Archive for February, 2012

Mott sophomore Walter Davis throws down two of his 13 points versus Schoolcraft on Wednesday night.

FLINT, Michigan — This is what every coach dreams about before the start of every season: getting the team to peak at the right time. That time is now, and no. 1-ranked Mott just turned in its best all-around performance of the season.

The Bears, atop the national poll for 13 consecutive weeks, humiliated Schoolcraft Wednesday night, 103-65. Mott is now 28-1 on the season and preparing for the MCCAA state championship game on Saturday at Lansing.

The Ocelots are the third-best team in the MCCAA Eastern Conference, though tonight they looked over-matched at every position.

Mott didn’t waste any time getting on the board, scoring on its first three possessions. Freshman guard Jakob Perry shot the lights out in the first half, hitting on his first four 3-point attempts. Mott led by 29 at the half and started the second frame with a set play alley-oop for sophomore forward Walter Davis. From that point, the rest of the game was all about the fans. Davis and freshman guard Ralph Eason took turns throwing down crowd-pleasing slams in transition.

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Still the best: No. 1 Mott knocks off no. 5 Oakland

Posted: February 22, 2012 by Jared Field in JUCO

FLINT, Michigan — This was a war; it had to come down to the final play.

Down two, in a knock-down-drag-out brawl of a basketball game, no. 5-ranked Oakland (22-4) had 16 seconds to find a way to tie or go ahead of no. 1-ranked Mott. With both teams tied atop the MCCAA Eastern Conference, a victory would most likely mean the conference championship and a chance to play in the state championship game. Oakland had two contested looks for the victory, but neither even scared the basket.

Mott survived, 60-58.

Ten minutes earlier I would have bet $1,000 that Mott wouldn’t need a final stop to win the game. The Bears never trailed in the game, were up seven at the half and led by as many as 13 in the second half. With two minutes to go, Mott led by seven. In the final 60 seconds, Oakland scored five points without Mott getting the ball across halfcourt (Anthony Welch 3-pointer and a steal and putback by Aaron Hayes).

Then another turnover set up the final 16 seconds.

Lost amid the drama was a lock-down, unflinching defensive stand by the Bears. Both of Oakland’s attempts looked like desperation shots because of the stifling pressure. In spite of the ugliness of the final two minutes, that was a championship effort from a championship team. Now Mott must win its final two games (Kirtland and Schoolcraft) to close out a rec0rd-setting regular season.

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Updated MCCAA standings:

Posted: February 20, 2012 by Jared Field in JUCO
Eastern Conference
School MCCAA Overall GB Home Away Neutral Streak
9 – Mott 14-1 .933 25-1 .962 14-0 11-1 0-0 Won 12
9 – Oakland 14-1 .933 22-3 .880 11-2 10-0 1-1 Won 8
Henry Ford 9-6 .600 17-9 .654 5.0 8-3 5-6 4-0 Lost 2
Schoolcraft 8-7 .533 16-10 .615 6.0 8-4 8-6 0-0 Won 2
Kirtland 7-8 .467 16-9 .640 7.0 9-4 5-4 2-1 Won 2
Macomb 7-8 .467 16-10 .615 7.0 10-3 3-7 3-0 Lost 3
Delta 7-8 .467 11-15 .423 7.0 7-8 4-6 0-1 Won 2
St. Clair County 6-9 .400 13-14 .481 8.0 7-7 5-7 1-0 Lost 2
Alpena 3-12 .200 8-17 .320 11.0 6-6 2-7 0-4 Lost 2
Wayne County 0-15 .000 2-20 .091 14.0 1-11 1-9 0-0 Lost 16
Western Conference
School MCCAA Overall GB Home Away Neutral Streak
8 – Lansing 12-1 .923 16-11 .593 1.0 7-6 8-3 1-2 Won 5
8 – Grand Rapids 10-3 .769 15-8 .652 3.0 6-3 9-5 0-0 Lost 1
8 – Muskegon 10-4 .714 19-8 .704 3.5 12-4 6-4 1-0 Won 3
8 – Glen Oaks 9-5 .643 16-12 .571 4.5 5-6 10-5 1-1 Won 1
8 – Jackson 8-5 .615 15-10 .600 5.0 7-4 8-5 0-1 Won 1
Ancilla 4-9 .308 10-13 .435 9.0 5-7 5-6 0-0 Won 2
Kellogg 4-9 .308 8-16 .333 9.0 4-3 4-10 0-3 Lost 3
Kalamazoo Valley 3-10 .231 7-19 .269 10.0 3-7 3-10 1-2 Lost 3
Lake Michigan 0-14 .000 6-20 .231 13.5 4-10 2-10 0-0 Lost 15
8 – NJCAA District 8 Qualifer
9 – NJCAA District 9 Qualifer

Mott and Oakland both win to set up Wednesday’s showdown

Posted: February 19, 2012 by Jared Field in JUCO

No. 1-ranked Mott will host no. 11-ranked Oakland on Wednesday night with the winner likely to take the MCCAA Eastern Conference Crown outright.

The game starts at 7: 30 p.m. at Mott.

Oakland blasted Henry Ford CC by 20 on Saturday while Mott beat St. Clair County CC by four.

In their previous meeting last month, Mott beat Oakland 75-68. Both teams are 14-1 in the conference and are, by a good margin, the top two teams in the MCCAA.

Get out to Mott on Wednesday night for the best basketball $5 can buy.

 

Nate Duhon, now a sophomore at  Lansing Community College, has been quietly going about his business for two years with the Stars. This last week, however, there wasn’t anything remotely quiet about his play. For it, the former Lansing Sexton standout was named Player of the Week, nationally.

From NJCAA.org:

Duhon (6’ 3”) put on an offensive clinic last week in both of the Stars’ victories. Against Muskegon CC (Mich.), Duhon hit the game-winning shot with three seconds left to hand Lansing a 90-88 win. The hometown sophomore totaled 31 points and nine rebounds in the contest. Duhon then racked up 32 points on 13-of-19 shooting in the Stars’ 99-77 win over Ancilla College (Ind.). Going 11-1 in their last 12 games, Lansing and Duhon will get a break this week before heading to Lake Michigan College (Mich.) next Wednesday.

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt implores his team during the Bears' second half run that culminated in a 73-60 win over rival Henry Ford CC on Wednesday night.

FLINT, Michigan — Sweet revenge was on the menu tonight at the Steve Schmidt Gymnasium. The no. 1-ranked Mott Community College Bears hosted their bitter rival and had the opportunity to atone for their only loss of the season.

The Bears were up to the challenge, though it took them about 25 minutes to show it.

Mott (22-1) played an exceptional second half that featured a 10-0 run punctuated by a pair of electrifying Walter Davis slams. The Bears led by as many as 15 in the half, shot 65 percent from the field and cruised to a 73-60 win.

Mott led by only one at halftime after a putrid first 20 minutes for both teams. The Bears scored only four points in the first seven and a half minutes. Henry Ford led by as many as seven points before a late flurry put Mott up 28-27.

The second half was vintage Mott. The Bears were relentless attacking the rim and forced numerous ill-advised shots on the defensive end.

Mott was led by freshman guard Ralph Eason who scored a game-high 16 points with 11 rebounds. The Bears’ all-everything guard John Taylor was steady with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists. In the end, though, it was Davis who came authored the game’s turning point midway through the second half. He finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

Grant Stone, who actually tried out for Mott a few years back, led Henry Ford with 12 points. The Hawks’ big man in the middle, 6-10 James Still, scored 11 points on five shots and pulled down nine rebounds. I’m still shocked that the Hawks could not find a way to get him involved in the offense a little more against Mott’s smaller frontline.

This is not the Henry Ford of old. This team lacks a true star like Jamie Stewart or Terrance Tubbs. Further, they made a lot of mental mistakes in this game. Double and triple-teaming John Taylor is a really bad idea, and they paid for it.

Mott keeps proving it doesn’t need a dominant frontcourt to win big games. Coach Steve Schmidt’s stable of guards is good enough to make up for what he lacks in size in the post.

Mott returns to action at 3 p.m. on Saturday on the road versus Macomb.

Cam Morse and Denzel Watts light up Saginaw BV

Posted: February 7, 2012 by Jared Field in High School

I stopped in to see two of the top guards in Mid-Michigan tonight at Carman-Ainsworth. It was a short and anticlimactic game as sophomore Cam Morse and junior Denzel Watts absolutely dominated Saginaw Buena Vista from start to finish. The Cavs ended up winning by 20+ points and it was never close (C-A started the game on a 15-0 run).

We all know Watts is a serious basketball player, a legit mid-major division one guard.  Less is known about Morse, who’s more intriguing to me as a prospect after his 24-point performance tonight. Morse, a lanky 6-1 combo guard, was basically unstoppable. He scored at will and set up his teammates for easy baskets at least a half dozen times. He has a flare for making the eye-popping pass that I’m sure will, at times, get him a seat next to the coach. Even so, I love his creative approach to the game and his ability to hit the outside shot.

He’s not the physical package that Watts is, but he plays a more athletic style. I’m curious what people think about Cam’s potential. What’s his level?

Flint area top ten: Beecher, Fenton and pick’em

Posted: February 4, 2012 by Jared Field in High School

This is uncharted water for me. I’ve been following the high school basketball scene in the area for many years, and I’ve never had much difficulty getting a gauge of the top local teams. And then there’s this season:

1.) Beecher (14-0)

2.) Fenton (13-1)

3-10: Pick ’em

Honestly, where do you go with the rest of these teams? Hamady is 13-1, but they’ve played one good team this season (Bridgeport) and lost. Holly had a great start to the season, but was handled in their games versus the top two teams in the Flint Metro League (Fenton and Swartz Creek); Creek (10-4), for its part, had a great run going after a heartbreaking late-game loss to Fenton and the big win over Holly. Then they lost to Linden at home, probably the worst loss for any of my previously-ranked teams this season.

Grand Blanc (8-5) has a solid season going, having given Milford (the top team in the KLAA) its only loss of the season. But the Bobcats did lose in their last meeting against an up-and-down Carman-Ainsworth (8-5) squad that lost to Clarkston (by 36) and to a mediocre Flint Northern.

Speaking of Northern, the Flint city schools have all struggled season. Northern, Northwestern and Southwestern are a combined 19-21. Southwestern is coming off an awful 35-point loss to Saginaw High. Northern lost to Flint Powers 37-35 last week, a team that’s been losing to just about everybody this season. Northwestern is the best team in the City Series, but they have some puzzling losses in their 8-5 record (including to Powers).

And then there’s Goodrich (one of the teams that beat NW). Sadly, beating Northwestern is Martians’ signature win. They’ve been beaten soundly by Beecher twice and also lost early in the season to Grand Blanc.

Kearsley had a great start to the season with wins over Swartz Creek and Fenton, but the Hornets have fallen like a rock since.

Is this just mediocre basketball or do we just have more parity than is typical?

I believe this makes the third appearance for Doug, now a junior at University of Detroit.

Sophomore guard John Taylor gets his cues on the sideline with Mott head coach Steve Schmidt Wednesday night. Taylor had 31 points in Mott's 84-76 win over Alpena.

FLINT, Michigan — Mott doesn’t win ugly often, but tonight’s 84-76 victory over Alpena was packed with enough ugliness to last the rest of the season.

After Mott started the game with a 30-13 lead, the Bears went into a deep sleep for the rest of the first half. Alpena went on a 27-10 run to tie the game going into the break. The Lumberjacks would lead by as many as five in the second half before a familiar name once again rose to the occasion.

Mott sophomore guard John Taylor has a habit of bailing out the Bears in close (and ugly) games, and tonight was no exception. Taylor scored 23 of his game-high 31 points in the second half to lead Mott (20-1) to the victory.

Freshman forward Devon Elder led Alpena (7-13) with 23 points.

I’m not sure what else to say about this one. It was the worst performance I’ve seen from Mott all season. The effort on defense, especially after the initial first-half burst, was atrocious. If the Bears duplicate tonight’s effort next Wednesday against Henry Ford, they’ll leave the floor with their second loss of the season.

A win is a win, true, but in my world context matters. No one on this team is going to be happy about this win.