Strong fourth quarter propels Red Hawks into semi-finals

Hailey Maas

Strong fourth quarter propels

Red Hawks into semi-finals

          Lake Michigan College outscored Grand Rapids Community College 22-11 in the fourth quarter to preserve a 77-54 win and put the Red Hawks in the semi-finals of the MCCAA District G Tournament. LMC will face Muskegon Community College Friday in Port Huron.

            The Lady Hawks got off to a slow start on an emotional night for the five graduating seniors playing in their final game at LMC. Shots were going everywhere but in the basket, allowing the Raiders (14-15) to keep the game close. LMC (24-6) used a 9-2 run to end the first quarter with a 21-17 lead and a 7-0 run to end the half, up 37-28.

            “We definitely struggled coming out in the first quarter,” explained LMC coach Jason Cooper. “We upped the tempo and tried to find the bottom of the basket.” Kelsee (Kinder) struggled a little bit, then hit a big 3 for us” Cooper said she normally drives inside.

            Kinder found her eye in the second half, scoring 13 points, matching Hailey Maas’ efforts in the first half. The Hawks opened a 12-point lead after three quarters before finishing the Raiders off with a 22-11 fourth quarter.

            “Tournament time is about surviving.” Cooper said. “You never know what emotions are happening. Everyone has to be prepared. We just kept battling.” The veteran coach couldn’t say enough about how proud he was of this year’s team, even indicating they may be better than last year’s squad. “We’re a better team, but the bad news is everyone knows more about us.”

 “We’re built for the post-season. We’ve made it to the nationals. If this team ever plays its best, I don’t know how well we’ll do. We’re peaking at the right time,” Cooper stated. The LMC coach is 213-54. “I’d like to see it 215.”

Maas finished with 22 points, Kinder 21 and freshman Jade Mosier had 16 points and 11 rebounds for a double double. Maddie Albert scored 19 for Grand Rapids as LMC’s defense had the Raiders Makayla Beld in foul trouble early. Beld, who averages 11.5 points and nine rebounds, was held to two points. Grand Rapids leading scorer, Emily Pendred (13.3 points) was held to two buckets and six free throws.

Muskegon (21-7) has lost to the Red Hawks twice in the regular season, 59-55 at LMC and 74-64 in overtime. The Jayhawks crushed fifth-place Lansing Community College 65-46 in Muskegon. Tipoff is 5:30 PM Friday at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron.

Men lose to Lansing in opening round of District 9

The Red Hawk men stayed within three points of top-ranked Lansing Community College (22-6) in the first half, trailing 50-47, but the second half belonged to the Stars with a 116-91 win over LMC’s freshmen-laden team.

Cortez Moore and Gavin Rasler scored 18 points. Brian Harris added 13 and Bryce Saxton 10 for Lake Michigan. The Hawks were outrebounded 51-35 with Lansing’s Isaiah Green recording a double double, 21 points and 16 rebounds. Lansing is ranked 12th nationally. LMC shot 43.6 percent from the field, 40.9 from beyond the arc and 86.7 at the line.

LMC (10-15) will return eight starters next season for first year coach Jeremy Schaffer.

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