By PAUL GOTHAM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — During his first 26 years as head coach, Jerry Burns and the Monroe Community College men’s basketball allowed 100 points on just one occasion. The second occurrence of such dubious distinction happened Saturday afternoon.
Armani Tinsley led the way, and the No. 6 Schoolcraft College Ocelots blitzed the No. 8 Monroe Community College Tribunes, 102-71 at the MCC Kickoff Classic Saturday on George Monagan Court.
The 5-10 freshman shooting guard connected on seven 3-pointers as part of a 31-point performance.
Schoolcraft’s defense set the tone early against Monroe creating seven turnovers and holding the Tribunes scoreless for their first 11 possessions.
“Schoolcraft played really hard,” Burns said. “Their defensive level of intensity was so much better than it was yesterday. They also made a lot of good shots.”
Monroe managed just one field goal in its first 17 possessions.
“We were undisciplined,” Burns explained. “We took way too many quick shots. It’s no offense. It’s all trying get it yourself. We just turned it over too much.”
Tinsley’s first three was a fall-away shot off the glass for a 20-4 Ocelots advantage. His second trey gave Schoolcraft a 25-12 lead.
Monroe eventually cut the deficit to eight.
Omar Williams used a ball screen to get inside the teeth of Schoolcraft’s 2-3 zone and threaded a pass underneath to Tremaine Carter for bucket. Two trips down the floor later, Carter slipped ahead of the defense where Holden Redparth found him with a long lead for two. The Tribunes trailed 28-20.
Schoolcraft, though, took a 42-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.
MCC opened the second half on a 6-0 run to make it a 42-34 game. It was as close as the Tribunes would get for the reminder of the day.
“I’ve seen it way too many times when you’re up, you have a big lead like that usually you come out a little sluggish,” Burns noted. “I don’t know if that was more of our defense or them just being sluggish.”
Tinsley scored 33 Friday night in a 95-91 win over Genesee Community College. He hit eight of 12 from long range agains the Cougars. Tinsley finished the weekend connecting on 15 of 23 shots from behind the arc.
Walt Kelser added 17 for Schoolcraft to go with six assists. Charles Penn scored 12 and grabbed a game high 10 rebounds. Asa Abduljami and Delo Hansbro added 11 apiece.
Monroe lost to Genesee CC 102-82 in the early 2000’s.
“Monroe basketball is unselfish on the offensive end and extremely solid on the defensive end,” Burns stated. “We haven’t even come close to meeting those goals. I’m not talking about screening or running offenses or different defenses.
“Those are our mainstays and our philosophy for our program. On offense use the extra pass. On defense lock down with good hard man-to-man defense. We’ve played three games. We’re not even close to it.”
Monroe (2-1) hosts Isaiah Christopher Academy in the opener Murph Shapiro Tournament Saturday, November 12. A 7 p.m. tip off is scheduled on Monagan Court. Monroe will play Cecil College on Sunday.
Cecil lost to Schoolcraft in the first round of the 2016 NJCAA DII Tournament. The Seahawks, which received votes in the NJCAA preseason poll, will be the third team MCC faces early in the season that received preseason notoriety.
“It’s a very difficult schedule,” Burns noted. “There’s no doubt about that. I probably put that schedule together looking at last year’s group. We just have a lot of young guys.”
Friday night, Monroe defeated No. 18 Northern Virginia, 84-80.