Moorpark College men’s basketball win first home game


Freshman point guard Dante Calhoun goes up for the shot in the Raider gym on November 9, 2022. The Raiders played their first home game of the season against Los Angeles Trade Tech. Photo credit: Briana Cruz

By Briana Cruz

The Moorpark College Raiders’ men’s basketball team opened their home court for the first time in the 2022-2023 season.

On Nov. 10, the Raiders men’s basketball team welcomed Los Angeles Valley Trade Tech to their home court. In this tension-filled game, they looked to bounce back from their season-opening loss versus Fullerton College. This opener was the first of a three-game homestand for the Raiders.

The Raiders gym was filled with fans and team members of the women’s basketball and volleyball teams who showed up to support their fellow athletes. The energy in the gym was high as the Raiders set their sights on securing the first win of the season.

The Raiders built off the crowd energy during the first half of the game and challenged LA Valley Trade Tech 53-21 going into the game’s second half. Moorpark College Raiders’ basketball head coach, Keith Higgins, spoke about the team’s mindset going into the second half of the game.

“After halftime, our defense was 20 points ahead,” Higgins said. “Our defensive energy was incredible, deflecting, rebounding and contesting shots were amazing.”

The Raiders’ sophomore point guard Angel Hammer, who had 17 points and eight assists, led his team in the game’s second half. Hammer reflected on the importance of his being a team leader, especially given that he is one of only two sophomores on the team.

“I definitely have to lead by example,” Hammer said. “There can definitely be some pressure [on me] but I have enough experience to help out my team and lead by example.”

Tensions grew later in the game as a significant injury occurred for LA Valley Trade Tech, and their head coach was ejected from the game. Hammer commented on the tension between the playing teams.

“It’s basketball, it gets physical and sometimes it can get heated,” Hammer said. “But that’s just basketball, it definitely can get competitive.”

Since the Moorpark College team was ahead by a significant amount coming into the second half, new faces were able to enter the game and show off their talents. Freshman point guard Clark Holden played 17 minutes of the game and contributed 15 points to the Raiders’ team.

Freshman point guard Tim Lopez established a name for himself as well, playing 21 minutes and adding another 15 points to the team total.

Also making a mark on the game was freshman point guard Jack Benyshek, who entered the game’s second half and added six more points to the team total. Benyshek spoke about the pressures of being in the game and what expectations were held of him.

“I need to bring what the team needs from me on both ends of the court for the betterment of the team,” Benyshek said.

The Raider’s men’s basketball team was able to secure a win at home as their first win of the season, ending the game with a score of 98-71.

The Moorpark men’s basketball traveled to San Bernardino on Nov. 11 to play in the Alvin Hunter Classic against Saddleback College. The Raiders were crowned the Consolation Champions of this tournament. On Nov. 16, the Raiders returned home to play Bakersfield Collegemand won the game 77-73.

To view the complete Raider’s men’s basketball schedule, click here.