Slow Start

Women’s basketball loses six games, continues to search for first victory

By James Paxson, Sports Editor

The 2016-17 Women’s Basketball season is off to a rocky start. Within the first six games of the season the Ocelots are still in search of their first win.

Most recently the lady Ocelots have fallen to Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) and Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) at the KVCC tournament on the weekend of Nov. 18 and 19. Schoolcraft is currently in last place of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) East Conference (0-0, 0-6 overall) and five of the last six losses have been by double digits. Despite the slow and dismal start for her team, fourth year Head Coach Kara Kinzer has no cause for concern.

“I have learned that we are a young team and have things to learn still. I see some real good things from us at times, others there is little things we have to work on and improve on throughout the season,” said by Kinzer.

Kalamazoo Valley 61 – Schoolcraft 43

On Saturday, Nov. 19, Schoolcraft faced off against host Kalamazoo Valley Cougars on day two of the two day KVCC tournament. The game started with a pretty even back and forth offensive stride from both teams. The Ocelots starters passed the ball around to find the open shooter rather than trying to score on the fast break. Sophomore guard Rainy McCune ran the offense well; she had four assists in the game and helped Schoolcraft score points in clutch situations. The Ocelots stayed in striking distance at halftime with a score of 18-25.

“I always try to read the game as it comes to me, my team and I do not try to run the game without having the control,” said McCune.

The second half started with missed shots and Schoolcraft keeping it close. Every time Kalamazoo scored Schoolcraft came back with points and continued to push the Cougars. At the 10:00 mark of the second half the Ocelots were down by nine, 27-36.

At around the 6:15 mark the Ocelots defense started to lose its edge to Kalamazoo falling behind 35-45. Missed scoring opportunities haunted the Ocelots late in the game as Kalamazoo continued to rack up points. The Cougars scored 25 points in the fourth quarter. Schoolcraft fell after a defensive collapse and lost, 61-43.

A positive from this game is the impressive play by freshman guard Taia Parker who led the team in this game scored 15 points. This was Parker’s fourth time this season scoring more than ten points in a game.

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Taia Parker has done a fantastic job at leading the offense as a freshman by averaging 12 points per game. (Photo by Mikey Cebulski, Photo Editor)

Despite the 0-6 start, the Ocelots are not at all focused on the recent losses; they have their minds set on the future heading into the halfway point of the season. Coach Kinzer sees the rest of the season as growing opportunities for this youthful team.

“It will be great to see players who have been working hard throughout the preseason on different skills improve. Our whole team will contribute to the success of our program this season. We only have 4 sophomores’, so I am looking for them to lead the freshmen. We have 6 freshmen so they will all have a big role on this team this season. Everyone will have to contribute to see improvement,” said Coach Kinzer.

Looking ahead

Schoolcraft will head to Jackson, Michigan to face Jackson Community College Wednesday, Dec. 7. The team seeks redemption from their Nov. 9 loss to the Jets, 75-64. The Ocelots will return home for a set of two home games before the holiday break Dec. 14 versus Mid Michigan and Dec. 17 versus Muskegon. Tip off for both games are 5:30 p.m.

For a team schedule, rosters, and recent game results go to www.MCCAA.org.

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Jalyn Barnett looks for an open teammate. (Photo by Mikey Cebulski, Photo Editor)