MCC Men open NCCAC play with 64-59 win over Raiders
The McCook Community College men opened Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference play Tuesday at home with a 64-59 over Central Community College.
“Tonight was a good adjustment for us,” said MCC Coach Jacob Brandl said. “Based on the games we’ve played so far this year – every time they made a run, we did a really good job of keeping it stuck at six,” Brandl said.
“Multiple times they went 6-0 on us and then we’d get a score and a stop and a score, and we ended the run fast and that was the big key tonight,” Brandl said. “And the other key thing was nine turnovers.”
MCC came into the game averaging 17.5 turnovers per game but turned the ball over just nine times.
“In a hard-fought game like this when it’s kind of messy – both teams did really good defensively and when you have these one-possession games, every turnover, every possession matters and I thought we did a really good job of taking care of the ball,” said Brandl.
Neither team was able to take more than a six-point lead. Central led by six at the 13:21 mark of the first period. MCC took its largest lead of the game at the final buzzer. The score was tied 11 times with 11 lead changes.
Brandl said he thought at the end of the game his team did a good job of locking up Central’s shooters, making sure to know where guys were at, and then keyed in on rebounding.
Central outrebounded MCC 23-20 in the first half and finished with a 44-42 edge.
Simon Akena (Stockholm, Sweden), the sophomore transfer from Three Rivers College had 14 points and seven rebounds. He went seven of eight from the free-throw line – all coming in the second half.
“Credit to Simon Akena who did a great job defensively, and he was guarded really well and didn’t have a lot of great looks but found ways to get himself to the free-throw line,” Brandl said.
Madit Lueeth (sophomore transfer Southern Idaho, Edmonton Alberta) led MCC with 16 points.
“That kid was really good tonight, just leading our team and getting our defense set up all the time and made some shots, just a true floor general tonight,” Brandl said.
Freshman Martel Evans (Omaha Creighton Prep) scored 13 points, Jah-Keish Demby, (Wilmington, Del.) came off the bench to score 10 points.
“I’m proud of a lot of guys because we were short-handed again tonight but just stuck with it,” Brandl said.
Freshman Noah Boyed (Castries, St. Lucia) led MCC with 10 rebounds to go along with eight points.
“Noah was another one, didn’t have his easy 10 points but had 10 rebounds and had some big stops down the stretch especially on their No. 32 (Blake Daberkow) who’d been having his way in the middle, but late when they tried to go to him, Noah buckled down,” Brandl said.
MCC shot 34.4 percent from the field, made six of 19 3-pointers (31.6 percent) and 16 of 20 free throws (80 percent).
The Raiders shot 36.2 percent including five of 21 from distance (23.8 percent) and 12 of 16 from the line (75 percent). Central falls to 6-3 and 0-1 in NCCAC play.
“This is a game we need to build on and get ready for this weekend,” Brandl said.
MCC improves to 3-6 and the team will travel to Twin Falls, Idaho this weekend for the College of Southern Idaho Thanksgiving tournament. On Friday MCC takes on Colorado Northwestern Community College (1-5) at 4 p.m. On Saturday MCC will play CSI, the host school, which is 8-0 and ranked No. 5 in this week’s National Junior College Athletic Association Top 25 Rankings.
MCC will close out the home portion of the 2022 semester with a pair of home games Dec. 2-3. On Friday the men host Laramie County Community College at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday play Eastern Wyoming at 4 p.m.
For all the up-to-date information on MCC basketball this season and all sports including schedules, statistics, rosters and photos, please visit the official website of MCC Athletics at mccindians.com