Story By Mike Gesler
Photos by Catalpa Photography
Grant 23 Lakeview 25
The Lady Tigers were at home tonight in a non-conference matchup against what would prove to be an equally complemented foe in the Wildcats of Lakeview. If you are a fan of high scoring, fast paced ball, this would not be in your milieu. However, if defensive battles are your thing, tonight’s game would have had you on the edge of your seat, or bleacher if you may.
Grant got off to a lack luster start as the Wildcats jumped out to a six-nil lead before Coach Paulsen called a time out to rally his squad about half way into the first quarter. That was the spark that Grant needed as they turned the defensive tide bringing the score within two before the quarter ended. That energy continued into the second quarter. The Tigers were able to make up some ground before both teams settled into shutting down each other’s looks at the boards. With both teams breaking the defensive stonewall late second quarter, Grant was able to go into the half with a one point edge, 13-12.
The second half would yield more of the same defensive drama as the first. Neither team was able to get much of an offensive rally going. With 5:01 left in the game, junior center, Kyle Patton, fouled out. That would take Grant’s height away, and their inside shot maker. “It did change some things. We had started looking at her down low. We had gotten the ball to her. She had a good drop set jump hook going for us, and that changed it a little bit. Even when she fouled out though, we moved the ball. We got some open looks that just didn’t fall,” Coach Paulsen shared.
With ten seconds left in the game, Grant found themselves down by two. Lakeview’s Kyra Perez sent Grant’s sophomore guard, Kirstyn Throop, to the line for a chance to tie it up on a one-and-one. Unfortunately, she missed her first attempt, but the Tigers rebounded the ball again missing the opportunity to tie the game. It seemed all but over for the Tigers with 1.3 seconds on the clock when the Wildcats were called for traveling on Grant’s offensive half of the court. 1.3 seconds would not be enough, however as the Tigers fell short by two; 23 points to Lakeview’s 25.
“If you would have told me the other team had twenty-five points, I would have felt pretty good about coming in,” offered Coach Paulsen. “I thought we played a heck of a defensive game. The only problem is they played a pretty good defensive game too. We got our open looks, but they were usually contested. A lot of credit goes to how they played us, and limited us to one shot.”
The Tiger’s fall to 3-9 for the season, and will back in conference play against Big Rapids on Friday in Big Rapids. Junior guard, Cecelia Male, led Grant’s efforts with eight points followed by Kylie Patton who put up six. Also scoring for the Tigers were Kirstyn Throop, Nichole Whan, and Kylee Wemple each with three points apiece.