Playing against the Artichokes on Jan. 23 at Theo Heap Gymnasium, MCC started out in the first half strong. Brandon Dixon put up the first points of the game off a jump shot, having rebounded the ball after initially missing his first shot.This was quickly answered with 5 points by Scottsdale; a layup made by Devin Nelson-Foster, subsequently followed by a 3-point jumper by Edgar Barela. The game would become fairly close for the next few minutes, as MCC played to catch up to the small advantage Scottsdale accrued. By about midway through the half however, the Scottsdale team had carved out a lead that the T-Birds would have to find a way to match.The turning point, with 15:25 left in the first half, came when Trent Molesworth made consecutive free throws for the Artichokes, after which the score sat at 12-8.
Over the course of the next two minutes, would score an additional 6 points before MCC was able to answer by pointing points on the board of their own when Kyle Bingham completed a jumpshot that brought the score up to 18-10. The two teams would trade a few points back and forth until, with 8:42 remaining Mesa would go on a two minute streak that would see them catch up, evening the score at 24-24. Initiated by a jump shot made by Bingham, MCC’s Trevor Johnson scored 7 points in short succession, after which Dixon made the layup that brought the competing teams to parity. Edward Hardt would put up the final points of the half for MCC’s side, making a dunk that added to the total of 28 points for the half.
After this the Artichokes went on a run, making 10 points with no response, and ended the half ahead 39-28. Returning to the court, Dixon quickly scored the first points of the half, with a 3-pointer; both teams realized 3-point shots of their own over the course of the next minute, Barela scoring one for Scottsdale and Dixon making yet another immediately afterward. The game began to turn in the favor of Mesa briefly following this, as Bingham and Obi Megwa closed the gap that Scottsdale had built, bringing the score to 42-38 with 17:12 left in the second half. This good fortune for the T-Birds would be short-lived when Barela and Benjamin Arqueros would both score 3-point shots in favor of the Artichokes.
Greg Minor Jr. would also score 2 points for Scottsdale with 14:36 still available on the clock, bringing the score to 50-38 before Mesa could capitalize on an opportunity to score points of their own. This lead would prove impossible for the MCC men’s team to crack in the remaining time available to them. Scottsdale only had to work to maintain the lead they now had, which they proved capable of doing over the last 15 minutes of the game. The T-Birds, made an effort to not fall further behind, but couldn’t make much headway, and the game ended in a victory for the Artichokes, 85-76. The Mesa men’s team will host Glendale Community College on Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Check www.mesatbirdssports.com for the most recent available information on dates and times for games.