University Center, MI-
Saturday afternoon the Delta College men's basketball team hosted the Wayne County Wildcats in MCCAA Eastern Conference play. The Pioneers swept the season series last year against the Wildcats but this time around they would have to overcome adversity as they would be without the services of several key guards, Chaz Woods and Trey Newsham. Both guys would be forced to sit out due to injury and if the Pioneers wanted to secure their first conference win, everyone else would have to step up.
The first half would go back and forth and after seven minutes of play, the Pioneers would find themselves trailing, 16-13. Four consecutive points by Brandon Brackett sparked the Delta men and helped them regain the lead 17-16. The lead would exchange hands several more times but a Goliath Mitchell floater in the lane would fuel a 10-3 Pioneer run and they would take a 33-27 lead into the locker room.
The Pioneers would open up their lead with several baskets by Peyton Miller and Aaron Collins. A Brandon Brackett three pointer pushed the lead to 45-34 with twelve minutes remaining. The Pioneers would hold Wayne to just ten points the rest of the way and outscore them 31-10 to get the victory 76-44.
"We really picked up the defensive intensity in the second half," said Head Coach Carlos McMath. "From a defensive standpoint I feel that the second half was the best we have played all year. We need to continue giving that effort and use that defensive energy to fuel our offense."
The Pioneers had a balanced scoring attack with four guys reaching double figures. Leading the way was Peyton Miller with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Goliath Mitchell added 16 points and 5 assists. Brandon Brackett had a career high 16 points. Aaron Collins had a great all around floor game with 11 points and 4 steals. Evan Anderson had 8 rebounds and 3 blocks.
"We had a lot of guys step up and play well tonight," said McMath. "I was especially pleased to see Brandon Brackett find his rhythm on the offensive end. He has always been a solid defensive player for us and to see him contribute on both ends really makes him a versatile player. Another guy that gave us great minutes was freshman Jaivon Felton. He altered several shots, got some key rebounds, and chipped in with seven points. "
After several tough conference losses the Pioneers (10-2, 1-2) dropped from 9th to 14th in the latest national polls. They will host the Henry Ford Hawks Wednesday evening. The Hawks (11-6, 3-1) are coming off an 85-70 victory over Macomb Community College. Game time is set for 7:30 pm at Pioneer Gymnasium.