Story and photos by Mike Gesler
Grant 75 Central Montcalm 51
If you were not in the gym at the Grant Middle School for tonight’s game against Central Montcalm, you missed a game that will certainly go down in Grant basketball lore. Central Montcalm and Grant met early in the season with Central Montcalm winning by a two point margin. Since that game, Grant has been out to prove that the team they were then is not the same team they are today. However, Central Montcalm, who is sitting at the number two spot in the conference, has shown that they are no slouch of a team either. Central Montcalm has won their last four games, and have only lost two on the season. Grant, for their part, has won four of their last five games only narrowing losing to Fremont.
The first half of play was everything this game hyped. Two physical and athletic teams that would scrap tooth and nail for every point earned. Central Montcalm’s Trey Chapin put the Hornets on the board first followed by Grant’s Elliot Butchart to even things out. Grant would go on to draw their lead out by six, only to see Central Montcalm whittle that lead away and hold two over Grant. But lead changes would not be held long. In fact the Tigers and the Hornets exchanged leads eight times, six of those in the second period, before the first half buzzer sounded. When it did, it was Grant that went into the locker room as the first half victors by a very slim two points at thirty-three to Central Montcalm’s thirty-one.
The third quarter started right where the first half left off. Central Montcalm’s Gunner Hill put up two to tie the game, and then another two to take the lead only for Grant to tie the score. For the next four minutes, this would be a repeated theme. Then, with about four minutes left in the quarter, Grant would break that theme…well mainly Carter Chase and Seth Schuitema. The duo started a points scoring clinic that would last the remainder of the third quarter and continue for half the fourth. For nearly eight minutes, the equivalent of one quarter, the Tigers held the Hornets scoreless while Chase and Schuitema combined for twenty points with Brett Long adding two of his own for a twenty-two point Grant run. By the time Central Montcalm’s Trey Chapin ended Grant’s spectacular eight minute performance, it was too little too late. There was nothing much left for the Hornets. Both teams pulled their starters, and gave their bench personnel some game experience.
“I’m really excited about beating a real good Central Montcalm team, and obviously tying them for second place is a big deal,” stated Grant’s coach, Joel Schuitema. “I think we played really tough against a team that plays tough. They’re physical, they’re athletic, they work hard, and we were able to match that tonight.”
Carter Chase put up twenty-seven points tonight, with Seth Schuitema close behind with twenty-two points. Brett Long shot for eleven points. Also helping in the Tiger’s win was Orion Evans (5), Elliot Butchart (4), Diego Krepps (3), Gage Burrows (2), and Diesel Rose (1). Grant goes on the road for two games beginning with Morley Stanwood on Tuesday night.