Ocelots fall to Lakeland, take sixth at nationals
By Nick Misiak
The Schoolcraft Mens Basketball season came to an end on Saturday, March 21 when the Ocelots fell 85-79 to Lakeland Community College in the fifth place game of the Division II National Tournament held in Danville, IL.
The loss finalizes Schoolcraft’s record at 31-5 and lands them in sixth place overall at the tournament.
Freshman guard Ronald Booth led all Ocelot scorers with 18 points while freshman forward Anthony Wartley-Fritz tallied a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman guard DeShawndre Black scored 12 points off the bench as the only other Schoolcraft player who scored in double figures.
Sophomore guard Mike Davis scored 24 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers. Freshman forward Rasheed Howard scored 16 points to go with his eight rebounds, and freshman forward Kenneth Evans went 7-12 from the floor for 16 points.
Both teams battled hard in the first half, exchanging buckets while the lead for one team never grew above five. Two late three-pointers from Davis gave Lakeland a small advantage that they would carry into the half.
At the half, Schoolcraft trailed 44-39.
The Ocelots were able to pull within two points with under a minute remaining in the game after Javan Thomas hit a two-point shot with 50 seconds to go, but ultimately fell short as Black missed two free throws while sophomore guard Montell Goodwin made three of his four for the Lakers.
Although the season is over for the Ocelots, their surprising 31 win season and their high energy play gave Schoolcraft fans a lot to cheer about compared to seasons past. With the entire team still retaining a year of eligibility besides graduating sophomores Javan Thomas and Nathan Kamal, Schoolcraft should expect to be in the hunt for a national championship next season as well.