The Grand Rapids Community College women’s basketball season came to an end Saturday, losing in the NJCAA Great Lakes A District Championship game by a final of 70-50 to Muskegon Community College.
The team lost Grace Lodes, the top shot-blocker in the nation, for the first half after two quick fouls. But GRCC trailed by just two after the first quarter and eight at the half. Muskegon scored the final five points of the half to pull ahead 38-30 at the break.
GRCC, which finished in third place in the MCCAA Western Conference this year, couldn’t cut the deficit any closer and the conference champion Jayhawks prevailed by 20.
The loss ends GRCC’s season with a 20-11 record. Muskegon improved to 24-4 and is headed to the national tournament on a 13-game winning streak.
“Extremely proud of this group and ensuring they did this season,” Coach David Glazier said. “A tough ending to a great year, but excited to see this group build on their success.”
Teammates Sally Merrill and Marlene Bussler earned All-Tournament Team honors after excellent performances that included Bussler’s first career double-double and 40 points in the past two games for Merrill.
Against Muskegon, Merrill led all scorers with 18 points on 7 of 15 shots from the field and 3 of 7 shots from behind the arc.
Allison Kellogg and Bussler each scored nine points and Karissa Ferry led the team with eight rebounds.
Season Highlights for GRCC included:
Lodes led the nation in total blocks with 99 and ranked top-10 in conference in rebounding.
Merrill was sixth in the league scoring 16.2 points per game. She was also top-10 in minutes, field goals made, free throws made, rebounds and blocked shots.
Bussler finished top-10 in the conference in assists.
Glazier, in his sixth year as coach, posted the most wins in his GRCC career.
The team appeared in its seventh-straight district tournament appearance, and second-straight championship appearance.
The team finished first in the conference in total rebounds per game, defensive rebounds per game, opponents field goal percentage, block shots per game, and second in the league in opponents points per game, 52.2 points.