Robust start

Ocelots blow out Kellogg on Spirit Night, starting season 3-1

By Austin Vicars and Nick Misiak
Staff Writer and Sports Editor

The 2013-14 season was rocky for Schoolcraft’s Mens Basketball team, finishing with a 14-15 record and struggling with players’ academic ineligibility throughout the season. However, with a new season comes a fresh start for the Ocelots. With a revamped roster, fresh attitude and a new head coach, Abe Mashhour, Schoolcraft looks to turn things around this season.

Photo by Miranda Malec, Staff Photographer. Freshman Ja’Christian Biles goes up for a dunk after getting the rebound off of the backboard from teammate Ronald Booth against Kellogg CC on Nov. 12.

Photo by Miranda Malec, Staff Photographer. Freshman Ja’Christian Biles goes up for a dunk after getting the rebound off of the backboard from teammate Ronald Booth against Kellogg CC on Nov. 12.

SCHOOLCRAFT SPIRIT NIGHT
At Schoolcraft’s annual Spirit Night on Wednesday, Nov. 12, the Ocelots used their speed and aggressive pressure defense to defeat Kellogg CC 86- 57.

Freshman guards DeShawndre Black and Ronald Booth both scored 16 points in the rout, and freshman Ja’Christian Biles recorded his second double-double on the season, recording 10 rebounds and 15 points.

“We didn’t have a lot of energy, unfortunately, to start the game, but we really picked it up in the second half and started playing with more intensity, especially on the defensive end,” said Mashhour. “Defense obviously was the key for us in the second half.”

Kellogg committed 27 turnovers, with a majority of them coming from poor decisions due to defensive pressure from the Ocelots.

Biles electrified the crowd in the first half with multiple highlight reel dunks, including one from a pass off the glass from Booth on a fast break.

POOR SHOOTING NIPS OCELOTS
On Nov. 8, Schoolcraft played Owens CC, ranked eighth in the national, in the final game of the Owens Tipoff Tournament. Despite a valiant effort, the Ocelots lost to the national powerhouse 99-92.

Freshman guard Aveon Simmons continued shooting well, making 14 of 21 shots and leading all scorers in the game with 29 points. Freshman guard Ronald Booth added 22 points and freshman big man Anthony Wartley-Fritz added eight points and eight rebounds for the Ocelots.

Poor performance at the free throw line cost Schoolcraft, as they went 3-10 from the line. The seven missed free throws is equivalent to how much the team lost by.

“We didn’t do the little things well, and it came back to bite us,” said Wartley-Fritz. “Rebounds got away from us, and we missed too many free throws.”

Shaakir Lindsey scored 22 points to lead the Express, and all five of Owens’ starters scored in double figures, along with two players coming off the bench.

The previous night, Nov. 7, Schoolcraft dominated Jamestown CC, defeating the Jayhawks in a 94-66 blowout. The victory advanced the Ocelots in the Owens Tipoff Tournament to the finals against Owens CC.

The play of the game came from freshman Ja’Christian Biles, who used a breakaway to complete a windmill dunk that had the entire Schoolcraft bench jumping up and down in excitement.

“That dunk was just so energizing and sweet. Everybody was jumping around and screaming. It was just awesome,” said freshman guard DeShawndre Black.

Biles had 18 points to lead the Ocelots, who had six players with 10 or more points. Aveon Simmons shot 5-6 from the floor and made all five of his free throw attempts to compile 15 points. Freshman guard Tyler Johnson went 4-8 from beyond the arc for 12 points.

OPENING NIGHT WIN
On Nov. 5, the Ocelots held their season opener at home against Jackson CC. After last year’s disappointing season, many fans were left wondering how the team would fair this year. Coach Mashhour and his team came out and silenced the doubters by winning the season opener in a low scoring, 67-58 affair.

Booth led the Ocelots offensively, scoring 27 points by going 10-18 from the floor (1-3 3PT, 6-6 FT) and adding six steals. Freshman Aveon Simmons came one rebound short of a double-double, scoring 10 points and nine rebounds.

Coming off the bench, freshman forward Marcus Williams provided an offensive 3-6 from downtown, scoring 12 points and added five rebounds and three blocks in only 15 minutes.

With only two sophomores, Schoolcraft has a young, talented team that is loaded with potential. The Ocelots travel to Lake Michigan College on Nov. 19 before returning home to face Glen Oaks CC on Nov. 19 at 3 p.m.