Vikings seal win vs. Bobcats with 7-1 run in final two minutes
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Grayling Vikings sealed a 56-45 victory vs. the Houghton Lake Bobcats with a 7-1 run in the final two minutes of Tuesday night’s nonconference varsity girls basketball contest, a game hosted by Grayling High School.
The Vikings led 15-11 at the end of the first period. Grayling opened the game with three-pointers by Natalie Amy and Erin Prosser. Later in the quarter, Houghton Lake led 11-7 after hitting a three-pointer at the 3:03 mark. The Vikings ended the first period with an 8-0 run. The series included an inside shot by Ellie Carr, a three-pointer by Amy, and three free throws from Amy.
At halftime, Grayling had a 28-21 lead. The Vikings scored nine of their 13 second quarter points from behind the three-point line; Amy hit two more triples in the period and Prosser made a three-pointer in the final seconds of the quarter.
Going into the fourth period, Grayling led by five points, 37-32. The Vikings scored nine points in the third quarter with four free throws from Prosser, an inside shot by Mallory Hatfield, one free throw from Molly Leslie, and two free throws from Esa Powers.
Houghton Lake scored first in the fourth period with one free throw. Hatfield hit one of two from the free throw line for Grayling. The Bobcats hit a jump shot. At the 6:13 mark, Amy made a three-pointer. Houghton Lake scored on a put-back.
Madison Longendyke hit an inside shot for the Vikings. Houghton Lake made a lay-up. Hatfield scored for Grayling on an inside shot at the 2:25 mark. The Bobcats made two free throws. Prosser converted two free throws at the 2:09 mark. Houghton Lake scored on a jump shot at the 2:01 mark.
Grayling led 48-44 with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings finished the game with a 7-1 run. The series included a jump shot by Leslie, a lay-up by Amy, one free throw from Prosser, and three free throws from Leslie.
Grayling won by 11 points, 56-45.
“For the second game in a row, our girls really had to grind one out in the second half. Houghton Lake’s 1-2-2 zone got the best of us for the first portion of the game, but the girls made some adjustments and took care of the ball much better in the second half,” Coach Sparky Nitchman said.
“Coming out of halftime we applied our full-court pressure much more efficiently and forced turnovers that weren’t being forced in the first 16 minutes,” Coach Nitchman said.
Amy finished the game with 25 points and five steals. Prosser had 11 points. Hatfield had six rebounds and three assists. Powers had four rebounds, two blocks, and two assists.
Amy had five three-pointers for Grayling and Prosser had two.
“Lots of success from long-range tonight, as the girls shot 7/13 from three. Natalie Amy hit five triples and Erin Prosser added two, which is a testament to how hard the girls have been working on their shot in practice,” Coach Nitchman said.
The Vikings (2-4 overall, 1-0 league) will host the Charlevoix Rayders at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 6.