The thing about a rivalry is that it usually does not disappoint. Regardless of record or how the season is going, a rivalry can bring out the best in teams. This was absolutely the case with both the boys and girls Newaygo/Grant games on Tuesday night.
Girls Score - Newaygo 45 Grant 38
The Lions came out on fire in the first half of the game. Sophia Frisbie took advantage of the Tigers' need to more closely guard the Long sisters and lit up the net with aggressive shooting. At the half, Newaygo was up 25-15.
But as the rivalry goes, Grant wasn't about to walk away not having given it their all. By the end of the 3rd quarter, Grant had cut the lead to 4 points. Grant's Kirstyn Throop and Kassidy Doornbos were both particularly dominant on both ends of the floor. The Lions held strong, however, and came out on top when the final buzzer sounded.
Jaxi Long led the Lions with 14 points. Emmerson Goodin had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jaylee Long had 4 points and 6 assists. Coach Thomasma said "It always is a battle either way against Grant. They're well coached and play tough. I am happy with the intensity that we played with tonight, especially after last Friday's game."
Newaygo improves to 12-7 (7-6 in conference)
Grant drops to 5-13 (5-7 in conference)
Boys Score - Grant 65 Newaygo 56
In nearly exactly opposite fashion from the girls game, the Tigers came out on fire in the first quarter against the Lions. Robert Rose scored the first point of the game with a free throw and then Carter Chase took over. No matter what the Lions tried on defense, Chase was able to overcome the challenge. At the end of the first quarter the Lions were down 7-15.
The second quarter, Newaygo proved much more effective in finding a way to the bottom of the net, mostly thanks to Carlos Magaña's hard work under the basket. This quarter the Tigers outscored the Lions only by 1 point.
Coming out of the locker room, the Lions had a spring in their step and were ready to attack the next 16 minutes of play. By the end of the battle of the 3rd quarter, the Lions had scored 15 to the Tigers 14. It wasn't enough, however. The Tigers continually found a way to fight off the charging Lions. Every time Newaygo got within 3 points, Grant would shut them down offensively for two or three plays.
Coach Barrette said of the game "We gave up too many second chance points". Carlos Magaña ended the game with 22 points and 12 rebounds.