Seven players on the Lorain County Community College men’s basketball team were honored for their commitment to the men’s basketball program. After the ceremony, the Commodores went on to win the game against Sinclair Community College 81-70.
Zach Swain, Jake Schultz, Miles Meredith, Daniel Lott, Deric Nichols, Mike Rell, and Kevin Kelley were the players honored before the game. All the players but Meredith and Lott played both their years at LCCC. They came from Cuyahoga Community College after their freshman year.
“Tri-C’s loss is our gain,” assistant coach John Keshock, who was for that game the temporary head coach, said during the ceremony.
“There is no denying that these guys are the most successful class ever at LCCC,” coach Keshock said in the Sophomore Night ceremony. “Last year we were 17-11. We went and got a championship banner. This year, we are 20-5, we’ve been ranked as high as seventh in the nation and hopefully we are going to ad more of those wins.”
Nichols was praised for his shot-blocking abilities and he showed it by having four of them in the first half. Meredith registered three blocks in the first half as well.
“What [Deric] does is that he erases mistakes,” coach Keshock said after the game. “If we make a mistake on defense, Deric (Nichols) comes from behind and swats it. Miles (Meredith) is such an athlete that when the ball goes up, there is a good chance that he is going to block it as well. The thing we love about Deric is that he does it with a vengeance. When that ball is up in the air and he has a chance to block it, he doesn’t block it. He swats it.”
The score was tied 42-42 at halftime and Rell led the team in scoring with 11 points.
“When we stand around and watch each other on offense, we are not the same team,” Keshock said.
“That second half, when we made that run with about 10 points there, that was indication of how well we can play, because guys were moving, guys were passing, and we had a number of easy buckets, because guys were moving and shook loose in their zone and we are a much better team when we do that. Defensively, we saw that as well. All of a sudden, we started playing defense. Instead of letting guys go baseline, or down to the paint for an easy layup we had everybody stepping in and helping. When we do that we are the team that is 21-5.”
The Commodores outscored Sinclair by 11 points in the second half and one thing that helped them was that they were drawing fouls and were put in the bonus.
“If we follow shots and get put-backs, we are gonna be a really good team,” Keshock said. “So when we get fouls, we go to the bonus, you know you’re getting rebounds and put-backs.”
The Commodores also committed four turnovers as a team to help extend the lead in the second half and committed five the whole game.
“Both Mike Rell, Kevin Kelley was excellent,” Keshock said. “ Jake Schultz didn’t have any turnovers and then when [Luis Santiago] came i,did real nice job not turning the ball over and that is always to see as you end the season.”
Sinclair went on a 4-minute scoring drought, which the Commodore took advantage of as they scored eight points in the that time period.
They have one more game in the regular season against Hocking College before the playoffs start and they will most likely play Columbus State that beat LCCC 103-74 on February 14, 2018 for the Region XII Championship. coach Keshock has high praises for the 2017-18 Commodores saying that “There is no argument that this is the best class in history for LCCC.”
If LCCC wins the region, they will host a home playoff game for the District Championship.