By Mitchel Guy
The Challengers took out the Commodores of Lorain Community College 96-70 last Wednesday in Elyria despite a fight between two players on the bench. The last time these two teams met it was a blowout in Tri-C’s favor. Expectations were high coming into this contest between conference rivals.
The Commodores came out swinging early and it looked like this game would be much closer than their first meeting. Ultimately, The Challengers’ size advantage was too much for Lorain as they out rebounded them 49-33. Starter Robert Fomby was a big part of that, pulling down 17 boards on his own.
Fomby was able to put together another strong performance despite suffering a rib injury early in the first half. Fomby left the game momentarily and it did not look like he would be able to return. At one point, he was lying on the sidelines wincing in pain. However, despite his injury, Fomby was able to return and continue to contribute. After the game Fomby said, “I know I’m a key part of the team, I wanted to do whatever I could to help.”
The Challengers had three players with over 20 points. Point Guard Cairo Brown led the team with 22. Robert Fomby and Marquis Jackson each added 21.The Commodores ran out of energy in the second half and fell behind as much as 29 points.
The Challengers were able to stay focused in the second half even after a fight broke out between two teammates midway through the third quarter. Connor Mabry, who sat out this game due to injury, was attacked by reserve Gary Brun. The two got tangled up on the bench, knocking over a table. Gary Brun was being restrained and threw the person who was holding him back to the ground. There is no certainty as to why the two were fighting but Coach Michael Duncan made it clear that the team needs to get straightened out. Duncan said “We’ve got to make some adjustments, we’ve got to get rid of some guys, we’ve got to sit some guys down and talk to them.” The drama continues for The Challengers in what has already been a season full of adversity.
The Challengers followed up this one with a loss to Cincinnati State that came down to the final possession. There are three games left in the regular season. Their next contest is a rematch with The Lakers of Lakeland Community College in Kirtland. The first meeting between the two was an emotional battle that resulted in a controversial loss for Tri-C. Discipline will be important if the team wants to end the season on a strong note.
Robert Fenbers Contributed to this Report. All stats courtesy of OCCAC.org