Head coach of the Lorain County Community College women’s basketball team Vince Granito was unable to coach his team against No. 11 Sinclair Community College, which led to the Lady Commodores losing to them 132-44 to extend their losing streak to eight games.
LCCC’s record, after this game is 5-21 and Sinclair’s 23-3.
The Commodores were also without their second leading scorer Hannah Oehlstrom (14.6 PPG), because of a sprained ankle, which also put them at a disadvantage against the No. 11 team in Division II. Coach Granito’s temporary replacement was Dr. John Crooks.
“Dr. Granito had a professional assignment and I stepped in for where there was a need in the college,” Crooks said after the game.
Crooks was a former travel basketball coach and this was his first game as a collegiate basketball coach.
“[LCCC] is a Division III school and they are playing a ranked Division II school,” Crooks said. “[Sinclair does] what they did against us, they might win the national championship”
After a missed 3-point shot from Sinclair’s Amanda Schroeder on the first possession of the game, Commodores’ Angel Blakely scored on a layup to take the lead for them. They had the lead for 25 seconds before Schroeder made a 3-pointer after Aaryn Evans obtained an offensive rebound. The Commodores would then go on a scoring drought that lasted 6:19. LCCC finished the first quarter with six points; losing by 22 points.
“Everything we do at Lorain County Community College is about student success, time and effort,” Crooks said. “These ladies have been working really hard. You had six young ladies out there; they gave it 110 percent and that is all you want to do.”
Throughout the game, Sinclair would not score less than 28 points per quarter in the game and LCCC couldn’t score more than 20.
The team’s lineup was thin as is with Oehlstrom out of game for the Commodores, making them play six players. LCCC’s Sami Shaw had three fouls in the first half and was benched after committing her third with 1:41 left in the first half.
“I think in a situation where you have six players, it’s difficult and she’s an excellent defender and integral part of the offense so yes it hurt [the team],” he said.
LCCC’s first half field goal percentage was 14.8 percent in the first half that ended 56-16. Blakely was the Commodores’ leading scorer with 10 points at halftime (3-10 on field goals, 4-of-4 on free-throws). She finished the game with 32 points and 10 of those points came from free-throws (10-of-12). The Commodores had 14 turnovers and ended the game with 26 turnovers. 38 of Sinclair’s points came from Commodores’ turnovers.
“The athleticism and the length was something that we struggled with,” Crooks said. “They give everyone in our conference [OCCAC] challenges because of the height athleticism and length.”
Thought they struggled against Sinclair, they are looking towards the future of the season.
“We are trying to get them prepared for the next two games of the season against Division II competition,” Crooks said. “They defeated Hocking (College) last time. They should be able to beat Hocking again. Most likely if that happens and that’s an if, they’d play Columbus State and they have played Columbus State for stretches of time even.”
Crooks has high confidence in the Commodores when they face Columbus State Community College the postseason.
“I personally think they could upset Columbus State,” he said.