MCC basketball hits stride early in season

Photo by Raghuram Kotipalli
Photo by Raghuram Kotipalli

By: Warren Younger

The 2014-15 basketball season started off shaky for the T-Birds, but has now smoothed out and both the Men’s and Women’s teams are sailing.

The men’s team is coming off a convincing win against Scottsdale Community College which saw all MCC starters score in double digits in the 80-65 victory.

The men’s team is currently standing at a 2-1 record on the season with wins against the Angola Junior National team, in which MCC won by a dominating 91-43 score, and Scottsdale.

The team’s one loss came against currently undefeated power house, Cochise College, which beat MCC by 15.

Through three games, MCC’s leading scorer is sophomore guard, Khari Holloway.

Holloway is currently averaging 15 points a game.

Freshman center Jordan Pratt is close behind with 14 points per contest.

With a 2-0 record at home the men’s team will get some home field advantage when they host Arizona Western and Indian Hills Community College in the team’s next two games before hitting the road to Phoenix College on Dec. 3.

On the women’s side, things have been interesting to say the least.

Coming into the season, the women’s squad was ranked No. 1 in the country.

Things started off shaky as MCC lost its season opener to Division I powerhouse Salt Lake Community College by a score of 64-49.

Since then, MCC picked up some quality wins against the Angola Junior National Team and Scottsdale Community College.

However the first real test of the season came against Cochise.

The score was tied, 49-49, with two seconds left on the clock.

Sophomore Erica Vazquez heaved up a full-court shot as time expired.

Prayers were answered when the shot went in at the buzzer to give MCC a dramatic 52-49 victory improving the team to 3-1 on the season.

Assistant Coach Ben Nelson had some thoughts about his team’s performance so far this season.

When asked how it felt to play a Division I powerhouse in his team’s first game of the season, he responded by saying it was a challenge.

“Salt Lake is a very good team and it was a great test for us early in the season to know what it takes to play at a high level,” Nelson said.

“We played hard and learned a lot about the focus and little things that are needed every possession and every drill in practice.”

With MCC being ranked No. 1, the team has a target on its back, and Nelson accepts the challenge.

“We get everyone’s best night in and night out which is what we would expect. As coaches we stress preparing for each game the same and keeping to routines,” Nelson said.

When asked if he thought his team deserved the No.1 ranking, Nelson responded by saying it is irrelevant.

“Whether we deserve it or not isn’t our concern and doesn’t change anything for how we practice or prepare for anyone,” Nelson said.

The team is performing well so far this season. When asked if he thought his team was hitting expectations, Nelson thought his team was.

“We are working hard and getting better every day. As coaches those are the only expectations we have,” Nelson said.

The Women’s squad continues its title defense against Arizona Western and the College of Spokane before hitting the road to square off against Phoenix College on Dec. 3.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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