LMC basketball teams suffer home court losses

In the last three LMC games, Gavin Rassler has averaged 32 points a game. Photo by: Randy Willis

LMC basketball teams suffer

Home court losses

By Tom O’Neill

          Lake Michigan Basketball hit a rough spot in the road, the men dropping two at home and the women one. For the women, a 67-55 loss to first place Mid Michigan snapped their home unbeaten streak, leaving them tied for third. Two losses by the men allowed Grand Rapids to join the Hawks in second place, one game ahead of Mid Michigan and Muskegon.

            Both squads have games left with Lansing and Ancilla on the road and home dates with Glen Oaks and Muskegon February 23 and 26. The good news is that both teams have qualified for the conference tournament. Now it’s a matter of position.

Women fall 67-55

            The Lady Hawks’ defense kept Mid Michigan frustrated in the first half while Emily Atsinger was popping three-pointers for LMC. The Hawks were up 13 when the Lakers changed to full court pressure forcing multiple turnovers and cutting the lead to 32-26 at halftime.

            Giving up going inside the Lakers started firing from beyond the arc.  Six three-pointers by Mid Michigan and the Hawks were outscored 27-12 in the third quarter, taking a 53-44 lead.

            “When we don’t play good defense, it doesn’t result in offense,” explained LMC coach Patrick Daniel. The Lakers also kept the Hawks’ leading scorer, Jade Mosier, away from the basket, limiting her to 13 points and six rebounds. “Someone else has to step up,” Daniel added. “We’re a better team but we didn’t execute the game plan.”


Hawks beat Grand Rapids 65-55

            Daniels says defense wins ballgames. The Lady Hawks were in a defensive struggle against the Raiders from the start. The first quarter score was 11-10 with LMC on top. Danielle Schaffer scored the only field goal for LMC while Jade Mosier was hitting five of six from the line.

            The Raiders’ Makayla Beld scored six in the second quarter and Brooklyn Barnes added five and Grand Rapids took a 29-24 lead. Mosier made two more free throws for seven of eight while the team was 13/16.

            “I didn’t make any adjustments at halftime,” explained Daniels. “I told them to finish the possession and secure the defensive rebounds.”

            LMC discovered the basket in the third quarter, scoring 20 points and holding Grand Rapids to seven. Mosier scored three times from the field and was three of four from the line. LMC had a 44-36 lead.

            Monae Palmer joined the foul line parade in the fourth, going six for six and eight for eight in the game. Mosier, who finished with 25 points and 14 rebounds, cooled down hitting three of six at the line and 13/18 for the game. LMC was 33/46, shooting 71.7 percent from the line. The Raiders shot 73.7 percent.

            LMC is 8-4 in the conference, 17-7 overall.

Second half comeback falls short

            Mid Michigan conducted a three-point clinic in the first half, dropping 14, including a half-court buzzer shot to take a 62-40 halftime lead.

            “We knew they wouldn’t shoot 14/19 two halves in a row,” noted LMC Coach Jeremy Schaffer. Playing short-handed, and 6-foot 5 Malik Hall with four fouls, the Hawks gave the Lakers some of their own medicine. LMC had 11 three-pointers and held Mid Michigan to one.

            Luc Meyer’s three-pointer with 14.7 seconds left pulled LMC within three. The Hawks forced a Laker turnover and Deion Gatson scored pulling LMC within one, 94-93, with 4.2 seconds left. Forced to foul, the Hawks watched as Colon Antes dropped both for 23 points and a Mid Michigan 96-93 win.

            “We were a half-court buzzer beater away,” noted Schaffer. Niles sophomore Gavin Rassler fell just short of his third straight 30-point game, leading LMC with 28.  “We lean on him a whole lot,” Schaffer said. “He’s getting lots of double teams and traps but still finds a way to get to the basket.”

Men fall 104-89

            Grand Rapids avenged their home loss to LMC, beating the Hawks 104-89.

            With LMC’s two big men, Malik Hall (6 foot-5) and Ajani Parker (6-foot 7), out with injuries, Gavin Rassler attempted double duty, scoring 33 points and eight rebounds. GRCC controlled the boards 50-31.

            “Playing without two starters takes a toll,” explained Schaffer. “It’s hard enough but the second and third rebound opportunities allowed more and more open shots.”

            The Hawks are 8-4 in the conference, 13-12 overall heading into their final four games of the regular season.