Roadrunners Begin Season With 106-70 Victory Over Mo Valley JV Vikings
The Roadrunners started their 2017-2018 season on the right foot with a 106-70 victory over the Missouri Valley College JV Vikings from Marshall Friday, Nov. 3. The game was the opening round of the McDonald's Classic.
The first half was back-and-forth, but SFCC took a one-point lead into the locker room at halftime. The Roadrunners' offense exploded in the second half and outscored Missouri Valley 66-31.
"Our struggles in the first half came from our nerves," said head coach Matt Brown. "It was the first college game in a new environment for many of our guys. We shot more jump shots in the first half. In the second half, we took the ball to the basket more. We reached and gambled too much defensively in the first half. We got a little better defensively in the second half."
SFCC put together a balanced scoring attack that featured seven players in double-figure scoring. Sophomore guard Andre (A.J.) Walker (shown above) led in scoring with 18 points and dished out a team-high six assists. Walker also led the team in steals with four.
Freshman guard/forward LePear Toles, along with sophomore guard Grant Gelon and freshman guard Christian Brown all registered 14 points. Freshman guard Dru Smith added 13 points. Freshman guard Tyreek Scott-Grayson contributed 12 points. Freshman guard/forward Caleb Coleman added 11 points and pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
"We will have three or four guys in double figures all year long," said Brown. "We were able to get to the free-throw line 44 times. LePear and Tyreek are guys who can get to the foul line a ton; those guys are both very good free-throw shooters.
On Nov. 4, the Roadrunners closed the McDonald's Classic on Saturday night with a hard-fought 90-86 victory over the Next Level Prep Panthers from Wichita, Kansas. The game featured eight lead changes and five ties.
SFCC opened the game on a 27-9 run, the largest lead held by either team.
"We did a nice job running our offense early in the game," said Brown. "We weren't settling for jump shots; we drove the ball to the basket. After that, we got a little complacent, thought the game was over and started shooting a lot of jump shots."
The Panthers cut the Roadrunners' lead to five points at halftime. With 9 minutes, 19 seconds left in the game, the Panthers took the lead by four points. SFCC turned up the defensive pressure to take control of the game and made free throws in the final minutes to seal the victory.
"We went to the full-court pressure," said Brown. "Dru Smith, Caleb Coleman and Derrick Brock, Jr. did a good job. All of our reserve guys came in and did a good job for us."
The Roadrunners had four players in double figure scoring. Toles led with 25 points, pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and led in steals with four. Gelon contributed 15, and freshman forward Colby Honeycutt added 12 points. Freshman guard Tim Leavell scored 10 points and dished out a team-high six assists.
SFCC played again Tuesday, Nov.7, at home against Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley and won, 76-68. The Roadrunners are now 3-0.
The SFCC men play Westminster JV on Friday, Nov. 17 and Link Year Prep on Nov. 18 in the Stone Laser Imaging Classic. Tipoff at 7:30 p.m.
--David Rohrbach, SFCC Athletics