Ocelots stay strong till the end

Women’s basketball beats Macomb in OT 

By Lauren Engelhardt, Staff Writer 

Schoolcraft’s Women’s basketball team defeated the 11th ranked Macomb Monarchs 57-52 in thrilling overtime Jan 24 to stay perfect in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association Eastern Conference.  
The Lady Ocelots entered the game against the Monarchs ready for battle. Both teams sit on top of the Eastern Conference undefeated but ultimately one team would suffer their first conference loss at the end of the game. The fab five of C’Erra Maholmes, Victoria Robinson, Paige Nemeth, Kennedy Carrier, and Megan Sandiha stepped out onto the court against Macomb looking to continue their winning ways.  
As the whistle blew, both teams jumped for first possession, with Macomb winning the draw. The first four minutes of the game consisted of both teams running back and forth attempting many baskets, matching each other in their defensive skills. As both teams settled in, the Ocelots struck first on a beautiful layup by Nemeth to put Schoolcraft on the board. Soon after, Maholmes got the opportunity for two free throws which resulted in Schoolcraft leading by four. Macomb was able to get some numbers on the scoreboard, but the Monarchs continued to crumble under the Ocelots in the first quarter. Sandiha scored four baskets in the first quarter to help Schoolcraft push into a double digits, 15-5. 
Schoolcraft continued to play aggressively in the second quarter. However, the Monarchs started to come back with the speedy Alicia Norman and Taylor Williams contributing most of the baskets for Macomb and cutting the Ocelots lead down. The second quarter concluded with the 25-22 advantage for the Ocleots.  
After halftime, each team returned to the court focused on the final 20 minutes of basketball. It was only a matter of time before Macomb started putting numbers up, quickly tying the game, 25-25. The third quarter consisted of the Monarchs taking the lead for the first time in the game after a successful free throw. Carrier, Nemeth and Sandiha still made the effort to make some baskets for Schoolcraft but the Monarchs ultimately dominated the second and third quarters. After the conclusion of the third quarter, Macomb led, 36-35. 
The game came down to the final quarter in which the Monarchs started to outhustle the Ocelots. Macomb’s Williams made a beautiful steal against the Ocelot’s Robinson before completing a long pass to fellow teammate, Norman, who made the basket.  
Schoolcraft and Macomb continued to go back and forth with scoring. Schoolcraft’s Carrier worked the boards with rebounds and Nemeth’s energy helped her team land baskets. With Schoolcraft trailing late in the fourth quarter, the duo of Sandiha and Maholmes helped the team on the scoreboard and brought the score within reach. Schoolcraft’s Maholmes tied the game 48-48 after successfully making both of her free throws. The horn sounded and with both teams remaining tied after regulation.  
With the crowd on its feet, overtime began.  
Schoolcraft wins first possession of the ball. Carrier makes the first basket in overtime to put Schoolcraft in the lead followed by a basket by Sandiha and a three pointer by Nemeth. Macomb attempted to even the score with two free throws but that wasn’t enough.  
Finally, Nemeth seals the deal for Schoolcraft by making both her free throws with Schoolcraft winning the game 57-52 and extending their winning streak to seven games.  
The Ocelots are now 6-0 in the MCCAA Eastern Conference and 12-6 overall good for first place. For scores, schedule and team standings go to www.mccaa.org.