Tigers Take Home The Hardware
Grant topples Newaygo 65-40
By Ken DeLaat
Photos By Alexis Mercer
It was a chilly 16 degrees outside Fremont High School Friday night as people started streaming in for the district final between Newaygo and Grant.
The Tigers, however were smoking hot as they raced to a 10-0 lead before Newaygo’s Riley Davis found paydirt with a triple to put the Lions on the board. Grant’s Spencer Naffziger who had already scored twice answered with a bucket, was fouled and converted to make it 13-3.
Then the Tigers slapped on their vaunted press.
They used their speed and quickness...
... to tighten the floor causing errant passes by their opponents, ample opportunities for steals and frustration for the Lions who saw their rivals tear off an 11-2 run to end the first quarter with a solid 24-5 lead.
Mitch Karrip gave his team life with a triple and a pair of 2’s followed by a three pointer by Davis and Newaygo had suddenly narrowed the gap to 11.
Then Marco Alvarez unleashed one from beyond the arc, the start of a 7-0 run to intermission and a 33-15 halftime lead.
With Fisk fighting foul trouble all night the Lions struggled after the break and everything the Tigers tossed up seemed to find the hole. When the dust cleared Grant held a 30 point lead heading to the final period.
To Newaygo’s credit they came out hustling and never stopped competing but on this night it was just not enough to match up with a Tiger team that can pile on points in a hurry and blanket the floor with a smothering press.
In the 4th Coach Matt McCorkle began emptying his bench and his go-to players Casey Geers, Naffziger and Carter Chase left the floor to the cheers of the crowd. By now everyone knew it was Grant’s win, Grant’s championship and the Tigers who would be moving on to play in the Regional semi-finals Monday night in Sparta.
Grant (17-5) will be facing OK Blue Champion Cougars of GR Catholic Central (18-4) who defeated Comstock Park in their district final. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 following the Spring Lake/Hudsonville Unity Christian contest at 5:30pm