Newaygo Sends Snowcoming Fans Home Happy
Story and photos by Alexis Mercer
The gym was eerily silent on Friday night at the start of the Newaygo Lions Varsity Boys game against the Central Montcalm Hornets. Newaygo would score and no one would cheer. It was a packed house for the celebration of Snowcoming, and yet it was as if it was empty.
Then Mitchell Karrip lit a 3-point shot to put the Lions up 11-4 and the entire gym exploded. The student section had organized a “silent 10” for the first 10 points of the game: once the Lions scored 10 points, they would be cheering with everything they had to give.
So while the crowd was busy...
...implementing their game plan, the Lions were busy scoring points. The first quarter was all Newaygo. Jacob Mayle, Mitchell Karrip, and Jacob Polasek took charge of the offense and ended the first quarter with a 16-6 lead.
But with the second quarter came a break in Newaygo’s concentration and fundamentals. Central Montcalm’s Gunther Ebels hit a 2-point shot inside the key, Newaygo had a few unforced errors, and the score quickly became 18-15 with 4:00 left in the 2nd.
Jamie Pike hit a 3-point shot for the Lions that pulled them out of the drought, but Newaygo went into the locker room at halftime with only a one-point lead.
Central Montcalm took full advantage of Newaygo’s mental lapse to start the second half. While the teams traded points back and forth, the Hornets kept their lead between one and three points for the entire 3rd quarter.
It wasn’t until the 4th quarter with the crowd fully into the game that the Lions took charge again. Mitch Karrip slipped a pass to Connor Swinehart to tie the game at 35 and the Lions took off.
Cameron Fisk acted like the dominating senior that he is, driving into the hoop, banking a 2-point shot and taking the foul with him. Fisk slammed in two more in the next Lions possession, putting the Lions up by 4.
The Hornets’ Noah Stauffer pushed back, driving for 2 and taking a foul, but he missed the extra free throw shot.
Then Jamie Pike drained a 3-point, Swinehart charged in for 2, Pike laid in a 2 and Newaygo is suddenly up by 7 points.
Central Montcalm wasn’t quite ready to concede the Lions win just yet, and Zachary Bigelow drained a well-timed 3-point, pulling the Hornets within 2.
But this was Cameron Fisk’s final Snowcoming game of his senior year. No one was going to take this win other than the Lions and he knew it. So he drained another 2 and then was fouled in the final seconds, making his free throws to put the Lions up by 6.
The final score of the game was 50-44. And there wasn’t a single person in the crowd on the Lions side who was silent.
The Hornets of Central Montcalm now are 4-10 overall and 4-8 in the conference. They host the Fremont Packers on Tuesday.
The Newaygo Lions are 8-7 overall and 5-5 in the conference. They head to Big Rapids to face the league leading Cardinals on Tuesday