Bay College Snaps Losing Skid With Road Victory
Story written by Bay College SID Mike Pankow. Photos and videos from RRN Sports.com. Click the AUDIO buttons to hear post-game comments from Jahlani Thornton.
IRONWOOD, MI – The Bay College Norse Basketball Team (12-7) snapped a five-game losing streak with a hard-fought win at Gogebic Community College (10-7) in Region 13 action. The Norse held on for a 57-52 victory on the road.
The Norse had control early, jumping out to a 9-2 lead, but the Samsons fought back. Not only would they tie the game at 12, they ended up taking the lead and control of the game for much of the first half.
Gogebic held a five- to seven-point lead for the remainder of the first half. Every time the Norse were able to cut into it, the Samsons would answer. Davin Hill (FR, Hancock, MI) hit a deep three to make the score 24-19, but Fafa Lu (FR, Auckland, New Zealand) answered right back on the next possession. Minutes later the Norse got a big stop and hit baskets on back-to-back possessions, only to have Gogebic return the favor.
With no timeouts and the back-and-forth nature of the game, the first half moved at a brisk pace and ended with the Norse trailing 27-22.
The second half started off with more of the same. The two teams traded baskets and traded small runs.
Bay changed all of that and had their defense step up in the second half. Jacquez Overstreet (FR, Appleton, WI) hit a basket to pull the Norse within three, and moments later Aloung Kang (SO, Apple Valley, MN) tied the game.
The Norse were also able to rebuff the efforts of Gogebic to wrestle back control. When Trevon Clark (FR, Miami, FL) put down a big slam dunk in transition to give the Samsons a 39-37 lead, the fired up Gogebic squad did not phase the Norse. They would fight back and tie the game at 45 with just under five minutes to play.
Just over a minute later Bay took the lead when Jahlani Thornton (FR, Detroit, MI) hit a two.
Overstreet made it a two-possession game with a basket with two and a half minutes to play.
From there tough defense and free throws sealed the deal for the road team. The Norse hit three of four from the charity stripe in the final minute, securing the five-point win on the road.
"I am proud of our effort and the second half," said Head Coach Matt Johnson. "We came out really flat in the first half and let Gogebic jump on us. I challenged the guys in the locker room at halftime and we stepped up our intensity. It was great to see Aloung [Kang], Jahlani [Thornton], and Tre [Burris] rise to the occasion and make plays. We have a lot of fight in us, but we need to continue to become more consistent in our effort, intensity, and focus. Overall, it was a good team win on the road against a quality Gogebic Team. I'll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day."
Tre Burris (FR, Milwaukee, WI) led Bay College with 17 points and six rebounds. Overstreet and Thornton finished with ten apiece, while Thornton pulled in nine rebounds and Overstreet grabbed seven. Jaylen Flaniken (FR, Troy, MI) was credited with eight rebounds.
Clark set the pace for the Samsons with a double-double, 17 points and ten rebounds. Yohance London (SO, Memphis, TN) added ten points.
The win puts Bay at 1-1 in the Region 13 Eastern Sub-Region having played all their road games in that series. The Norse host Dakota County Technical College on January 24 and Gogebic on February 9. After the three teams play each other twice, the team with the best record earns the right to host the Sub-Region Tournament.
The Norse will host the Bay College Winter Classic this weekend. On Saturday they take on Rock Valley College at 6 pm and on Sunday they will challenge South Suburban College at 1 pm. South Suburban is currently ranked #1 in the NJCAA Division 2 poll.