March 3rd, 2016
Schoolcraft wins against both Men’s and Women’s teams
Jason Watts II
The St. Clair County Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams both suffered losses against Schoolcraft College in very close contests. Starting with the Men’s team in one of the final games of their season, the Skippers took the mindset of “it’s time for payback” and stuck with that state of mind. Although early in the first half the Skippers were down 17-2 in the first 6 minutes of action, the Skippers struggled to put the ball in the basket. They found a way to battle back to close the gap to end the half by the score of 30-35. The shooting woes continued for the Skippers as a team they shot just above 30% for the game.
On to some positive notes for the game, Chris Parker lead the way with 12 points, 5 rebounds and also 5 assists. Jason Watts had 8 points and 4 rebounds, and Rico Cook 8 points and 4 rebounds. Finally, after the game, I was able to catch up with Skippers assistant coach Mike Davis for comments. Schoolcraft hit 4 straight threes to start the game. Although our scouting report was to be aware of their top 3 point shooter, we allowed him to hit the first three and get hot. Our close outs of his threes were minimal, we ran out but didn’t get our hands up on shots. But we battled back and cut the lead to 5 points at the half. We battled in the second half but we could never get the lead under 6 points. Schoolcraft moved the ball well on offense and when took quick shots. They capitalized on it by scoring on the other end.
On to Women’s team who had a similar fate like the men’s team. The Lady Skippers lost by a score 66-52. By the half the Women’s team were down 34-39, once the second half started Schoolcraft to pull away as they went on a 14-4 run in the 3rd quarter that put the game further out of reach for the lady skipper. Once the 4th quarter arrived the ladies fought back in the game but struggled to take care of the ball late in the game. On a good note Briann Alspaugh lead the way with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Leah Humes had 11 points 5 rebounds and 3 assists, and finally Madison Valko had 10 points 3 rebounds and 4 assists.
February 18th, 2016
Both teams win against Alpena Community College
Jason Watts II
The Skippers men’s team picked up a much needed win against Alpena Community College after having suffered 3 straight losses. The score margin wasn’t that big because it was a very good game, the final score came out to 90-82 with the Skippers being the victors.
Leading the way for the Skippers was sophomore Chris Parker, he had a total of 18 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Following him was Tarayle Cates and Xavian Edwards each with 13 points. Jay Springs put up 11 points, followed by Antonio Dupree with 10. These great performances by the Skippers lead them to the much needed win over the Lumberjacks.
The valiant efforts of the Skippers didn’t just stop at points being scored, as we all know a large part of winning a game is defense. Defense wins games. The Skippers were lead in rebounds by Jason Watts II with 8 rebounds followed by Jay Springs with 7. The Skippers have had a strong defense the past couple of games which has helped lead them to their wins.
The Lady Skippers followed in the boys’ footsteps and took home a win. The win against Alpena was much needed for the Lady Skips because they have also had a rough patch. The Lady Skippers had the way paved for them by Tamira McCoy-Motton with 13 points, she also helped on defense with 11 rebounds. She had an outstanding game, and helped get the “W.” She was followed by Briann Alspaugh with 12 points and 8 rebounds.
The Lady Skippers needed a good game to get back on the swing of winning. Both Skippers teams needed a good win and they both got that. The teams both played great and it was even better because they got the win at home.
January 19th, 2016
Men’s and Women’s teams beat OCC
Jason Watts II
This past Saturday afternoon the St. Clair County Community College Men’s and Women’s teams made a statement respectively to the rest of their conferences when they defeated Oakland Community College Men’s and Women’s teams.
Starting with the Lady Skippers coming into this game with a little bit of an attitude towards one particular player on the Lady Raiders Jasmine Parker who was a member of the Skippers last season, which made this contest more of a grudge match. It was a close game until the second half when the ladies starting to pull away.
Leading the way for them was Madison Valko with 29 points and 6 rebounds; also Kendall Stoll with 24 points and a game-high 16 rebounds; and lastly Leah Humes with 10 points 7 rebounds and 8 assists. The final score of the game was SC4 85 – OCC 71.
On to the Men’s team which was a nail biter right down to the last second. The whole game was a close game and a high scoring game as well. SC4 came into the game with intentions of becoming number one in their conference and they did just that in a tremendous fashion with a game winning shot made by Chris Parker.
Parker has been the leading scorer for the Skippers and has stepped up for them when it matters most. He lead the way for the Men’s team with 35 points, followed by sophomore Jason Watts with 15 points and 12 rebounds, Jay Springs with 10 points, and lastly Xavian Edwards had 8 points and 8 rebounds.
The Men’s team trailed the most of the game and kept battling till the end, eventually seizing control of the ballgame in the second half. The rebounding war was the X factor in this game was in the Skippers favor, which was won by the men’s team 41 to 35 in the last few seconds as the Raiders missed two critical free throws that would have sealed the game. The final score of the men’s game was SC4 86 – OCC 84.
The Men’s team’s next game is at home on Wednesday, Jan 20 at 7:30 pm against Henry Ford Community College. The Women’s team will play at 5:30 pm.
December 9th, 2015
It was November 13, and I had just finished watching the SC4 Women’s basketball team dominate their opposition with ease and was happy to learn the Men’s team was up next. I decided to stay and watch this game as well, however something triggered the fire alarms in the gymnasium and the building was evacuated outside to the chilly November evening while the Fire Department verified the building for safety. Having recently relocated to Port Huron from San Diego, it must have seemed colder to me than it actually was, and I decided at that point to head home. After sitting in on a recent Men’s team practice I now regret leaving that evening.
The 2015-16 Men’s squad is made up of only a few returning athletes from last year’s team mixed with a talented influx of new players, however the returning sophomores are very good and the team expects to be much improved from last year. I was fortunate to get an opportunity to talk with a few of the Skippers players who were clearly enthusiastic about this season. Sophomore Jason Watts is known to be the most prolific dunker on the team, being described as a Dwight Howard style power dunker. Jason stated, “We play together more, and have a lot more guys who want to work at it and learn together.”
Players from the Men’s team expressed that in both practice and in games thus far they are getting a lot better, learning to play together while becoming more comfortable with each other and the talents each teammate brings to the court. Sophomore point guard Jay Springs commented, “Compared to last year, the chemistry of the team is a lot better, right from the beginning in setting our goals. With conference games in January, we’re still a work in progress, still trying to figure each other on the court. Got to get better in practice, stay healthy.”
It is a close structure with this group, and it was evident they enjoy being on the court together. Xavier Edwards, a strong all around post player and rebounder who reminded me of NBA star Larry Johnson said, “Love these guys, they’re my family, I like the team, it’s a good team this year for sure.”
Freshman point guard Josh McClelland responded, “We can really do something in this conference. Everybody can defend well. Every game and practice were getting a lot better.”
Hard work ethic and the determination to improve as a team are obviously shared attributes for these players, and it is exhibited without difficulty. When asked if there were any final comments, the answer was simultaneous from the group “Go Skippers!”
While watching the Skippers at practice, Christopher Parker was brought to my attention, the Skippers leading scorer who is averaging roughly 27 points per game this season. Parker, a sophomore guard, has an effortless shot that never seems to hit the rim, only net. I think I saw him miss one shot, not sure though, because everything else went in. He is a natural talent on the court, moving with ease in transition, always seeming to be in the right position at the right time, and his jump shot was fast, smooth, and automatic.
Currently the Skippers are focused on the start of conference play in January, and same as the Women’s team, the conference is one of the strongest in the nation considering that the Skippers Eastern Division has two nationally ranked teams in it with Schoolcraft as the #1 team overall, and Mott at #13.
Head Coach Dale Vos commented on the significance of the conference strength saying “Our conference is so good top to bottom, there are no bad teams. We know Schoolcraft is going to be very very good, they’re ranked the #1 team in the country right now, they return 7 or 8 guys from the team that won the conference last year. Macomb will be a much better team, Oakland is always good, Mott is always good. There is never a night off.”
Coach Vos was also excited for the season to continue on, describing this year’s contingent as a uniquely balanced team that shoots the ball very well from outside the lane including three pointers, while also possessing a solid inside game that can score efficiently from the post. Despite being undersized in some positions, this years’ team has a nice mix that can run floor on a fast break when the opportunity presents itself, but also has the composure and patience to execute the set offense when a five on five situation occurs.
Leaving the Skippers practice midway through, I found myself really looking forward to seeing their next home game. Heck, they do have the talent, but I recognized most the camaraderie and genuine enjoyment they had while getting pushed through a hard practice. Fist bumps and high fives at practice? I don’t remember that at practice from when I played in school, but here it was.
Upcoming home contests for the Skippers will be Wednesday Dec. 9 against Rochester College JV @ 7:30 pm, and Lake Michigan Community College on Saturday Dec. 12 @ 3pm. Conference home slate vs Macomb Community College starts on Wednesday, Jan. 6 @ 7:30 pm, followed by a Wednesday, Jan. 13 matchup vs Wayne County CCD @ 7:30pm.
December 2nd, 2015
Lady Skippers win against Sinclair Community College
SC4 Women’s basketball team, the defending Michigan Community College Athletic Association Eastern Conference Champions, cruised to victory in their home opener on Friday night, Nov. 13 with a 68-50 win against Sinclair Community College of Dayton, Ohio.
First-year Head Coach Akilah Edmundson welcomes several returning players from last year’s squad, as well as many talented newcomers, that will certainly place the Skippers once again as the team to beat in the conference. The Skippers open the season ranked #14 in the NJCAA Division II women’s basketball pre-season poll, while playing in the arguably the most competitive conference in the nation that boasts 3 nationally ranked teams.
The Skippers opened their game against Sinclair with a dominating 12-0 run, showing a fast paced offense that rapidly pushed the ball up court, keeping the Sinclair defense off balance. At the same time the Skipper defense was efficient and effective only allowing Sinclair’s offense to run set plays with little success. The Skippers early lead was easily maintained through the 1st quarter with a score of 21-13.
In the second quarter, the Skippers continued with the offensive pressure on Sinclair and dominated the paint with perfect execution in rebounding and boxing out. The defense was suffocating and relentless, usually allowing the opposing offense only one chance to score. The referees seemed to take a break in the 2nd quarter as the play got more physical, and what appeared to be apparent fouls went by without a whistle. Adding to this, Sinclair dropped in a couple Hail Mary 3 pointers and for a moment it seemed as if a game might be developing. Not so, despite the opportunities for Sinclair to edge closer before the half, control of the game was unchanged, and the Skippers led by 10.
In the second half, the Skippers continued with their excellent defense, hustling for loose balls, and rebounds while never letting up throughout. On offense, the women’s team continued to penetrate the Sinclair defense utilizing great passing technique to create multiple scoring chances and in turn drawing several fouls from the Sinclair defense that continued to look out of sorts. By the end of the third quarter, the Skippers were again running the court at full speed to which Sinclair had no answer.
Everyone on the Skippers roster was a contributor, though the superstar of the evening had to be Madison Valko. Madison ended the game with 32 points, on 50% shooting from the field including 3 pointers, and 80% from the free throw line. Valko seemed to score at will, and from anywhere on the court she wanted. Whether driving the lane for a hoop and foul, a jump shot or a three pointer, she can do it all, and did on this night.
Leah Humes a true point guard worthy of all the accolades she has received, was on full display for the home crowd distributing the ball to the tune of 9 assists, scoring from every angle including a nice 3 pointer in the 2nd, and on defense #4 shutdown the opposing Sinclair guards finishing with 4 steals. Tamira McCoy-Motten chipped in 8 points and 5 rebounds. Jenna Boyl contributed 6 assists from the guard spot, and added 4 points as well. Kendall Stoll and Keegan Nelson dominated in the low post leading the team with 7 and 6 rebounds respectively.
Dual sport stars from SC4’s super successful volleyball team contributed quality minutes with Briann Alspaugh scoring 10 points and 3 rebounds, Jordan Johnson added a put back hook shot for 2 points with 3 rebounds, and Caitlyn Carlson grabbed a rebound.
Sometimes you want to see a close game and a hard fought victory, well that wasn’t possible on this night. It was a dominating performance that was unrelenting on offense and defense for all 4 quarters. The Lady Skippers controlled the game from the first second to the last, ending with an 18 point victory.
The Skippers upcoming home games following the Thanksgiving break will be Tuesday December 1 at 5:30 pm against Northwood University JV, and Wednesday December 9 at 5:30 pm against Rochester College JV. The heart of the schedule will begin with Lake Michigan Community College coming to Port Huron on the Saturday December 12 at 1 pm. Be sure to get out and see some great basketball this winter, and support our Skippers Women’s Basketball team!
March 14th, 2015
Sc4 Lady Skippers knock out in the final round
St. Clair County Community College Women’s Basketball team dominates land, sea, and air but fails to secure the final victory. In the race to claim the District H Tournament Championship the Lady Skippers destroyed two of the opposing teams but one.
On March 3 the sailing Skippers faced off against the flying Henry Ford Hawks once again for the Quarter-finals. With repeating a speedy and overwhelming offensive taking the Hawks out of the sky once again scoring 92 to 46.
“I watch the SC4 Skippers more than the Pistons because I know they won’t let me down” said John Dove, 50, from Yale.
Taking down their opponent in the sky, the ladies moved to the next bracket versing the Oakland County Community Raiders at Delta College for the semi-finals on March 5.
“The girls were excellent Thursday, they had the speed and the drive in running the Raiders in to the ground” said Mark Langley, 23, from Port Huron. Running them in the ground, the Ladies did in a sweeping win 81 to 56, a twenty-one point difference from their quarter-final game.
Now, with the golden ticket in hand, the Lady Skippers went on their way to the finals versing the Livonia College Schoolcraft Ocelots in a battle to see who will go on to the national tournament. Unfortunately, the Skippers offensive push stalled here.
“The girls played a close game but they weren’t the hard hitting players they usually were,” said Jane Wiknade, 19, from Kimball. Losing to the Ocelots by ten points, 58-68, the Skippers lost their ticket to nationals but they fought and pursed their goal to win.
This team is phenomenal on the court with strong defensive having overall rebounds percentages around 5 to 7 percent such as Briann Alspaugh with a 7.5% average (195), Breomi Jackson with a 6.3% average (183), and Jasmine Parker with a 5% average (136). The Skippers also have a hard hitting offensive players putting points on the board, like Leah Humes with an overall 163 points score and 362 attempts, followed by Madison Valko with 129 scored and 300 attempts.
“Yes they didn’t go all the way this year, but they have a dominate year and I love it that there is something we can expect and root on every single year from SC4, which is the Women’s basketball team,” stated James Woolman, 26 from Port Huron.
March 1st, 2015
Lady Skippers beat Henry Ford Hawks 83-70
With the stands semi-packed on a cold Saturday afternoon, the St. Clair County Community College women’s basketball team played an exceptional game on February 21.
The Skippers scored the first points against the Hawks with a minute in to the first half. With a couple of coast to coast and turnovers, the Skippers put the Hawks on the defensive and the ball in their hands.
The Skippers started to pull away in a scoring frenzy finishing the first half with 40 points to 31.
After intermission the Skippers started the second half at a slow pace but retaliated with comebacks. Five minutes in they hit the ground running, literally, with an eleven point lead five minutes in the half the Hawks try to stop the Skipper’s advance and jump start one of their own but it was short lived.
The Skipper’s defense broke the offensive back bone with rejections and turnovers. The skippers declared full steam ahead, winning the game with a final score of 83 to 70, adding to their standings with 20 wins and 5 losses.
They know each other’s strengths and capitalize on them. Number 30 Breomi Jackson, out of Detroit, is an excellent rebounder and defender. Working with teammate like number 24 Brianna Mayes, from Flint, who is fast as well play defensive and offensive is the right mixture for a powerhouse. With a combination of rushing offensives and stout defense, the Skippers dominated the court making the Saturday Night Lives’ Chicago native Bob Swerski’s super fans hail them like da Bears.
February 26th, 2014
Skippers approach playoffs
Both Macomb Community College Monarch basketball teams were singed by their SC4 counterparts Tuesday as the Skipper squads continue their march to the playoffs.
The Lady Skippers notched their 20th victory in a row in front of a home crowd with a score of 80 to 58, a drubbing of the third place Macomb team.
Sheyna Deans led SC4 with 23 points. Rachel Kehoe notched 18 points and six rebounds. And Ta’kira Height added 13 points.
“I thought we played well,” said women’s basketball coach Michael Groulx. “We executed our game plan effectively. Our half-court defense was excellent.”
The win gives SC4 a 17-0 league record, one game from an undefeated season. Their overall record is 24-2.
“Overall, we were able to use our athleticism to make plays on both offense and defense” Groulx said.
The Lady Skippers play for the state championship on Saturday; then move on to the regional tournament on March 7.
SC4 men’s squad upped their league record to 10-7 and 17-11 overall.
“I was proud of the way our guys found a way to win,” said men’s basketball coach Dale Vos. “Although we shot poorly from the three point range and the free throw line, we only trailed once. Otherwise, we led the whole way.”
Marquis Pool and Antwan Willis led the Skippers with 12 points. Matthew Van Dyk added 11 points and 12 rebounds.
“This was an important win as it clinched a home playoff berth” Vos said.
SC4 will host an opening round regional playoff game Tuesday at 7 p.m.
February 13th, 2014
SC4 Women’s Basketball team takes first place in the Eastern Conference
To construe the Lady Skippers’ home victory as shooting Firebirds in a barrel would be unfair, as Kirtland did not have enough players to fill a barrel.
With only six players, the Kirtland squad was no match for the twelfth ranked SC4.
The Skippers overpowered the Firebirds by a score of 99-47on Jan. 29. With the game out of hand early, SC4 used the opportunity to hone their skills.
“No matter who we go up against we must keep up the same intensity,” said freshman Ta’kira Height. “We use a game like this to continue to improve our skill set. That allows us to be better prepared for more talented teams. We kept up the pressure and kept running the floor. We focused on playing team basketball.”
After scoring the first six points in the game, SC4 dominated the Kirtland squad, ending the first half with a 52-26 lead. SC4 opened the second half with a 14 point run. The Firebirds’ hopes for rebirth were doused. After the Lady Skippers’ smoke settled, the outcome was a decisive 52 point victory.
“Tonight, we knew that with six players Kirtland would not be much competition,” said sophomore Rachel Kehoe. “We used the opportunity as a stepping stone to improve our game. Our team has the talent to make a run. We just need to reach last year’s competitive spirit. We have to quit repeating mistakes and develop the fight that took us so far last season.”
Last year the Lady Skippers reached the national final four. Second year head coach Michael Groulx hopes this year’s squad will reach that same lofty realm.
“We need to continue to get better,” said Groulx. “Our execution must be more efficient. We have one of the best transition teams in the nation. However, we need to continue to improve on the little things.”
Height and Sheyna Deans led SC4 with 17 points for the Lady Skippers. Whitley Currie added 13. The win gives SC4 control of first place in the Eastern Conference of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association with a record of 9-0 (16-2 overall). Their win streak stands at twelve. Kirtland falls to 2-6 in the MCCAA (4-8 overall).
The Lady Skippers next host Delta College at 1 p.m. on Feb. 15.
November 7th, 2013
SC4’s basketball team prepares for the season opener
The first home game of SC4’s Men’s Basketball team will kick off on Wednesday Nov. 6at 8 p.m. The schedule features a game against Concordia University JV as the first official home game of the 2013- 2014 season.
SC4 finished with a record of 16-15 last season, a winning record, and an overall successful basketball season.
Even more impressive was their record at home just this past season, a record of 8-5 is very successful for a home team, and a great sign of things to come. SC4 also managed to sneak in a spot in the NJCAA district 10 tournament last season, losing in the first round to Oakland Community College, 80-74. (more…)