Story and photos by Mike Gesler
Grant 74 Chippewa Hills 28
Grant celebrated Senior Night tonight which saw eight players playing in their last home game. Talking with Grant’s coach, Joe Schuitema, the eight seniors, Diego Krepps, Orion Evans, Jed VanderWeide, Cole Lesley, Brett Long, Payton Swinehart, Elliot Butchart, and Gage Burrows biggest regret was their inability to have all of them playing together at one time. What they won’t regret was the absolute domination that the Tigers had over their Chippewa Hills opponents as well as leaving the court with each teammate finding the net. It was a night that finally saw how commanding the Tiger offense could have been this season.
To say this game was all Grant is an understatement. In a weird twist that was so apropos for this uncommon season, Grant started their scoring effort with Seth Schuitema shooting two due to a scorebook irregularity technical assessed to Chippewa Hills before the clock even started. They then put in another six before Chippewa Hills got on the board. And honestly, that is pretty much how the game went which makes it difficult and boring to write about, but exciting and fun for the Tiger faithful who got to witness this slaughter. To watch the Tigers working as a team no matter which personnel was on the court was exactly what Grant needed going into District play.
I am really proud of our guys. It’s been a long, weird season in every way possible,” stated Schuitema. “To be able to play like they did tonight in front of a home crowd. To execute the way they did. It didn’t matter who was on the court. I thought they really brought energy, and kind of a consistent style of offense maybe for the first time really for us for a full thirty-two minutes. I feel bad for Chip because they’re down a few players, and they just kept working hard as you would expect out of them. We wanted to match that tonight so we could go out on top. Last home game for these guys tonight, and eight seniors that’s a lot. Real proud of them.”
Leading tonight for the Tigers was Elliot Butchart who constantly found himself open in the paint allowing him to put fourteen on the scoreboard followed by Seth Schuitema with thirteen and Orion Evens with eleven. Brett Long had nine and Gage Burrows contributed seven. Diego Krepps and Cole Lesley each had four. Matthew Mansfield and Payton Swinehart sunk in three, and Jed VanderWeide, Isaac Higgins, and Sawyer Carr each had two. The Tigers open their District play on Tuesday in Comstock Park in what should be an exciting match up against their near north rivals Newaygo.