CCC Men’s working for a turnaround
The Central Community College - Columbus men’s basketball team has had a rough start to it’s season losing the first five games. Despite those struggles, the Raiders remain confident they can turn the season around.
Head coach Jerry Drymon feels that some of his teams struggles can be contributed to lack of effort for the entire game.
“I think we’ve showed signs of having some ability, we just have to learn how to play hard for 40 minutes,” he said. “That’s been our biggest downfall -we don’t focus hard for 40 minutes.”
Last season the Raiders went 15-17. Their last winning record came in the 2016-17 season when the team went 18-14 before losing in the District VII championship to Dakota County Technical College.
CCC will have an opportunity today and Saturday to right the course playing in the Pinnacle Bank Classic in its home arena. CCC will play York College JV 7 p.m. tonight, and Southwestern Community College at 1 p.m. Saturday.
With only two sophomores on the team, and 12 freshmen, there is some lack of experience. Additionally, those players hail from all parts of the globe, making it difficult to build early chemistry.
“When you have this many freshman, there’s a lot to learn and grown upon,” Drymon said. “Each experience gives us an opportunity to get better. We have to learn from what we’ve done and it’s going to get better.”
The returning sophomores are guard Tristan Hoover from Mead High School and Latrell Talley from Palm Bay, Florida.
One of the bright spots for CCC has been freshman center Nathan Frost from Australia. He is averaging 10.6 rebounds per game and 9.8 points.
Between Frost and waiting for some key players to get healthy, there remains much to look forward to for the Raiders this season.
“Nathan Frost has done a great job,” Drymond said. “He’s been pretty consistently rebounding the ball. Then hopefully we get back some guys. We’ve had three out with injuries so that effects us a little bit.”
CCC has had a very difficult schedule thus far. Saturday’s opponent, Southwestern CC, which the team will see twice in three games, is ranked sixth in NJCAA Division-II. Highland (KS), the opponent on Dec. 7, is ranked seventh. The Raiders have also already faced Iowa Lakes ranked 20th.
They also play Des Moines Area that is receiving votes in the latest poll.
The Raiders also have multiple NJCAA Division-I teams on the schedule.
“As always we want to win the region,” Drymond said. “Which we’ve been able to do the last couple years, so hopefully we’re able to continue that. Then we play a very challenging schedule. We play six nationally ranked games against Division-II opponents. We have eight Division-I games. We have to find a way to play against some competition and be successful.”
Some of the impressive performances so far this season include former Grand Island Central Catholic guard Mayra Almayra scoring 18 points in the season opener against Cloud County Community College, Frost recording 22 rebounds against Little Priest Tribal College, freshman guard Damien Marquez from Orlando scoring 19 points against Iowa Lakes Community College, freshman guard Delrico Simms from Washington D.C. scoring 15 against Iowa Central Community College and Simms scoring 21 against Doane JV.
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org