Lady Challenger Darika Mahone Injured Right Knee,
Could Be Out Rest of Season
By Bronson Peshlakai
TOLEDO — Disappointing moments for both Cuyahoga Community College basketball teams when they lost their games playing the Owens Community College Express on Feb. 6.Lady Challengers starting point guard Darika Mahone injured her knee. With just under five minutes left on the clock in the first half, Mahone fell to the floor and was grasping her right leg while yelling out in pain. Mahone was carried off the court and checked by the Express trainer who said it could be an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
During the latter part of the second half Mahone sat on the sideline watching the game while balancing a bag of ice on her injured knee.
“I was driving to the hoop and I think that it extended, and I heard it pop,” Mahone said. “Hopefully it’s not as bad as (the trainer) thinks it is and I’ll be back soon.”
Upon seeing Mahone drop to the floor and yelling in agony Head Coach Derrick Williams looked on in grief.
“There goes the rest of our season; that’s my best player,” Williams said. “We’re going to try to get thru with (the rest of the season). She was our only point guard. The other guard is a two guard.”
The Tri-C Women’s team found it hard to keep up with the points the Owens Community College Express made on their home turf; which is not surprising since the Express has yet to lose a game at home this season.
With Mahone out of play, the ladies had to pull the extra strength to put up a fight against the Express. Colleen Huberty played a strong game bringing in 15 points to the game for Tri-C. She played the most minutes out of anyone on the floor, with 36 minutes, and managed to get seven rebounds, five of those defensive.
Williams said the team experienced more challenges due to having a short-handed roster of players.
“We were shorthanded. I’ve got one of my most physical players missing who was ejected for two plays last game; we were shorthanded coming into the gym,” Williams said. “And then we got (Mahone) hurt, then got into foul trouble, so it was a rough go.”
The Lady Challengers lose 89-42, and now have a 1-5 conference ranking, and 3-13 overall.
Men’s Basketball Team Trounced On By ExpressShorthanded is the ongoing theme here, as the Men’s team battled the Owen’s Express team without their lead points achiever, Josh Reagan. For the second game in a row, Reagan sat on the bench watching the game, disappointed at times as the men’s team grappled with rebounds and playing defense. Reagan, out of the game after minor surgery to remove a plantar wart on his heel, is expected to back in play perhaps by the next game on Feb. 9, playing Columbus State.
The Men’s team, also dealing with an ejected player from two games earlier, had to put on a game face for second-ranked Owens in the conference.
Head Coach Randy White said his players need to learn more discipline and following instructions from the coaches while in play, and not to depend on Reagan to shoot the shots when he’s on the floor.
“Our kids have a problem following the game plan,” White said. “They got to be more disciplined. Basketball is a game of discipline. The problem (with Reagan off the playing floor) somebody’s got to step up. When you got a kid that scores so heavily as Josh everybody depends upon him. They’re not used to stepping up.”
Pulling up some of the slack in Reagan’s absence, Conor Mabry pulled off 83 percent of his six free throws, and shot 16 points in the game, which was four more points than Owen’s James Kelly, who was named player of the week by the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference at that time.
“Josh is a beast, man,” Mabry said. “We’re not the same team without him. He gives us 25 points, or more, a night, 10 rebounds; he’s the best player we got. It’s tough without him.”
On Feb. 2, with Reagan taking his first game off after his surgery, the men’s team pulled off a win of 75-67 against Sinclair Community College on the road.
Reagan currently is ranked third nationally in the Division II National Junior College Athletic Association in average points per game, with 25.6 points. While his team seems to rely on him to make the points, he said his team is the reason why he makes the points.
“It’s humbling because my teammates help me out a lot. They give me the ball in the right spots making me get easy lay-ups,” Reagan said. “I got to give most of the credit to my coaches and my teammates. They just put me in the right spots and I just put the ball in the hole.”
The men’s team lose the game to Owens 74-40, giving them a conference standing of 2-5, and 9-13 overall.
With five more games left in conference play for both teams, the coaches and players are working hard to play a better defense, grabbing rebounds, and sticking together as a team. It’s not about the conference standings at this point, it’s about developing what it takes to beat the other team. In this latter half of conference play, they see most teams they have played before. The goal now is to build up confidence and agility to play all these teams once more now, and one last time in tournament play, which begins the first week of March.
“The slate is wiped clean at tournament time, everybody gets a chance at the championship,” White said.
The bracket will be set up with the top team playing the lowest team according to the conference stats.
Log on to CCCVOICE.COM for a video report on the basketball teams, conference standings, and to see the basketball schedule.
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