Story and photos by Mike Gesler
Grant 63 Chippewa Hills 28
Not only was this the last game of the regular season, but it was also the last home game for the Tigers before entering District play. Grant celebrated Senior Night as well recognizing their three seniors on this young squad; Sami Wolff, Trinity Swanson, and Mackenzie Ritz. It turned out to be a game that was all Grant, and would leave the Tigers on a high note giving them a much needed confidence boost.
From the start, Grant played hard, they pressed hard, and they got in the face of this young Chippewa Hills’ squad. They dominated both sides of the court, and created multiple turnover opportunities. But their real break out came in the third quarter.
Coming out of the half, Grant was sitting on a 27-12 lead. Chippewa Hills tried to match the pressure and press that Grant had shown through the first half, unfortunately this left Chippewa Hills vulnerable on the inside along with giving the Tigers five free trips to the line. The Tigers quickly put up five before the Warriors answered with two. Then Grant’s Julie Ashbaugh took over from there. The Tiger’s went on a sixteen point run with Ashbaugh accounting for ten of those sixteen. The Warriors stopped the bleeding with a three pointer by Desiree Brown, but Madison Thompson answered back with three for Grant to end the quarter with Grant now in clearly in command 50-17.
Chippewa Hills managed to get some things working in the fourth, but by that point it was too late. The Tigers easily dominated for their final home game ending the regular season with a 5-11 overall record, and a record of 5-9 in conference play. They will pair up against Tri-County in Sparta for their first game in Districts on Monday.
“What I really want to see from this game is for the girls to start believing in that stuff when we start playing against a good team,” shared Grant’s coach, Josh Delamater. “They always love to score look. They love to look at the scores and compare. We’re always, comparison wise, pretty equal with a lot of teams I think. Then we play against them, and we just don’t have that belief that we can get to that next level. Obviously now it’s loser-go-home so we got to go out, and we got to play. We got to put the stuff that we did well tonight to use on Monday against Tri-County. I think that we have a good shot at it so we’ll see what happens.”
Leading tonight for the Tigers, which saw ten players putting up points, was Julie Ashbaugh with sixteen. Jaycee Rider and Trinity Swanson each had eight. Sami Wolff, Sara Arends, and Chloee Chase added six each. Jayci Hance and Makayla Zerlaut knocked down four apiece with Madison Thompson (3) and Mackenzie Ritz (2) also contributing.