Lady Red Hawks shock Fourth-ranked Kankakee CC

Lady Red Hawks shock

Fourth-ranked Kankakee CC

By Tom O’Neill        

            Kankakee Community College came into the Hawks’s Nest November 18 sporting 104-point performance in their opening game and a national ranking of fourth in NJCAA Division II women’s basketball. When the final buzzer sounded, Lake Michigan had shocked the Cavaliers 71-56 using a tenacious defense.

            The Lady Hawks out-rebounded Kankakee 37-25 at the half, finishing with a 62-47 advantage. They shot 40.9 percent from the field while holding the Cavaliers to 26.3 percent. LMC’s inside defensive dominance forced Kankakee outside, the Cavs making only five of 26 three-point attempts. Jade Mosier and Raasheedah Harris both had double-doubles for the 4-0 Red Hawks.

            “We had good practices all week and played our type of game,” explained LMC coach Patrick Daniel. “We played a good defensive game, the key being boxing out.”

The Lady Hawks trailed by one after the first quarter, 19-18, the Cavaliers holding Mosier (23.3 ppg) to four points and putting two fouls on her early. Monae Palmer and Emily Atsinger added five points each. Lake Michigan tied the game at 21 with 7:41 left in the half, then taking the lead on Harris’ bucket. Mosier hit and then Atsinger with two free throws and a bucket. LMC was up 29-21. The Hawks pushed the lead to 11, 36-25, at halftime.

LMC had ball handling issues in the third quarter and turnovers mounted. Rebounding was practically non-existent. Jasmine Elliott scored 10 for the Cavaliers and Kankakee was back within six, 53-47. “It was if we were trying to hang on,” Patrick said. Maybe it was because of the Cavalier’s history, 21 NJCAA appearances and 19 Region IV titles, not to mention 19 All-Americans and the nation’s current number four ranking.

Whatever it was, Daniel settled his team down with Harris and Atsinger taking control of ball handling. “It’s all about confidence,” explained Daniel in discussing Harris’ contribution. “She has to control the game.” With Mosier playing only 24.51 minutes, Atsinger and Harris led LMC down the stretch, both scoring five points in the fourth quarter. Atsinger led LMC with 19 points, Harris had 14 points with 15 rebounds and Mosier scored her fourth consecutive double-double, 13 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Brooke Becker added 10 rebounds and six points, including the game’s final bucket.

The Lady Hawks are off until November 28 when they visit Hope College’s JV squad.

Men fall 90-79

Playing without leading scorer, Gavin Rassler (24.0 ppg), Lake Michigan (1-2) fell at home to Kankaee (2-3), 90-79. Rassler was scheduled for a MRI to check out a possible torn meniscus. Replacing Rassler was six-foot four James Smith, returning to the court for the first time in three years according to Coach Jeremy Schaffer. Smith’s play would be one of the few bright spots for the Hawks.

The first half was back and forth, the lead changing five times before the Cavs finished up four, 40-36. Smith had 12 first half points and Bryce Sexton eight for the Hawks but the boards were controlled by Kankakee, 26-20.

LMC tied the game at 50 with 15:17 remaining, but ball handling issues resulted in six consecutive turnovers and 12 straight points for the Cavaliers and a 17-3 run. “We were just playing too fast,” explained Schaffer. “We needed to stop and set things up. (Daizon) Scott was the key to their effort.” The 6-foot guard had nine points in the first half but exploded for 19 in the second to lead Kankakee. Six-foot eight forward Christian Jacob had 15 points and 10 rebounds with teammate Micah Rosser scoring 12 second half points 20, including two threes.

            Smith finished with 23 points for Lake Michigan and Bryce Saxton had 16. The Red Hawks shot 41.1 percent from the field.

Men top Don Bosco Prep in OT 82-80, Monday

            The Red Hawks were back on the court Monday, playing at Don Bosco Prep.  Lake Michigan was down 14 points in the second half before coming back to take a two-point lead with 10 seconds remaining. The Ironmen went to the free throw line and hit both, forcing overtime.

            Don Bosco took a four-point lead in overtime before Smith hit two free throws and Deion Gatson a bucket for LMC. Austin Dukesherer was fouled with six seconds left and sank both free throws. Don Bosco inbounded and took a three-point shot bouncing off the rim and securing the victory for LMC (2-2).

Malik Hall led LMC with 23 points and Smith added 20. Lake Michigan will face Hope College JVs November 28 at Hope.

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