FLINT, Michigan — Mott Community College’s first game after its return to the top spot in the NJCAA national poll was frenetic from start to finish. The Bears weathered some hot shooting early from Macomb County before blowing their doors off in the second half, winning 87-55.
The story of the game was the play of Mott’s 6-foot-9 freshman Coreontae DeBerry. The Holland (MI) High School standout turned in his best performance as a Bear on Wednesday night, pouring in 26 points with six rebounds and a pair of blocks.
“Coreontae really played well; he made an impact,” said Mott head coach, Steve Schmidt. “We’re going to continue to build on the progress he’s making; he’s still a work in progress; he’s not there yet.”
His performance, coupled with a solid effort from sophomore forward Fred Mattison (16 points, eight rebounds) bodes well for Mott as they look forward to Saturday’s game on the road against a tough Wayne County team.
Macomb actually led the game 26-23 midway through the first half in large measure on the back of sophomore forward Patrick Ferrell, one of the better prospects I’ve seen this season in the MCCAA. Ferrell eventually found himself in foul trouble, but still managed 18 points in 20 minutes. He was the only Monarch in double-figures.
The Monarchs’ lead lasted less than two minutes, though. A pull-up by sophomore Kory Billups and followed by a steal and slam by freshman Malik Albert reclaimed the lead for Mott, and they didn’t give it back. Sophomore Kortez Ross scored five straight points to give Mott a comfortable 13-point advantage at the half.
The rest of the game was little more than a showcase of Mott’s tremendous depth. Every player on the roster scored at least three points and the level of offensive execution did not waver in the second half.
Albert scored only three points, but showed that he’s starting to get comfortable in his role as the team’s lead guard. He had 13 assists, four steals and only two turnovers.
“That’s being a consumate teammate, coming off a 26-point effort Monday night,” Schmidt said. “He went from scoring 26 to being responsible for 26. He didn’t play point guard in high school, but I think he’s doing tremendous. He does what he has to do to help us win.”
The Bears shot a sizzling 56 percent from the field in the game and 83 percent from the charity stripe.
The Bears improve to 22-1 overall and 12-0 in conference. Macomb falls to 6-16 overall and 0-12 in conference.
Mott’s game versus Wayne County on Saturday tips at 3 p.m.