By Ken DeLaat
Photos by Alexis Mercer
Newaygo 74 Grant 60
The Lions and Tigers faced off in the latest edition of this forever rivalry, the kind that tends to upgrade the importance in any of their athletic competitions. Both teams came into the game with 3-2 conference records and looking up at Fremont and Reed City the teams sitting a game in front at the top.
And on this night the win went to Newaygo.
The Lions literally roared out of the gate scoring 9 unanswered points before the game was a minute old.The distance had grown to 13-0 before Connor VanderWilt ended the drought with a basket. A split at the line from Brett Long, a Diesel Rose bucket and another 2 by VanderWilt and the Tigers crept back in. Ryan Brummel canned a triple and Swinehart worked inside for 2 but VanderWilt answered with a 3 pointer and Grant got a bucket by Long and another by Carter Chase. The lead looked to be 5 at quarter’s end but Brummel fired in another from distance at the buzzer and the 1st ended at 22-14 Lions.
Kade Bhuyan and another Brummel three took the lead to 13 but the Tigers clawed their way back and twice got within 5 as Chase and Seth Schuitema hit a pair of 3 pointers then when the half was winding down Chase fended off a trio of defenders to snap a another triple in at the buzzer and make it a 6 point game.
Then came the second half.
The Lions ripped off a 16-4 run at the start and never let the visitors closer than 10 from there on out.
“Great win against a good Grant team tonight,” said Coach Barrette.” We made things very tough for them and executed on offense.”
Swinehart led the scoring parade with 27 points to go with a dozen boards and Noah Cantu fired in 20 while snaring 8 rebounds. Bhuyan dished out 6 dimes, grabbed 5 steals and scored 11 points while playing tough on the defensive end. Brummel finished with 9 points courtesy of his trio of triples.
Chase led the Tigers with 23 points and put on an offensive clinic with his ball handling and shooting ability. Long and Schuitema hit for 10 apiece and Rose finished with 5.
The Lions 4-2 in the Gold and 7-2 overall will be hosting the Coyotes of Reed City Friday night while Grant (3-3, 5-5) will return home to face the Cardinals of Big Rapids (2-3, 4-5)