Category Archives: Basketball

All things related to basketball.

Stepping in and stepping up

Jesse Schienke

Staff Writer

Whether it pertains to something within the game, something within a team or something within a program, adversity and sports go hand-in-hand.

SC4’s basketball program is dealing with that adversity at a crucial time of their season.

SC4 men’s basketball assistant coach Mike Groulx has been named interim head coach of the women’s basketball team following the resignation of first-year head coach, Lakita Gantz, on Wednesday, Jan.25.

Gantz did not provide a direct reason for her resignation.

Replacing a coach mid-season is no small task, and it put SC4 athletic director and men’s head basketball coach Dale Vos in a tough spot.

“My first thought was to just promote Lucretia Bowerman, coach Gantz’s assistant, to finish the year. She  told would be willing to finish out the year as head coach if she had to, but had no interest in keeping the job going forward into next year,” said Vos.

The solution seemed to be a sensible one, but Vos didn’t want to leave Bowerman to run the team alone.

“Initially, I turned to Mike just to see if he’d be willing to help out,” Vos said. “After talking about it for quite some time, he expressed an interest in taking over as head coach.”

Groulx, a former player at SC4, has been learning as an assistant under Coach Vos for the last six years, and has always aspired to someday be a head coach.

“I was a little hesitant at first,” said Groulx. “I had never really envisioned myself coaching women. But the more I thought about it and the more Coach Vos and I discussed it, I began to see it as a great opportunity to gain experience as well as helping to move the program in the right direction.”

In addition to the fact that he is picking up in the middle of the year, there are also many differences between the men and women’s games that Groulx will be forced to adapt to, and he’ll have to do so rather quickly.

“I’m beginning to realize how much I’ve learned from Coach Vos,” Groulx said. “He’s really prepared me and I feel ready to take on this new challenge.”

Vos has every confidence in his proverbial understudy.

“I have no doubt that Mike will do a terrific job,” said Vos. “He’s a great student of the game and I know he’s very passionate about it. He really wants to be a head coach.”

As far as the future of the position is concerned, no decisions have been made just yet.

V for victory

Christian McGeachy

Sports Editor

After a few weeks of getting L’s, the Skippers finally come up with a way to get the W.

On Saturday, Feb. 4, the St.Clair County Community College men’s basketball came up with the win over Kirtland Community College 70 – 56. Breaking the Skippers losing streak of six games in row.

Throughout the whole game, the Skippers seemed to be determined on breaking their losing woes.

SC4’s men’s basketball team had a comfortable lead at halftime with a score of 36 – 27 and kept their composure to pick up the win and never lose the lead.

Johnnie Mills had himself a ball game by leading in scoring with 24 points.

Others on the Skippers that scored were: Josh Craig with 10 points. Melvin Green III and Dennis Hogan contributed 8 points apiece. Also scoring was: Latwann Wesley, Deion Stegall, Jesse Schienke, Brendalle Smith and Lionel Hicks. Showing that the Skippers were moving the ball around really well.

Latwann Wesley (#4) takes the open shot in Skippers win over Kirtland Community College on Saturday. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy
Latwann Wesley (#4) takes the open shot in Skippers win over Kirtland Community College on Saturday. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy

The Skippers also did a good job on the boards as well.

Dennis Hogan lead the team in rebounds with eight of his own. Also, Jesse Schienke produced six rebounds and Brendalle Smith had five rebounds as well.

With seven games left to go in the regular season, the Skippers are 11- 12 and 3 – 7 in the last 10 games.

Scoring leader up to this point for SC4‘s men’s basketball is Johnnie Mills with 274 points and 13.7 per game. Also scoring big for the Skippers this year are Jesse Schienke with 192 points and Latwann Wesley with 185 points.

Hopefully with a win on a hot winter afternoon, the Skippers will get into the winning groove and out of the loss column.

Next home games will be on Feb. 8, against Alpena Community College and Feb.18, against Mott Community College.

Skippers fall into losing streak

Christian McGeachy

Sports Editor

“We just need to become a better basketball team,” St. Clair County Community College basketball coach Dale Vos said after his team lost 68 – 65 to Delta College last Saturday.

Once again, SC4’s basketball team is struck with another lose on the season. With the loss to Delta College on Saturday, the Skippers are now in a three game losing streak.

At the end of the first half of Saturday’s home game, the Skippers were losing 37 – 27. With many led changes in the final five minutes of the game and couple clutch three’s from Lionel Hicks, the Skippers still fell short.

It seemed St. Clair County Community College tried to come back, but it was too little too late. Vos said, “We didn’t play well enough for the first thirty minutes.”

Johnnie Mills (#2) gets blocked by Jody Hill (#3) in Skippers versus Delta College game. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy
Johnnie Mills (#2) gets blocked by Jody Hill (#3) in Skippers versus Delta College game. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy

Skippers overall record now is 10 – 9 after Saturday.

“We are really down…None of us believe that we are a 10 – 9 basketball team,” said Vos also said, “At one point you are what your record says you are and if you don’t believe that then you have to do something to fix that.”

The Skippers fell to their ninth loss of the season by the way of turnovers, missed opportunities and giving up offensive rebounds for second chance points. When asked about what the team will be focusing on in practice next week, Vos  remarked, “ We are going to be focusing playing as a team and playing for each other. I think we are a very talented group and we gotta figure out a way to get all that talent in the same direction.”

Hopefully with some good practices next week, the team will be able set the direction for a “W.”

Next home games for the St. Clair County Community College Skippers will be on Jan. 25 against Schoolcraft College, and on Feb. 4 against Kirkland Community College.

Basketball update

Christian McGeachy

Dreidel Elf

Thanksgiving was a perfect time to give thanks, watch football with family and friends, and for the basketball teams of St. Clair County Community College, a well deserved break from the court.

Going into Thanksgiving break, both teams were off to a good start to the season. The men’s basketball team has a record of 4-2 with their only loss coming from Muskegon Community College 82-62 and Owens Community College 73-62.

SC4 Skippers Lionel Hicks goes for a lay up. Photo By Christian McGeachy
SC4 Skippers Lionel Hicks goes for a lay up. Photo By Christian McGeachy

Up to this point, the Skippers have been doing really well on the offensive side of the court. The Skippers have four players that average double digits in points per game. Those players are: Johnnie Mills with 14.6, Jesse Schienke with 13.8, Latwann Wesley with 12.6 and Deion Stegall with an even 10.

Defensively, the skippers have not stopped their opponents from scoring and have been very close games so far this season. The opponents have been able to score over 70 points in all of their games this year, but have held them under triple digits so far this season. Only one player on the team is averaging over 10 rebounds a game and that is Jesse Schienke with 11.2.

On the other side of the court, the Lady Skippers had a good start to the season. Winning their first three games of the season, but fell short the last three games against Muskegon Community College, Kalamazoo Community College, Lansing Community College, and Owens Community College. Making the Lady Skippers 3-4 to start off the season.

So far this season, the Lady Skippers have struggled on the court offensively by only having two girls score over 50 points in the first six games. Through the last three games, the Lady Skippers have been outscored 273 – 192, showing that the ladies have to find a better way to stop the opposition from scoring the ball.

So, both teams are off to a decent direction in the season, but both need improvement. Defense creates offense and both teams could use more defense in stopping the opponents from scoring.

Hopefully, now that the turkey and mashed potatoes are gobbled up, the men’s and women’s basketball teams will go from dinner time to prime time.

Home court, slam dunk, and a whole lot of points

On Nov. 10, the temperature was dropping, the snow was coming and the SC4 men’s basketball team was winning.

The Skippers held their first home stand against Rochester College and ended on the right foot with a victory of 111-99.

After the game, Coach Dale Vos said that the key to their first win was their offense. On the same note Vos said, “We shared the ball pretty well…I thought for the most part we made good decisions.”

Sharing was a big thing to their success with six Skippers scoring in double digits. Leading the way was Johnnie Mills scoring 20 points, Antwan Willis with 19 points, Latwann Wesley with 18, Deion Stegall with 15, Nate Russell with 13 and Jesse Schienke with 12.

Latwann Wesley (#4) slam dunks towards 18 points and SC4’s first win of the season. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy
Latwann Wesley (#4) slam dunks towards 18 points and SC4’s first win of the season. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy

The Skippers came out with some great offense and scored a lot of points, but Rochester College still scored 99 points on their defense. And every great team needs to have defense to win.

“I thought the defense [SC4’s] was just awful,” Vos said. “The reason it was a tight game was, because we didn’t defend well at all.”

Even though the Skippers had players in double digits, the highest scorer in the game came from Rochester College. Matt Mullins was the games highest scorer with 29 points. Showing that the Skippers had a hard time defending against Rochester’s high scorer.

Even though the Skippers came out with a victory in their first regular season game, their defense could’ve been their downfall. In fact, Vos added “That’s the worst defense in individual game we’ve played in at least four years.”

SC4’s next home game will be on Tuesday, Nov. at 7:30 p.m. against Owens Community College.

Looks like the SC4 men’s basketball team will be working on defense before their next game.

Christian McGeachy

Sports Editor


Set sail for victory

The smell of popcorn filled the gym, the rustling of the bags sounding like a light rain storm falling on the roof. Until the basketball game between Rochester and the SC4 lady skippers began.

Then there was only cheering.

The game started with Rochester coming out of the gate strong, scoring first with a strong offence. But the lady skippers fought back and lead in scoring for the rest of the game.

The passing was strong on both sides of the court, and the both teams fought hard to win.

The next half started off with the skippers scoring right out of the gate. They had a solid lead and kept it throughout the rest of game.

Lady skippers went on to win the game, 64-51.

Zack Penzien

Production Editor


Battle of the sexes

Fighting like lions and tigers, only this time for a good cause. On Thursday, Oct. 13, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams played against each other to raise fund for both teams. Altogether, $221 were raised and split between the two teams to pay for equipment, uniforms, and travel funds.

At the end of the first half, the lady skippers were down 30-16. Even though they fought hard to gain a lead, the game ended with a Men’s close win at 42-31. Though some players were disappointed by the close ending, they were reminded that the game was for fundraising, not competition.

Coach LaKita Gantz commented that even though not a large amount of money was made, she plans to have the Women’s Basketball team participate in more fundraisers, such as a fashion show or assorted parties. She also hopes that more people will be aware of the teams because of this event and will come out to more of the events to help the teams.

Gantz believes that the game showed her what members of the team played more competitively, played harder, and played better against their male counterparts, what she believes to be a good indication of how well they’ll play against other women’s teams. It showed her what the team needs to work on at practice, as well.

Clay Kimball

Webmaster

Battle of the sexes

Fighting like lions and tigers, only this time for a good cause. On Thursday, Oct. 13, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams played against each other to raise fund for both teams. Altogether, $221 were raised and split between the two teams to pay for equipment, uniforms, and travel funds.

At the end of the first half, the lady skippers were down 30-16. Even though they fought hard to gain a lead, the game ended with a Men’s close win at 42-31. Though some players were disappointed by the close ending, they were reminded that the game was for fundraising, not competition.

Coach LaKita Gantz commented that even though not a large amount of money was made, she plans to have the Women’s Basketball team participate in more fundraisers, such as a fashion show or assorted parties. She also hopes that more people will be aware of the teams because of this event and will come out to more of the events to help the teams.

Gantz believes that the game showed her what members of the team played more competitively, played harder, and played better against their male counterparts, what she believes to be a good indication of how well they’ll play against other women’s teams. It showed her what the team needs to work on at practice, as well.

Clay Kimball

Webmaster

From Player to coach, Kyle Brown

In many different scenarios throughout life, boy becomes man, student becomes the teacher and at St. Clair Community County College the player became the coach.

Kyle Brown, a sophomore at SC4, became a part of the coaching staff for the upcoming men’s basketball team season.

Brown, played high school ball at Marysville High School and played a year underneath the SC4 roster. Deciding to take his talents to a higher level, Brown became one of the coaches on the staff.

“It brings a player point of view to the coaching side,” said Brown.

Kyle Brown Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy
Kyle Brown proudly stands next to his picture at SC4’s Gymnasium. Photo Credit: Christian McGeachy

Even though Brown is no longer able to play the sport as a player, he said, “I just wanted to stay in it… I am here for the coaching aspect and at least to keep the team going in a positive direction as best as I can.”

According to Brown, he has coached before at his high school, and also while being a player last year at SC4. So, between his skills on the court as a power forward and being an assistant coach, he would be the perfect choice to teach the players of tomorrow.

Brown believes, “ The most critical thing is just effort and hard work…and what the players need to know is that it takes hard work and effort to get to the point to be better than their (the other team) best player.”

Even though Brown has had a great experience throughout his basketball and coaching career, so far, nothing compares to being next to Coach Dale Vos.

Vos has been the coach for St. Clair County Community College for 20 years and has much success with men’s basketball program. When asked about being next to the very successful Dale Vos, Brown exclaimed, “I like Dale as a person and as a Coach…just to be by him and have the connection with him is a big help me personally and it’s a great experience.”

Brown plans to continue his way on coaching men’s basketball in the future and continue to be the player that became the coach.

Christian McGeachy

Sports Editor

New Coach: Lakita Gantz

After Carrie Lohr, former St. Clair County Community College Women’s Basketball Coach, accepted the head coaching job at Wayne State University, her shoes needed to be filled.

Coach Lakita Gantz took on the task of wearing these shoes.

Lakita Gantz, Head Coach of SC4’s Women Basketball Team.
Lakita Gantz, Head Coach of SC4’s Women Basketball Team.

Before Gantz was a coach, she was a basketball player herself. She played ball at her Detroit high school and went on to play, and graduate, at Savannah State University.

After graduating at Savannah State University, Gantz went on to coach and has been coaching for over ten years now. Her experiences in coaching are at Pershing High School, Mumford High School and Team Michigan AAU. And during her time coaching high school women’s basketball, she coached men’s basketball as well.

Even though it’s way before the season starts, Gantz wastes no time in getting her girls ready for the upcoming season. The women’s basketball team at SC4 have already been conditioning and practice starts on Oct. 1.

Gantz believes that chemistry is very important. So, when asked about the chemistry between Coach and her players she said, “Chemistry is great…I try to explain to them why I push them so hard…and they agree.”

While Gantz gets a feel for her new job, she is focusing on the team’s transition defense and transition offense by saying, “I’m trying to make them a fast team, but a very smart team.”

In addition to replacing Lohr, she also follows a very successful nine years of winning seasons in the women’s basketball program.

So, is there pressure on the coach’s shoulders? Gantz replied, “I feel pressure, because I wanna win and go to nationals. So, the pressure is on myself. I feel like my team should be able to win at the highest level in this division.”

With conditioning on the way and practice right around the corner, the expectations for SC4’s women’s basketball team are at a high. Gantz believes that her team can win as many wins as the previous season, if not more. The previous season, the Lady Skippers won 19 games.

Let’s hope the Lady Skippers can live up to their new head coaches expectations.

Christian McGeachy

Sports Editor