By Brodee Gillam
The ball is moving, shots are falling and the Stars look like postseason threats.
Even though the LCC men's basketball team cannot win the MCCAA West Conference, it can still make noise in district tournament play. The Stars proved this against Muskegon CC at home on Feb. 14 with a 102-89 victory.
The win pushed the Stars' record to 9-14 overall and 7-7 in the conference.
LCC was well-rounded in the win, finishing with 17 assists. All five starters scored in double digits. Sophomore Josh Horford scored a game-high 20 points, including two three-pointers and six of seven free throws.
Freshman starting point guard Tony Trice got the ball moving and had another strong game for the Stars. He grabbed seven rebounds and dealt seven assists while making 11 of his 14 attempts at the free-throw line to finish with 19 points.
Trice said the coaching staff has helped him be more comfortable running the offense.
"The way our offense is run, it's pretty easy," Trice said. "Every day we work on what options we have (on the) break. … The defense tends to play me the same or play our shooters (the same) and we have a lot of assets to our team.
"I just tend to read how the defense plays it and … lately I've been making the right read."
Freshman sharpshooter Kaleb Barrett also played well on both ends of the floor. Barrett finished with 19 points and finished three of eight from deep.
Barrett, who had struggled with his shot earlier in the season, said the talent level change affected his play to begin the year, but he has figured it out.
"My confidence was the biggest thing," Barrett said. "My competition in high school wasn't as good, of course, as college. So it took me a little more (time) than I wanted to get into the swing of things.
"I feel like my confidence is there now."
The Stars have played well after leading scorer freshman Darious Young went down with a concussion. Implementing Young back into the offense, with the rest of the team looking as confident as ever, could make the Stars lethal on both ends.
Young said with the team clicking it makes it easier for him and the team to succeed.
"When I'm playing off the ball, it makes it a lot easier (on me)," Young said. "(Teams) have to check Tony, people have to check Kaleb … We (are) playing the highest level of basketball. I'm not worried about putting up numbers, I'm worried about winning."
The Stars next home game is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 21 against Lake Michigan College at 7:30 p.m.