Packers Nip Tigers; Devs Make It 4 in a Row; Cloud, Panthers Fall Short
Fremont 67 Grant 63
Packers escape, Chase reaches 1000
The Fremont gym was packed on Friday night. Not only was second place Grant coming to town, the state championship banner was to be unveiled by the Cross Country team at halftime so there was a celebratory mood in the place. After all, the team was undefeated and though given a scare by the Lions earlier in the week, the Packers survived with a win and were looking at holding on to the top spot in the Gold.
The Tigers came in hungry. The team had won their last 3 conference games and outside of a lopsided loss to D1 powerhouse Zeeland East they were in each of their losses to the end. They brought a substantial crowd of their own to town with a student section poised to celebrate four year Varsity player Carter Chase when and if he should score point number 1000 as well as dishing out some of the same chants and actions the Packer “6th man” student body is known for at home.
It looked to be a good game between a pair of good teams and on this night they did not disappoint.
Grant shot out of the gates on fire. After Elliot Butchart opened the scoring with a bucket Chase and Seth Schuitema banged home triples off one shot Packer possessions, and Diesel Rose who was a force in the paint despite being in foul trouble much of the night, sent home a shot off a rebound and it was suddenly 10-0 Tigers.
Packer Carter Moon split a pair from the stripe but Orion Evans found Rose underneath then Chase scored after another one shot Packer possession and Coach Zerfas called for a time out with the home team looking up at a 14-1 deficit on the scoreboard.
The Packers regrouped and ran off 15 points including a pair of three pointers by Lane Converse and Jacob Visser and 5 free throws to end the first quarter with a 16-14 lead.
It was a physical game with what seemed to be an abundance of controversial calls that drew an outpouring of vocal disagreements from the crowd, the benches and the players. The teams see-sawed in the early minutes of the second with Chase collecting point 1000 as part of a run that saw the Tigers open up a 6 point lead. Moon then hit 2 in a row to pull the hosts within 2.
Then came the technical.
A close call on Chase was met with protests and the T sign was given. That began a 14 point run by the Packers starting with Moon hitting 3 of 4 from the line and including scores by Tristan Campbell, Christian Kennedy and Joshua Zerfas. Only a basket by Rose in the final minute got Grant back on the board but by then Fremont took a 38-28 lead into the break.
The second half began with Campbell heading to the line to split a pair then Schuitema got heated up scoring a dozen points in the quarter whle dishing off a pair of pases to Rose and Evans to get the lead down to 2. Visser once again came up big by firing one in from beyond the arc. The Packers held the lead but Grant kept coming back with Chase going 4-4 at the line to make it a 1 point game then Campbell hitting to push the lead to 3. The Tigers were poised to take the last shot but a foul was called giving possession to the Packers and Zerfas hit off a rebound to close the quarter at 55-50 Packers.
Braiden McDonald hit 2 from the line to open the 4th and stretch the lead to 7 but the Tigers had another run left in the tank with Rose, Evans and Schuitema scoring to make it a 2 point game. Kennedy answered for Fremont, McDonald hit another 2 from the line then Rose scored adding a free throw and Chase hit a bucket to get the visitors within a point. Kennedy came up big again with a basket that Chase answered with a long distance triple to knot it up with just over a minute to play.
The Packers held the ball until the clock wound down to about 20 seconds when Kennedy drove the lane and scored what proved to be the winning bucket.Grant missed their last attempt and fouled Campbell who converted both to give Fremont another close win.
Kennedy finished with 16 points, McDonald hit for 14, and Campbell finished with a dozen points to go with his 14 boards and 8 blocked shots. Moon scored 12 first half points, Zerfas dished out 5 assists and scored 6. Visser hit for 6 points adding a pair of blocks and 4 rebounds and Coach Zerfas called Visser’s game his best as a varsity player while also citing the defensive play of Converse and Jaxx Miller as key factors in the win.
Chase dropped 22 points (including number 1000), Schuitema canned 17 Rose muscled in 13 and Evans finished with 7.
Fremont (5-0, 8-0) will hit the road next week to face TRi County and Chip Hills while Grant (3-2, 3-6) will play at home for the first time in a month when Newaygo comes to call on Tuesday before hitting the road again for a trip to Big Rapids.
Holton 58 Lakeview 38
Coach Houseman:”It was 33-12 at halftime. Nathan Slowik had 22 points, Drew Trygstad had 14 and Aidan Poling had 13. Everyone got a good amount of playing time.”
Holton (3-1, 6-3) will host Kent City on Friday.
Morley Stanwood 55 White Cloud 34
The ‘Hawks ran their record to 7-0 with a home win over the Cloud.
Coach Jones: “We came out very slow and were down 22 to 2 in the first and 34 to 8 at halftime. We decided to play with a little heart and out scored the host team by five in the second half.” Sam Venema led the way with 10 points and Taylor Bode added 8.
Kent City 77 Hesperia 16.
Coach Worcester: “We continue to improve every game. I have a young group of men who come out every game and give it 100%. I can’t say enough about how proud I am of these guys. The score may reflect negative a first glance but you really have to be at each practice and game to see the progression these kids have made since the beginning of the season. This is the beginning of what will be a great program.”
Hunter Gudyka led the Panthers with 6 points while Kent City’s: Carlson Eli led the Eagles with 18.
Other CSAA Games
Reed City 55 Big Rapids 52
Central Montcalm 63 Chippewa Hills 42