Men’s basketball out for the count
By James Paxson, Sports Editor
After a brilliant year of amazing highlights and impressive freshmen the Schoolcraft men’s basketball season ends in an upset against Wayne County Community College on Thursday March 8. Schoolcraft ended the season losing in the quarterfinals of the tournament after having a regular season record of 22-6 and a conference record of 14-2. The Ocelots won the Michigan Community College Athletic Association championship against Lansing Community College, but then lost their next game and went home early.
“It was a brand new team and we did show growth. Academically, the team did well the first semester as well. We won our conference again and won another State Championship. That being said, from a basketball standpoint, I would say that not getting to the Final Four is a terrible disappointment. Our success will be measured by the academic results we achieve this semester,” said Schoolcraft men’s head coach Abe Mashhour.
Schoolcraft won the first half of the battle against Wayne County by having a seven-point lead of 38-31, but in the second half Schoolcraft had no answer for Wayne County’s sophomore guard Rayvlon Croon who ended the game with 31 points and 16 of them coming in the second half.
The game was tied at 70 with six seconds to go when a foul was committed on Schoolcraft’s freshman guard Walt Kesler. Croon missed the first free throw, but made the second free throw to make the score 71-70 to almost ensure the Wildcats a one point victory. With one final chance to win the game The Ocelots gave Kesler a redemption shot, but missed and Schoolcraft was not able to move on with the sad reality that the regular season conference champion got upset by a team they should have had no problem beating.
Over the course of the season Schoolcraft had an exceptional six players average double digit points throughout the season. These players include Delo Hansbro, Armani Tinsley, Charles Penn, Tariq Jones, Walt Kesler and Kevin Hayes. The three freshman guards Kesler, Tinsley and Hansbro are a good sign for next year seeing no major backcourt players will be leaving.
“I think the team next season will be one of the best seasons at Schoolcraft yet. The freshmen I played with this season were very talented and at Schoolcraft you are most likely going to get some good recruits coming in,” said sophomore Esa Abduljami.
The Ocelots had an outstanding home record of 13-1 and never lost back-to-back games this season. The proud showing at home and winning the conference title helped Abe Mashhour win MCCAA coach of the year. Along with their many other achievements sophomore Charles Penn received all Region 12 first team, all Michgan Community College Athletic Association and all eastern conference first team. The Ocelots also had some players receive second and third all-team mentions. Tariq Jones received the all second team mention for the eastern conference and Delo Hasbro, Kevin Hayes and Walt Kesler were all named on the third all-team for the MCCAA eastern conference.
Schoolcraft will miss their talented sophomores who include: Charles Penn, Tariq Jones, Kevin Hayes, Esa Abuljami and Carlos Taylor. Taylor and Abuljami the teams captains showed leadership throughout the season on and off the court.
Returning forwards next season will include Donovan Williams and Deyuan (Yan) Heard. Heard averaged 4.3 rebounds and 5.3 points and Williams averaged 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 points throughout the season coming off the bench.
With eight returning freshmen next season Schoolcraft should have no problem getting back to the top. To look up scores and a team schedule go to the MCCAA.org website.