Story and photos by Mike Gesler
Grant 67 Reed City 55
Both the Grant Tigers and the Reed City Coyotes came into tonight’s match-up with a 0-3 record. That meant that both teams knew one of them tonight would put their first win in the column. And because this was a CSAA conference game, neither team wanted to enter the winter break already down two in conference play.
The first quarter would begin with Grant drawing first blood as Carter Chase started Grant’s scoring effort with two points. Seth Schuitema would add the next three points, end a five point Reed City run, and begin a six point run for the Tigers. Thus began the battle of the winless teams that would have Grant edging out Reed City in the first quarter by a basket.
Reed City started the second by evening out the score at twelve. Schuitema once again drained another three, but Reed City answered with a three of their own. With the second quarter half way through, and the game tied at fifteen, Grant called a time-out. The Tigers came out of that time-out by putting together an eight point run, and from there never looking back. As the half buzzer sounded, the Tigers took to the locker room with a ten point lead over Reed City’s seventeen points.
With the start of the second half, the Coyotes knew a ten point deficit was not insurmountable to dig their way out. The Tigers however knew that this game was far from over, and they still had business to take care of. Elliott Buchart increased the Tiger lead to twelve. Grant went on to extend their lead by fourteen before Reed City went on a run to bring the game within nine. This would be a theme that would repeat itself later in the game.
The fourth quarter saw an entirely different Grant team. With the pressure of the first win lifting off their backs, the Tigers started having fun. In doing so, Grant put together their best quarter of their young season thus far. Within the first two minutes of the fourth, the Tigers had extended their lead again by fourteen points. The Coyotes though were not about to simply slink away with their tails between their legs. Over the next couple minutes, Reed City slowly chipped that deficit back to eight. But eight wasn’t enough as the Tigers easily controlled the remainder of the game for their first win of the season.
“I thought we shared the ball really well tonight,” stated Coach Schuitema. “Probably most of our baskets were off an assist which I think sends a message about the kind of team we have; like we are pretty unselfish and we’re looking for guys. I was really proud of them competing because Reed City is a tough physical team, and we just kept battling.”
Leading in tonight’s efforts was Seth Schuitema with twenty-four points, followed by Carter Chase with fifteen. Brett Long had nine, Elliot Buchart with eight, and Orion Evans put up six. Cole Lesley and Brandon Swanson each had two, and Diesel Rose contributed one. The Tigers move to 1-1 in the conference, and 1-3 overall. After the winter break the Tigers go on a three game road trip beginning with Chippewa Hills before returning home to face Newaygo on January 21.