Story and photos by Mike Gesler
Grant 84 Central Montcalm 65
On most nights, putting up sixty-five points in this conference will net you a check in the win category. But on most nights you don’t expect your opponent to score a season high eighty-four points either; especially from a Tiger team that has struggled to find themselves. Tonight, however, despite the constant nagging pressure of Central Montcalm’s full court press, the Tigers did indeed find themselves.
The first quarter was marked by runs. Tied at six apiece, Central Montcalm went on a seven point run to go up 13-6 before Grant turned the tables with an eleven point run upping the Hornets 17-13. The Hornets put in four to tie, but the Tigers hit one to close the quarter with a two point advantage.
With both teams now settled in, the second quarter was a battle with the teams trading shot for shot and neither willing to concede any ground. With a few minutes left in the half, Sawyer Carr came off the bench giving the Tigers a much needed lift putting up six of an eleven point Grant run to end the half and a twelve point advantage to start the second half.
The third saw a repeat of the first only this time it would be Grant to draw blood first with an eleven point run. With the Tigers now up by twenty-three, it became apparent that fatigue was beginning to set into the starting Tiger line-up. Central Montcalm began a fourteen point run as Coach Schuitema gave his starters a much needed rest.
With a younger, inexperienced bench now in the game, the Tiger fans saw their twenty-three point lead dwindle down to two with still six minutes still left in the game. Fans were left to wonder if this was going to be a bad decision or a brilliant tactic by Coach Schuitema. In the end, it was a brilliant decision. The now rested starters picked up right where they left off, went on a ten point run, limited the Hornets to just eight for the remainder of the game, and put in an additional fifteen to firmly claim an eighty-four sixty-five victory.
“It was a very typical game for us,” stated Coach Schuitema. “I think in this league you’re not really sure how the outcome is going to go. Pretty balanced, competitive, both teams working hard. Central Montcalm puts a lot of pressure on you with their full court press, and kind of a relentless mindset which gave us some fits for a while. I’m proud of our guys. Three games this week in four days. A really nice win on Wednesday at Holton, and then a nice win tonight. We’re going to enjoy this.”
Three Tigers found themselves in double digits tonight. Seth Schuitema led with twenty-three, followed by Gage Burrows (15) and Orion Evans (14). Also contributing to tonight’s winning effort were Cole Lesley (7), Diego Krepps (6), Sawyer Carr (6), Elliot Butchart (6), Brett Long (4), and Payton Swinehart (3).