By Brodee Gillam
The LCC men's basketball team celebrated sophomore night against Kellogg CC on Feb. 26.
The Stars carried that momentum into a 79-75 win at Kalamazoo Valley CC on Feb. 28.
With that win, LCC finished the season with a 13-15 overall record and an 11-8 record in the MCCAA West Conference.
LCC Coach Mike Ingram keyed in on the chemistry of the Stars and said that this team looks poised to make a postseason run.
"I think we're playing really well," Ingram said. "I'm proud of the guys. We've had an up-and-down season but we've won six out of seven. We're playing great defense … I expect us to do really well in the tournament.
"The one thing that I did bank on with these guys, is (they) are all great guys. They all like each other a lot. … When we were struggling, there were no problems. They stayed upbeat; they stayed friends. They stay after practice and talk to each other."
The Stars did not get through the KVCC game without misfortune.
Just before halftime, freshman guard Isaiah Collins had a scary spill and landed hard on his head. Collins, who was unconscious for nearly 10 minutes, was taken to the hospital, diagnosed with a concussion and is recovering well, according to Coach Ingram.
Ingram explained how the team did its best to manage the stress during halftime and through the second half.
"Everybody (was) shell shocked; I was a little shell shocked," Ingram said. "(I just said), 'Guys let's go out and do what we need to do. I understand if you guys don't have it.'"
Barrett finished with 25 points and hit two crucial threes to seal the game for LCC.
Even though he has been playing his best basketball lately, Barrett said he still has elements of his game he wants to improve on.
"Attacking (the basket) more and finishing (better)," Barrett said. "I still have to be more efficient with my threes, so that's what I'm working on. Coach has trust in my shooting the ball so I shoot the ball."
Walz played great defense and nearly recorded another double-double. He scored eight points and grabbed 19 rebounds in the win.
Walz said having faith in Ingram and the team's defense is what has helped the Stars during this winning stretch.
"I think that we've finally bought into what coach has been telling us all year," Walz said. "Our defense leads to our offense and that's what (has) been successful in this last stretch."
The Stars were scheduled to go on the road for their first postseason contest, a district tournament game against Muskegon, on Tuesday, March 6.