Story and photos by Mike Gesler
Grant 68 Chippewa Hills 43
Grant knows that if they want to win the CSAA Gold Conference title, or at least a share of the title, they cannot afford a conference loss. They also know that if they are going to make in sort of run in the upcoming district play, they will need support from deep within their bench. Tonight was a perfect opportunity to keep their starting five honed in while giving their bench plenty of game experience.
As many teams are learning this year, if you focus on shutting down Carter Chase, you then have Seth Schuitema to deal with. Schuitema would dominate the first half with sixteen points while Chase’s only five would all come from the line. Adjust to Schuitema, and now you leave Elliot Butchart, Diesel Rose, and Brett Long open for damage around the boards. Readjust to close in around the boards and shut down Schuitema, and now Chase will tear you apart. That’s what happened tonight in Grant. The Tigers thoroughly dominated three quarters of play that saw Chippewa Hills’ coach, Zach Ingles, receive a technical moments before the end of the third. Honestly, who could blame his frustration? There was no answer as Grant led by thirty-four, ruled on the boards, and basically decimated the Warriors through three quarters.
The fourth quarter would allow Chippewa Hills to regain some ground on Grant as Coach Schuitema rested his starters, and gave his bench some much needed game time experience. But it would be a quarter of frustrated, fast-paced, physical play from Chippewa Hills. Of the thirty-one combined points of the quarter, thirteen would come from the line.
“Real proud with the guys in the way they executed,” stated Grant’s coach, Joel Schuitema. “It was kind of a physical game and kind of an awkward game at times, and I thought we handled that real well. Everybody got to play and contribute. I think it shows too that we are pretty deep, and can do a lot of things.”
The Tigers move to 8-2 in the conference in a three way tie for the top along with Fremont and Central Montcalm. Both Seth Schuitema and Carter Chase had double digits tonight at nineteen and fourteen respectively. Gage Burrows came off the bench and put up seven. Diesel Rose and Elliot Butchart each had six. Cole Lesley and Brett Long each had five. Jed Vanderweide (3), Orion Evans (2), and Eli Bradley (1) also contributed to Grant’s scoring effort. The Tigers will next face Tri County on Tuesday evening in Grant.