Mott freshman Rod Milton scored two of his 15 points on Friday night in a win over Sinclair. (Mike Tews photo)
It was a Black Friday Buccaneer Bonanza in Flint Friday night. Two former Flint Beecher Bucs, Tez Thomas and Tommie Johnson, led the Mott Community College Bears to an 80-68 win over Sinclair (Ohio). The pair connected on five triples in the game, scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Mott led by as many as 19 midway through the second half on a Thomas basket in the lane. From there, the Bears weathered a couple flurries from Sinclair late, and cruised to victory in front of another large home crowd.
As has become a habit early in the season, Friday night was a total team effort for Mott. All but one player on Mott’s roster scored in the game. Freshman forward Rod Milton led the team with 15 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Darryl LeVert added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Mott head coach Steve Schmidt made wholesale changes throughout the game, subbing out five for five to start both halves. Nine players played 15 or more minutes for the Bears.
The Bears led by a mere seven points at the half, a deficit that Sinclair head coach Jeff Price considered a moral victory against a program that has had their number for years. Sinclair, now 4-4,
makes up for what it lacks in talent with resilience. Even so, Sinclair failed to box out on too many Mott misses leading to second chance points for the Bears. Mott won the rebounding battle 38-26, with Milton and LeVert leading the way.
Manny Powell, Jr. led all scorers with 19 points.
One major bright spot for Mott was the play of reserve guard Austin Daniels. The freshman logged 18 minutes and dished out seven assists with only one turnover. If he continues to defend and take care of the ball, he’ll play a lot of minutes on this team. The Bears don’t need him to score.
The Bears are now 5-0 on the season and prepping for a brutal schedule in December. The Bears will square off against Owens twice, Lansing and Kalamazoo Valley on the road, and two home games versus Columbus State and Lakeland. If the Bears can make it through this stretch no worse than 4-2, it will be a great month heading into conference play.
Next up is Owens on Wednesday night in Toledo. The Express, coached by former Mott assistant Dave Clarke, are 7-2 on the season.
Mott is currently ranked no. 16, but should move up several spots when the next poll is released by the NJCAA.