After nearly three hours on the road to Jackson Saturday in the midst of the season’s first winter storm, no. 11-ranked Mott grounded the Jets, 93-66. The win was Mott’s fifth consecutive, a streak that will be tested Wednesday night on the road at (9-3) Kalamazoo Valley — arguably the top team in the MCCAA’s Western Conference.
Mott (8-1) struggled early, leading Jackson 29-26 with eight minutes left in the first half. The Bears finished the half on a 21-7 run to lead 50-33. Mott freshman Malik Albert scored 20 of his game-high 29 points in the half. Albert still leads the nation in scoring at 29 points per game.
All told, five Bears scored in double figures and the team combined to shoot 24-for-28 from the foul line. Sophomore Myles Busby scored 14 points with 10 rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Jamal Reynolds scored 13 points on 5-for-6 from the field. Reynolds, a Toronto product, is leading the nation in field goal percentage at nearly 80 percent. Freshmen Marcus Johnson and Lorenzo Collier added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
“I think we can get a whole lot better,” said head coach Steve Schmidt, who held an hour-long walk-through Saturday morning. “We have kids who are getting their eyes opened to what my expectations are. I’m not happy with our defensive effort through nine games. We’re scoring a lot of points, but we aren’t where we need to be.”
Schmidt’s championship teams, going back to 2007, held opponents to between 59-64 points per game. This year’s team is allowing nearly 75 points per game. Fortunately, the Bears are averaging north of 91 points per game which compares more than favorably with the aforementioned teams of the recent past.
Mott will continue to play without second-leading scorer Ruston Hayward, who is still nursing an injured knee. Hayward is day-to-day, but he is not expected to play Wednesday night against Kalamazoo Valley.
|Wayne County||0-0||.000||6-2||.750||—||2-1||1-1||3-0||Won 3|
|St. Clair County||0-0||.000||7-3||.700||—||3-1||2-2||2-0||Lost 1|
|Henry Ford||0-0||.000||4-4||.500||—||4-1||0-3||0-0||Won 1|
|Glen Oaks||0-0||.000||7-1||.875||—||5-1||2-0||0-0||Won 4|
|Kalamazoo Valley||0-0||.000||9-3||.750||—||5-1||4-1||0-1||Won 1|
|Lake Michigan||0-0||.000||6-4||.600||—||3-1||3-3||0-0||Won 1|
|Grand Rapids||0-0||.000||4-3||.571||—||2-1||2-2||0-0||Lost 1|