A round of applause was given to the sophomore players of Lorain County Community College as they were honored by fans in the stand for representing the LCCC women’s basketball program.
“I think it went pretty well as far as the day,” sophomore guard of the Commodores Angel Blakely (23 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3 steals and 6 turnovers) said about the sophomore night ceremony. “It was a nice ceremony. As far as our plan, I think everything went accordingly.”
Sophomores Carrie Carlson, Blakely, Sami Shaw, Gloria Souter, Sarah Kyser, and Jasmine White were honored before the game started.
Unfortunately for the Commodores, the 3-loss Edison State Community College Chargers had something to say about the ceremony as they went on a 12-0 run in 3:04 in the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second to help propel the Chargers to defeat the Commodores 87-48 in the conference match-up.
In the first eight minutes of the game, the lead changed three times and tied twice before the Chargers started to apply the full-court press that resulted in turnovers for the Commodores; leading to fast break points for Edison State.
“I think we rotated real well on the defensive end in that first quarter,” head coach of the Commodores Vince Granito said after the game. “We were running a 3-2 [zone defense], Sami [Shaw] did a good job dropping in and helping out with that.”
“In the first quarter, what was working the most was that we were swinging the ball,” Blakely said. “When we played, we were starting to play together and when we were down, we all tried to [have] the mentality of you know, who was going be … clutch enough to at least get us back in the game, but we should have kept the same momentum we had.”
The Commodores played zone defense, but when Blakely, who was on the right side of the zone was matched up against the Chargers’ 6-footer Riley Culver in the post in the first quarter, she had multiple steals to help make the game close for the Commodores.
“I think I’m very well against her [Culver] down low,” Blakely said. “I realized that she had a restriction. I tried to base my skill level of what she could and could not do, but for the most part, it benefited me.”
Commodores’ guard Hannah Oehlstrom made 4-of-8 3-pointers in the first half, some of them from deep behind the 3-point line.
She would not make another shot the rest of the game. She finished the game with 12 points (4-of-18 on field goals and 4-of-12 on 3-pointers).
From 2:06 left in the first quarter to 8:51 in the second, LCCC was on a scoring drought and were unable to score a point.
“We just didn’t move the ball enough,” Granito said. “We sort of looked like the old Cavs [Cleveland Cavaliers]. We’d get the ball out there on one side and it would stay there; wouldn’t move… I think you saw [that] we got scoring opportunities when we moved the ball around. It’s just a matter of continuing on and moving the ball around.”
Throughout the game, multiple Commodores had a problem with the officiating and Blakely was one of them.
“There were a lot of missed calls on both end,” she said. But at that moment, when you realize that you are not going to get what you need from them, you gotta play through it and make the best out of the game.”
The Chargers are 101st in 3-point shooting against their Division II contemporaries, shooting 25 percent there. However, from just inside the line in the mid-range, they made plenty of shots to extend their lead.
“I warned the girls ahead of time,” coach Granito said. “I watched [Edison’s] in warm-ups and they did not miss a shot in warm-ups.”
LCCC’s record is now 5-19 and Edison’s is 20-3. LCCC is on a 6-game losing streak and lost 17 of its last 19 games. In those games, they played Sinclair, Owens, both ranked teams in Division II, Tri-C twice and Edison since Christmas Break.
That’s our league,” Coach Granito said. “We have to play the teams we have in our league. This certainly wouldn’t be the games I would schedule if I was independent.”
“I have no doubt that this is the toughest league in the country,” Granito said. “I looked at some of the results of some leagues around the country. Division II or Division III, this is by far the toughest.”
“If it was more of a Division III league, I think we would be real competitive,” he said. “I don’t know record wise where we’d be. But certainly the scores would be a lot closer.”
The Commodores next home game will be their last home game of the season, which was against Sinclair Community College on February 17, 2018.