The Glen Oaks Community College women’s basketball team fought back from a 12-2 deficit to take a halftime lead but couldn’t hold on Wednesday in a 55-50 loss to visiting Kalamazoo Valley.
A back-and-forth second half resulted in a 49-49 tie with just less than two minutes to play. A costly shot-clock violation on the Vikings (8-4, 0-2 MCCAA Western Division) gave KVCC (10-3, 2-0) the ball with 55 seconds remaining, a possession Glen Oaks defended marvelously.
Kira Smith came up with a block with four seconds left on the shot clock but the ball went out of bounds. The Cougars found Taylor Leach on the perimeter off the inbounds pass for a 3-point dagger and a 52-49 advantage.
Alaina Schwarz, who led Glen Oaks with 21 points and nine rebounds, couldn’t get a triple attempt to fall with 8.8 seconds left, but AuZhane King was there for the rebound. King was intentionally fouled and made the first foul shot before missing the second on purpose. Kalamazoo’s Mallory Sewell collected the rebound to secure the win.
“A program like ours, from where we were three years ago and in the past 10 or 12 years, and where we want to go, there are going to be some painful games like this because you have to learn how to win,” Glen Oaks coach Joel Schroeder said. “Between Lake Michigan last week and [Kalamazoo Valley] this week, we got on the road competed and came [back home] and competed. I think we’re going in the right direction. Now can we come off an emotional game like this and play well Friday [at Grand Rapids]?”
Schroeder said both he and KVCC coach Ron Welch have spent ample time scouting each other, which is why the contest turned into a defensive-dominated battle.
King finished with seven points and four assists, and Brie Starkey added seven points for the Vikings.
“There are so many plays throughout the game that we could have made,” Schroeder said. “Today, Kalamazoo Valley made more plays than us in the last few minutes.”