Women’s basketball moves on to semifinals in district tournament
By: James Paxson, Sports Editor
On Tuesday, March 7, 2017, the Schoolcraft Ocelots won a dominating quarterfinal playoff game against the Alpena Community College Lumberjacks by a score of 71-45. Schoolcraft controlled the game after the end of the first quarter and the second half become a breeze to victory in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) District H Women’s Basketball Tournament.
The game started with both teams playing close and when the game was a 5-5 tie with five minutes left in the first quarter sophomore guard Rainy McCune fell awkward on her right leg and had to exit the game with an injury. She did not return, and it looked like it was going to be a big loss for the Ocelots with one of their top players and leading scorers not returning.
“We’re losing her intensity and the other girls will have to pick it up with her not on the court,” coach Kinzer said at halftime about McCune.
The first quarter was saved for Schoolcraft by sophomore forward Jade Smith who had seven of the 14 points in the first quarter. As the quarter ended Schoolcraft had a favorable 14-13 lead.
The second quarter unraveled for Alpena. The Ocelots took advantage of Alpena’s momentum loss as the quarter ended with Schoolcraft scoring 26 points and the Lumberjacks scoring 6 in the quarter. Freshman forward Victoria Robinson took control offensively. At halftime Robinson had 16 points. The score was 40-19 at the half.
“We all had to pick up the slack for injuries and a short bench me included and our goal was to win and the team did a good job of stepping up,” said Robinson.
The second half started with no problems for the Ocelots, but Alpena had gained some momentum back as freshman guard Morgan Allen lead the Lumberjack offense in the third quarter. Allen ended the game with a team high 10 points and an impressive 50 percent from the three-point line.
The fourth quarter was all about Schoolcraft’s bench contributing with some of the starters injured or resting for the next round of the playoffs. Some of the notable bench players who contributed to the win were freshmen Jaylen Barnett and Antonio Person. Barnett ended the game with six rebounds and eight points and Person ended with nine points. The Ocelots easily captured a 71-45 victory with the entire team contributing.
“The team played very good defense and we passed very well. If we improve on these skills we will be ready for the next round,” said McCune.
Some big scorers for the game were Jade Smith with 12 points and Victoria Robinson 25 points and had nine rebounds to end the game with a near double-double.
With a 36 point win over the Lumberjacks, Schoolcraft is looking strong with all players on the team contributing into the semifinal round Friday, March 10, 2017, at St. Clair Community College. The Ocelots will face Delta College. Delta ended the regular season with a record of 19-10 and beat Schoolcraft earlier in the season 68-59.
To follow the Schoolcraft Women’s basketball team through the NJCAA District H Women’s Basketball Tournament and their quest to capture a National Tournament berth go to the Michigan Community College Athletic Association website at www.mccaa.org.