Womens basketball opens season 3-0
By Nick Misiak
After posting a below par record of 7-11 last season, Head Coach Kara Kinzer brought in a wave of fresh talent and announced a roster that featured only one returning sophomore, Sara Gammons, and nine freshmen. Despite the plethora of new faces that lack collegiate experience, the Ocelots opened the season with back-to-back wins against conference opponents, Jackson CC and Lakeland CC, and trampled Kellogg CC to start 3-0.
SPIRIT NIGHT DOMINATION
On Wed. Nov. 12, the Ocelots defeated Kellogg CC in their annual Spirit Night game held at Schoolcraft 67-46.
Freshman guard Ashley Bland put up 27 points and freshman guard T’era Nesbitt scored 18 points to lead the Ocelots offensively in a game dominated by the Ocelots on both sides of the ball. Schoolcraft took advantage of sloppy play by the Bruins, hopping on loose balls and converting on many of their scoring opportunities.
“I think we played very good. We had a few negatives though,” said Bland. “We had a little bit of mistakes and sloppiness that we got to critique, but as a whole we played very good together.”
Schoolcraft opened the game with a 11-4 run and followed that with a 26-7 run capped off by Nezbitt intercepting a Kellogg pass, crossing over a defender and laying the ball in for the score. The Ocelots led by 31 at one point in the first half and were up at the half 45-17.
NOTHING BUT NET
On Nov. 8, Schoolcraft rode a 13-point halftime lead to victory at home, defeating Lakeland CC 51-45.
Bland played the full 40 minutes, recording 14 points for the Ocelots shooting 36 percent from the floor, compared to just 30 percent for Lake Michigan. Nesbitt also scored 14 points and added seven rebounds. Freshman forward Rikki Sherdt had 17 rebounds for Schoolcraft, along with four steals and three assists.
“We came out and played pretty well for the beginning of the season,” said Sherdt. “We definitely can improve on how we played, and we can shoot better.”
Lakeland freshman Candace Niemerg led all scorers in the game with 15 points, but her teammates were unable to support her, scoring only 30 points combined.
Schoolcraft had a 13-5 run in the last five minutes of the first half to secure their lead and never looked back from there, dominating in the paint and snatching rebounds with success.
A STRONG START
The Ocelots opened their 2014-15 season with a 66-39 shelling of Jackson CC at home on Nov. 5.
Bland went 7-16 from the floor, scoring a game high 18 points to go along with her five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Freshman Elise Tolbert recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Iavana Tucker scored nine points off the bench to lead the Ocelot reserves.
“I think our first half was very strong. We got a little sloppy in the second half,but we got the W so it went well,” said guard Jessica Parry.
Jackson guard Chelsey Hall scored 17 points and was the only Jet to score in double figures. Turnovers haunted Jackson throughout the game, and they finished the game with 28, more than twice that of Schoolcraft’s total of 13.
“So far, I am happy with how our team has been playing. Ashley [Bland] has been fairly consistent putting up points for us, and I can only hope for the best this season with the drive these girls have to win,” said Kinzer.
The Ocelots travel to Lake Michigan College to take on the Red Hawks on Nov. 19 before returning home to face Glen Oaks CC on Sat. Nov. 22 at 1 p.m.