Muskegon Community College did battle with the Lakers from Mid Michigan College and after an intense, hard fought game they were able to recover from a 22 point deficit for a 59-58 last second victory on Sophomore night.
During the first round of conference play the Jayhawks beat the previously undefeated Lakers in Mt. Pleasant, 58-50. It was clear from the opening tip that the Lakers were looking for pay back and it was obvious that the Jayhawks were distracted. The Lakers took the lead right from the start and finished the first quarter up 16-7. The Jayhawks struggled to break the Laker press, the post players weren’t involved and the guards didn’t knock down shots. The second quarter was more of the same and the Jayhawks only managed to scored 10 points. At the half it was the Lakers with a 22 point lead, 39-17. In the third quarter MCC was able to break the press and create some scoring chances. In addition they were able to get some defensive stops and the quarter ended 49-37 with the advantage still to Mid Michigan. MCC continued to cut into the Laker lead and with about 3 minutes left in the game they were able to grab their first lead of the night. The two teams traded baskets down the stretch and with MCC down by 1, sophomore Artrese Williams (Reeths-Puffer HS) drove the baseline for a last second attemtpt that was long. Mariah Pringle (Brethren HS) grabbed the rebound and laid it in for the final basket and the win.
Freshman Pringle led the Jayhawk scoring with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Sophomore Elysia Mattos (Reeths-Puffer HS) followed with 13 points and 5 rebounds. At the conclusion of the game the Jayhawks honored their 3 sophomores, all from Reeths-Puffer High School: Artrese Williams, Delaney Bolles, and Elysia Mattos.
“Wow. Wow. Wow! What a great win for our team tonight, especially our sophomores!” said Head Coach Jason Cooper. “To be able to come back from being down 22 points at halftime shows the determination of this team. The Sophomore leadership really came through during the second half. We also saw a great performance from Freshman Mariah Pringle, who brought her “A” game tonight when it mattered most to score the game winning shot with 1.6 seconds left.”
The win leaves MCC at 15-2 in conference play, 23-3 overall and it sets up a show down in Benton Harbor with Lake Michigan College, who is also 15-2 in the conference on Wednesday, 2/27 at 5:30 pm. The winner will finish in first place, take the #1 seed into the Region XII tournament and play on Saturday, 3/2 for the state title.