Archive for the ‘High School’ Category

The 2016-17 campaign ended abruptly for the Mott Community College Bears on Thursday afternoon in Port Huron.

The issues that plagued the Bears in big games all season long came to the fore at the worst possible time, as Macomb turned a 21-5 second half run into an 85-84 win.

Macomb will take on Wayne County on Saturday for the right to play in the NJCAA National Tournament in Danville, Illinois. Wayne County pulled a shocking upset over no. 9-ranked Schoolcraft College.

“We had some great looks down the stretch that didn’t go down,” said Mott head coach Steve Schmidt to MRSN radio. “These are two good teams.We competed right to the end.

“It’s a process. We just have to keep working.”

The Bears led by as many as eight points in the second half but, as we’ve seen in several big games this season, they failed to put a good team away.

 

Mott (24-7) led by one at the break and started the second half with on a 9-2 run punctuated by a 3-pointer from freshman point guard Darwin Weis. The Bears led by eight points and just 10 minutes later, trailed by eight.

 

 

Mott actually tied the game at 76 after a basket by freshman swingman Marcus Cole, but were unable to wrestle back the lead. After a pair of Macomb free throws with five seconds left, Austin Walker’s triple at the buzzer only made the final score more demoralizing for Mott fans.

 

Mott shot 36 percent from the field and were out-rebounded by 14 in the second half. The Bears’ lack of a frontline scorer and defender came back to haunt them against the Monarchs and their 6-8 beast Gary Parry.

 

Macomb freshman Dwight Burton led the Monarchs with 19 points.

Sophomore and 1,000-point scorer Diandre Wilson scored 25 points with six boards in his final game at Mott. Shawn Pardee added 16 points. Cole and Walker, both freshmen, added 10 points apiece.

Unlike the past few seasons, it appears the program is back on the right track. That said, Mott cannot afford to start another season two returning players. If Cole, Pardee, Walker, Weis, Sidney Mason, Louis Taborn, and Deon Palmer all return, Mott could contend for a national title next season. But based on the last few seasons, returning everyone is highly unlikely.

 

FLINT, Michigan — Steve Schmidt’s stars shone brightest on Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the District 10 tournament. Schmidt’s Bears were matched up against Delta, a team they beat twice in the regular season by razor-thin margins.

Sophomore Diandre Wilson and freshman Marcus Cole proved to be too much for the Pioneers, as Mott advanced to the tournament semifinals with a 76-68 win. Mott will take on Macomb at 1 p.m. on Thursday at St. Clair Community College.

Wilson and Cole, Mott’s leading scorers this season, scored 51 points including the Bears’ first 10 points. Cole scored 13 of his 20 points in the first half while Wilson waited until the second half to score the bulk of his game-high 31.

The Bears were remarkably efficient early on, connecting on 15 of 23 shots in the first half including five of their first eight 3-point attempts.

Nursing a five-point lead at halftime, the Bears led by only a basket midway through the second half before sophomore Robert McCalley exploded for five points in less than 30 seconds. The Bears led by as many as 13 points with three minutes left before fending off a late Delta run to win by eight.

McCalley scored 16 points off the bench for Mott (24-6). Freshman sharpshooter Shawn Pardee added nine points.

Jonathan Swift led Delta with 21 points. The Pioneers finish the season with a 10-15 record.

Listen to Mott basketball all season long at MRSN.us.

Mott Community College will begin the 2017 NJCAA District 10 playoffs against Delta College at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night in Flint. The Bears, fresh off Wednesday night’s 71-55 win over Wayne County, will be favored against Delta, a team they beat twice during the regular season. Both games were decided by less than four points.

Delta finished the regular season with a 10-14 record. If the Bears beat Delta Tuesday night, they will play the winner of Henry Ford and Macomb at St. Clair Community College Thursday night.

The Bears’ win over Wayne County was the 14th win in 15 home games this season. Mott’s regular season record improved to 23-6. Mott led by 14 at the break and never was never close in the second half.

“That was a good win; They have good athletes on perimeter and inside,” Mott head coach Steve Schmidt told MRSN Wednesday night. “Now it’s march madness. We got a lot of good efforts (tonight), but there’s a lot more to do. It’s win or go home now.”

Mott sophomore and 1,000-point scorer Diandre Wilson led all scorers with 33 points, five assists and five steals. Freshman sharpshooter Shawn Pardee added 15 points.

The Bears, now at full strength for the first time in several weeks, surrendered  only 55 points against Wayne, their best defensive performance in over a month. They will need that and more to knock off top-seeded Schoolcraft.

Listen to Mott all season at MRSN.us.

 

FLINT, Michigan — No. 13-ranked Mott rode a spirited second half performance to knock off St. Clair Wednesday night in Flint, 86-68.

The Bears needed a strong performance heading in to Saturday’s road matchup against first-place Macomb County. That game will go a long way toward deciding who is crowned the MCCAA Eastern Conference champion.

The Bears’ looked lifeless in the first half against St. Clair, seemingly going through the motions against a completely outmanned Skippers squad. The Bears led by three at the half and strode meekly to the locker room. A little less than 15 minutes later, there was an entirely different team on the court.

Five minutes into the second half, the Bears led by 12 points after an 11-2 run. Mott was sparked by freshman sharpshooter Shawn Pardee and fellow freshman reserve forward Louis Taborn. Not only is Taborn one of the only players on the planet actually taller than his roster height (6-4), he’s also exactly the type of player this team has lacked for most of the season.

Taborn, who has played sparingly this season, brings another level of energy and effort on both ends of the floor. In limited minutes, he scored 12 points (season-high) and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Deandre Wilson led Mott (21-5) with 20 points (including a dunk) and six assists. Pardee and Robert McCalley added 14 and 13 points, apiece. Freshman point guard Darwin Weis, who sets the bar for energy and effort in the backcourt, had seven points with six assists and six steals.

The Bears have a couple days to prepare for Macomb, a team that they beat by eight points at home a little more than three weeks ago. Listen live Saturday afternoon on MRSN.us. The game tips at 3 p.m.

Mott’s Diandre Wilson enters 1,000-point club

Posted: February 15, 2017 by Jared Field in High School

 

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Mott sophomore Diandre Wilson

It’s not easy to be a household name in the Schmidt House. For more than two decades, Mott has been a clearinghouse for high-level guards who always seem to find their way to the D-1 level.

Enter sophomore Diandre Wilson.

The 6-2 combo guard from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is among the top JUCO guards in the country this season. Wilson has scored 30-plus points four times this season including a 37-point outburst against rival Oakland.

He is averaging 22 points per game with four assists. His season average is the second-most for any player in the Schmidt era (John Taylor, 24.9). It’s more than big-time players like Ohio State guard Jeremie Simmons, Alonzo Evans (Cincinnati) and Rashi Johnson (MSU).

Wilson is the real deal.

With plenty of basketball left to be played, he has already etched his name into the history books as one of the top scorers in program history.

Heading into Mott’s clash with Schoolcraft on Wednesday night, Wilson has 1,067 points in his career, good enough for third-most in the Steve Schmidt era (he passed former National Player of the Year Jay Youngblood last month).

With a little luck and a lot of stellar play, Wilson has an outside shot at reeling in former Mott great Malik Albert (Creighton), who scored 1,252 points in his career. (Simmons is the all-time leading scorer with 1,349 points.)

Wilson has earned a reputation for doing what he calls “making something out of nothing.” He has shown an ability to score on and off the ball, to create for himself and his teammates.  He’s about as steady a player as we’ve seen at Mott; he’s calm, calculating and creative.

Wilson’s coach shrugs off comparisons between his current and former players, preferring to highlight their uniqueness as individuals.

“Diandre has the ability to make plays … he’s deceptively athletic, although he’s not going to blow you away with his athleticism,” said Mott’s hall of fame head coach Steve Schmidt. “He has a very high basketball IQ, is mentally tough and extremely confident.”

Schmidt said Wilson’s final chapter at Mott is far from being written. He has an opportunity to lead his team in the same way many of the great guards in the past have – through the postseason.

Wilson, for his part, sees a big difference in his play from last season that could be crucial for his team down the stretch.

“The things that have really changed about me as a player is making the right play at the right time,” he said. “Making sure I’m making the game easy for myself and teammates. Also being a leader at all times on and off the court.”

Schmidt acknowledges as much, first noting Wilson’s improvements off the court and their effect on his performances on it.

“He’s really matured and taken on a leadership role as well as taken ownership in the program,” Schmidt said. “As a freshman, he was our top player on an average team that didn’t work as hard as it takes on and off the court to be successful. There’s a reason why we only brought Diandre and Sean Corcoran back from last season. Diandre put a lot of extra time in after his freshman season. He stayed here in the spring to take classes and we worked diligently on his game. He matured and become more comfortable with our program.”

Mott fans are just as comfortable with Wilson leading the upstart Bears this season. With a 19-4 record, the Bears are on pace for their best season since 2013.

The dream for Wilson is a national championship run and an opportunity to play at the next level, one that many before him have seen through.

“I think he will have a smooth transition to the next level because of his understanding of the game, and his ability to make plays,” Schmidt said. “He’s also done a great job of putting himself in position to graduate.  There are a lot of great players who lose sight of the academic piece and end up scrambling.”

Schmidt says there are a number of solid D-1 programs who know his name and are currently recruiting him.

“They also know what to expect when they recruit a player from Mott,” he added.  “We just need to focus on taking care of business down the stretch and the other things will take care of themselves. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be successful.”

 

Mott freshman Marcus Cole slams home two of his 17 points against Alpena (Gerry Leslie photo)

The Mott Community College Bears made quick work of Alpena on Saturday afternoon in Flint. The Bears’ top scorer, Diandre Wilson, could not miss from outside and led the Bears to an easy win, 85-52.

The Bears, winners of 13 of their last 14, entered the game tied for first in the MCCAA’s eastern conference with Macomb and Schoolcraft. After Saturday’s game between those two, Mott is now tied with only Macomb, a team they beat Wednesday night by eight.

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt said he had to work to keep his team focused for Saturday’s tilt, as Alpena (0-11) came into the game winless on the season. Alpena’s head coach, Frank McCourt, will retire after after the season, his 50th with the Lumberjacks.

“These are tough games to get ready for,” Schmidt told MRSN radio after the game. “To their credit, they’ve hung in there. Our league is good, so it’s tough.”

Mott (17-3) led the Lumberjacks by 21 at the half and by more than 30 for long stretches of the second half.

Wilson, a future division one guard, led all scorers with 31 points. Wilson had eight triples on 10 attempts. Freshman forward Marcus Cole added 17 points.

Schmidt said he continues to be impressed by the play of freshman point guard Darwin Weis, who came up huge for the Bears on Wednesday night versus Macomb.

“He’s still doing a good job running the team,” he said. “He’s defending well .. and anytime you hold a team to 52 points, you have a good chance of winning the game.”

Weis had nine points, seven assists and four steals. 

Schmidt’s Bears will have three consecutive road games coming up, including Wednesday night versus Wayne County, a gym that has not been friendly to the Bears in recent years.

“I think we’re a much better road team than we’ve been in the past few years,” Schmidt said. “I see this team getting better, I really do. We have a tough stretch, but I think this team is up to the challenge.”

Listen to Mott basketball all season at MRSN.us or through the Tune-in Radio app.

 

 

No. 12 Mott knocks off Mid Michigan, 76-56

Posted: December 17, 2016 by Jared Field in High School

FLINT, Michigan — The Mott Community College Bears were a man down on Saturday afternoon in Flint. Sophomore forward Robert McCalley sat out the game with an ankle injury he suffered last week.

Even so, the Lakers of Mid Michigan College (7-2) were no match for the no. 12-ranked Bears. Mott led by 14 at the half, and by as many as 22 in the second half, en route to a 76-56 victory. The Bears improved to 10-2 on the season.

Mott head coach Steve Schmidt said before the game that his team was prepared for a fight against MMCC. Schmidt has a lot of respect for MMCC head coach Caleb House and his staff, and knew the Lakers could fill it up from outside. His words proved true, as every time the Bears appeared poised to blow the game wide open, the Lakers shot their way back.

The Bears held the Lakers to only two points in the first five minutes due, in large part, to the pressure Mott was able to put on MMCC’s ball handlers. Pressuring the ball was a consistent theme in the game for Mott, and has been during the Bears’ six-game winning streak. During that stretch, the Bears are surrendering  only 61 points per game.

That 60-point threshold is an important one for Mott, as Schmidt’s championship teams of the past made a habit of holding teams under that mark.

Windy City freshman Marcus Cole scored 20 points with six rebounds. Freshman guard Austin Walker scored 15 points including a dunk in transition. The streaky shooter from South Carolina is really starting to show a nice all-around offensive game.

Diandre Wilson and Sidney Mason added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The Bears will be off for Christmas break and will return to action on December 30 against Lake Michigan College. Listen live all season at MRSN.us.

Mott Community College, on the strength of a 29-10 run in the second half, blew out Kalamazoo Valley on Wednesday night in Flint, 91-58. 

Both teams started off rusty after a delayed start to the game. After the sluggish start, the Bears simply overpowered KVCC. Mott (9-2) led by 30 midway through the second half paced by the play of sophomore guard Diandre Wilson. 

“It was a pretty good second half but we just didn’t have it at first,” said Mott Head Coach Steve Schmidt to MRSN. “It was a good win. We just need one more and then we can enjoy Christmas.”

The contest was the first of five consecutive home games for Mott in the next three weeks. The Bears must remain focused in preparation for the  January 4 clash against unbeaten Oakland CC. The Raiders are the only team in Michigan the Bears are looking up at in the NJCAA national poll. 

Wilson led all scorers with 22. Marcus Cole added 16 and Shawn Pardee 11. 

The Bears will take on Mid Michigan CC at 3 pm Saturday at Ballenger Fieldhouse. Listen live on the Michigan Regional Sports Network.  

The Mott Community College Bears won their fourth game in a row on Saturday afternoon, blowing out Muskegon 69-52 on the road. The matchup was the team’s last road contest for more than a month.

The Bears won their earlier meeting with Muskegon, 92-64.

Marcus Cole, one of the Bears’ top freshmen, was tasked with stopping Daryl Kirkland, a D-1 transfer from Eastern Michigan and one of the top players in the MCCAA. Cole held Kirkland to nine points on 4-for-17 from the field. It was a backbreaker for Muskegon, now 5-3 on the season.

The Bears (8-2), led by sophomore guard Deandre Wilson, led by 11 at the half. After Muskegon cut the Bears’ lead to six, Mott sprinted out on a 10-0 run to put the game out of  reach.

Wilson led all scorers with 20 points. Freshman Austin Walker scored 16 points on seven shots. Freshman Sidney Mason added six points, eight rebounds and five blocks. In addition to his stellar defense on Muskegon’s top player, Cole scored 10 points with six rebounds and three steals.

The Bears next five games will be played in the friendly confines of Ballenger Fieldhouse. They will be favored in four of five (Oakland the possible exception).Expect the Bears to continue creeping up the NJCAA national poll. They are currently no. 18 but that will certainly improve after Wednesday’s win over Lansing.

Mott will take on Kalamazoo Valley at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night at home. Listen lives on the Michigan Regional Sports Network at MRSN.us.

 

No. 16-ranked Mott blows out Muskegon, 92-64

Posted: November 11, 2016 by Jared Field in High School

Mott Community College improved to 3-1 on the season after a 92-64 blowout of Muskegon (1-1) on Friday night in Flint.

The Bears led by 16 at the break before exploding for 50 points in the second half. Mott shot 63 percent from the field in the half and 40 percent from three-point range.

Five Bears scored in double figures led by sophomore Diandre Wilson’s 20 points, five assists and five rebounds. Forwards Rob McCalley and Marcus Cole added 18 points apiece. Freshman guards Shawn Pardee and Austin Walker rounded out the scoring with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Daryl Kirkland led Muskegon with 19 points.

Mott will return to action at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Kalamazoo Valley.