OPENING VICTORY: Norse Men Roll Past Kellogg
This story was written by Bay College Sports Information. Click the thumbnails to see RRN photos and videos, and listen to post-game comments from Justin Nelson and Coach Matt Johnson. Also click to hear Marcus Harris's player spotlight interview.
BATTLE CREEK, MI – After falling behind in the opening minutes the Bay College Norse Men's Basketball Team (1-0) turned the tide and took over the contest, cruising to a 65-50 win on the road over the Kellogg Community College Bruins in the season opener.
It appeared as though it would be an uphill battle for the Norse as they watched their host open up an early 11-4 lead. Kellogg hit three shots from behind the three-point arc, including two from Tahveayr Boykins (SO, Battle Creek, MI), as they opened up the early lead.
The hot start would come to a screeching halt for the Bruins. They would not convert another field goal for the rest of the half, missing on 14 subsequent attempts before intermission. Kellogg would also commit 11 turnovers in the half.
After a Daing Gaatlauk (SO, Sioux Falls, SD) dunk fired up the visitors, and jump started the offense, the Norse defense set the pace, allowing their offense to get into rhythm. Though they didn't shoot it particularly well from deep, just two of 14 in the first half, the two that did go in off the hand of Marcus Harris (SO, Brimley, MI) proved to be big momentum swings.
Bay turned the ball over just five times in the opening half, while shooting 30.3% overall. They ended the half on a 25-5 run and claimed a commanding 29-16 lead at half.
The Norse continued to dominate in the second half. They picked up the pace shooting-wise, hitting 48.1% of their shots, including three of eight from three, in the second half. A pair of Ashton Janke (SO, Dollar Bay, MI) threes and a Justin Nelson (FR, Iron River, MI) dunk helped put the game away as the Norse opened up their biggest lead of the game at 21. Bay ended up taking a comfortable 15-point road victory to begin the season.
Kellogg was held to just 28.1% from the floor for the game. They turned the ball over 17 times, but would outrebound the Norse 52-47.
"I was really happy with our team energy," said Head Coach Matt Johnson. "We started off a little slow and didn't play that great for the first seven or ten minutes, but I think our strength is our depth and I think that showed. We went to our bench, we got settled in, and we started to play Norse basketball. We were in full control the remainder of the game. It's not easy to get a win on the road. We will gladly enjoy this one for the bus ride to Centerville, but we have to refocus right away to make sure we're prepared for a very good Glen Oaks team tomorrow afternoon."
The Norse had 13 different players tally points for them and were led by Lamar Grayson (FR, Richfield, MN) who had 11 points and four rebounds. Nelson added nine points and four rebounds, while Janke score eight while grabbing five rebounds. Jaylen Flaniken (FR, Troy, MI) also scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds. Carter Hudson (FR, Escanaba, MI) led the team in rebounding, pulling in seven.
The Bruins had no one reach double digits in scoring. Boykins, Larry Patrick (SO, Flint, MI), and Quentin Jones (FR, Madison, MI) each chipped in nine points. Boykins pulled in 11 rebounds, while Patrick finished with ten.
The Norse have a short turnaround on their opening trip. They face Glan Oaks on Saturday afternoon. That game is set to begin at 3 pm.