also got some great passes from teammates too, so it helped.”
The second quarter was a struggle for both teams as they shot poorly from the field, but the stark difference for the teams is that the Lumberjacks scored 11 points in the quarter including three 3-pointers, while the Raiders were only able to hit one 3-pointer. They took advantage of their ability to draw fouls from drives and nailed six out of seven free throws which allowed them to score 15 points in the quarter and for them to continue to be up 19 points heading into halftime, 35-16.
Moving into the third, the Raiders came back out focused and were able to continue their efficient offensive ways, shooting 58% from the field, while still shutting down the Lumberjacks on defense as they shot 35%.
Still, the Raider did struggle on grabbing defensive rebounds in the game as Alpena would grab several offensive rebounds that gave them extra shots, which they took advantage of to score 15 points, the most points in a quarter for the game. They still trailed going into the fourth 55-31.
The fourth quarter was all about fun and maintaining the lead as the Raiders continued to shoot effectively from the field and scored 17 points.
Alyssa Katerburg, a sophomore forward, is leading the team in 3-point percentage, splashed a 3-pointer in the quarter.
“It’s a great feeling being on the floor when we are all hitting shots and having fun together.” Katerburg said.
The Lumberjack’s dug their own grave as they shot a freezing 17% from the field and only had four points. A basket from sophomore forward Grace Lodes with less than a minute in the game was the final blow to end the game, 72-39.
Marlene Bussler, a sophomore guard, had 17 points in the game while also knocking down three 3-pointers.
This is the fifth game in the last seven where the Raiders scored more than 70 points. GRCC’s head coach Dave Glazier was happy with the production.
“We’ve worked hard at improving our offensive output and I’d like to think the results tell the story,” Glazier said. “I’ve been most impressed with the work and buy-in by our kids to push tempo and try to assert more pressure on the defense.”
The Raiders look to continue their winning streak as they look to take on Delta College at the Ford Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m.