The Schoolcraft Women’s Basketball team off to 5-0 start
BY JAMES PAXSON
Just one month into the 2015-16 season, the lady Ocelots’ basketball team is demonstrating why they are ranked eighth in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II women’s basketball pre-season poll. With five games into their season, the team sits on top of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Eastern Conference with a perfect record of 5-0.
“Being undefeated is a great feeling,” said head coach Kara Kinzer. “I am proud of the team but we are definitely not getting ahead of ourselves. We have a long way to go till the end of the season,” added Kinzer.
Winning for many is an even better feeling when it is earned after a tough game, and Schoolcraft had their toughest matchup of the year against division rival Owens Community College on Nov. 21 at Owens.
Owens took control and kept control until the end of the first quarter, with a score of 29-7. The ladies could not hit any shots in the first quarter, having missed more shots than made shots. They also did not play the usual defense that they use to control the competition.
For Schoolcraft to win this game, the ladies knew they would have to make a miracle comeback after being down over 20 points.
“In this game, we encouraged each other on and off the court. We had a challenge to win this game, and we succeeded,” said sophomore guard T’era Nesbitt.
Nesbitt led the team with 28 points, while sophomore guard Rikki Sherdt led the team with 14 rebounds, helping the Ocelots come back on the scoreboard. Schoolcraft inched closer by the end of the first half, 39-23.
Going into the second half, freshman guard Rainy McCune had 11 points coming off of the bench. Schoolcraft had everything working for them. Schoolcraft won against Owens with a final score of 66-59.
“We are just going to try to beat whoever is the next team we are playing, no matter who it is,” said Sherdt.
Controlling the conference
On Nov. 14, Schoolcraft played host to Cuyohoga Community College. The Ocelots started off strong in the first quarter with a dominating start with a 29-14 lead before heading into the second quarter. Freshman Guard Ashley Bland and Nesbit controlled the offense and took the lead early. Nesbit led the Ocelots with 19 points and five rebounds in the first half, while bland followed behind with seven points and three rebounds.
“The team played great; I’m very happy with how my team is playing,” said sophomore guard Ashley Bland.
The Ocelots controlled Cuyohoga throughout the game with both defense and ball movement. Nesbit lead the team with 28 points, and also sharing six rebounds each with Bland. Freshman guard Jamyra Wilson made five impressive steals, along with four assists. Schoolcraft took the victory against Cuyahoga, 71-51 moving their record to 4-0.
The Ocelots hosted Owens at home on Dec. 5 (recap online), and Schoolcraft will be embark on a long road stand through the end of December. The team will return home on January 6 to play host to Wayne County Community College at 5:30 p.m.
For more information about schedules, stats and rosters, visit MCCAA.org.