Story by Mike Gesler
Photos By Catalpa Photography
Grant 34 Chippewa Hills 30
The Lady Tigers of Grant were home tonight in a CSAA Gold Conference match up against the Warriors of Chippewa Hills. On paper the two teams appeared fairly equal, and on the court this parity transformed into an exciting game. The young Tiger squad has been steadily improving, and tonight they began to fire on all cylinders.
From the opening tip off, both squads put forth a strong defensive effort making it difficult for either team to find the hoop. Both teams pressed each other tight, creating one turnover opportunity after another. By midway through the first quarter, it became apparent that if you are a fan of high scoring games, this was not going to be one of them. The difference came down to the battle of the boards of which the Tigers slightly edged out the Warriors. By the time the first half came to a close, the Tigers lead by four, 17-13.
The third quarter though would solely belong to the Tigers. Grant was able to hold Chippewa Hills to just two points while gaining an additional ten of their own. That would put the Tigers in a controlling lead heading into the final eight minutes of the game. But Chippewa Hills was not about to rollover so easy. The Warriors bravely fought back while the Tigers began to make some mental errors giving away some easy turnovers. In the end though, there just wasn’t enough time for Chippewa Hills to overcome their twelve point deficit, and the Tigers celebrated a well-deserved win.
“It was definitely a win we needed just because we have been doing a lot of the right things, and [the girls] haven’t seen the reward yet. To them the winning is the reward. So it was great to see them reap the benefits of what we have been trying in practice,” Coach Paulsen commented. “We make the right plays, we play hard, and I can’t even fault the girls ever for that. Our backcourt is young, and I think as the seasons goes we’ll get better. We’re not even halfway through the season yet. Chip Hills is physical. They didn’t quit. I thought we did some good things. Like I said, if we don’t turn it over, we have a few more opportunities to make some plays and stretch the game out.”
While the Lady Tigers can celebrate tonight with a victory, more good news for Tiger fans is that junior center, Kylie Patton, is expecting to return to play next week. The prognosis on her right knee is a sprain, and she is just awaiting medical clearance.
The Tigers were led tonight by sophomore guard, Kirstyn Throop, with ten points, and sophomore forward, Savannah Passage, with eight. Also contributing for Grant was Jill Arends (5), Nicole Whan (4), and Emerson Cole (2). The Tigers now go on a two game road stretch beginning with Tri-County this Friday and Fremont next Tuesday before heading home to meet Newaygo on the nineteenth.