Vikings force Lions into extra frame
Photos by Alexis Mercer
Story by Ken DeLaat
The Vikings hadn’t won a conference game all season and a month ago the Lions had handled them on the TC home court.
But that wasn’t the team that showed up Friday night in the Den.
The Lions sprinted out to an 11-2 lead behind baskets by Connor Swinehart, Ryan Brummel and Noah Cantu. TC put on a run of their own behind Cameron Friend Nick Poprawski and Tristen Knox to tie the game at 13. Cantu got to the line and dropped a pair and the first period ended with the Lions on top 15-13.
Poprawski nailed a three to start the second and give TC their first lead of the night. Newaygo edged ahead behind scores by Brummel and Kade Bhuyan then Bryce Hallman fired inn a triple that was answered by an 8-0 run by the hosts. Nick Braunschneider stopped the bleeding but two in a row by Carlos Magana stretched the Lion lead to 9 that was trimmed to 7 by intermission.
Enter Collin Kirkwood who scored and dished his team to a tie late in the third before Cantu and Swinehart put some distance to end the quarter with Newaygo holding a 6 point lead.
Heading into the 4th the Vikings still had a lot of fight left and Poprawski canned a pair of triples to pull TC ahead by a point. Brummel scored to put Newaygo in front then Hallman did the same for TC with Friend adding a shot and suddenly the Vikes were up by 4 and Swinehart the heart and soul of the Lions team had picked up his 4th foul.
Three minutes were left after a Hallman bucket pushed the lead to 6 then Brummel unleashed a three. The teams battled to a 66 tie when Poprawski zipped one from the arc and TC held a 3 point lead with under a minute left.
Brummel stepped up huge when he nailed a clutch 3 pointer that tied the game and 40 seconds later the teams went to overtime.
In the extra frame Cantu popped in two quick triples and the Lions kept the Vikes at bay for the hard fought win.
Newaygo Coach Barrette: “Great win for our Seniors on their last game in our home gym. TC played extremely hard and took us out of some things we wanted to do. Ryan Brummel and Noah Cantu were special down the stretch getting us to overtime then putting it away in the final 4 minutes.”
Cantu finished with 25 points including 10 in overtime while grabbing 9 rebounds Brummel hit on 10 of his 11 shots to tally 22. Swinehart canned 20 and Bhuyan snatched 5 steals and dished out 6 assists.
Poprawski nailed 5 triples as part of his 23 points, Hallman hit for 18, Friend Finished with 11 and Braunschneider added 9.