Rayders rally, Vikings survive
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
We played outstanding basketball at the beginning of the game, running out to a 22-3 lead. We forced eight Charlevoix turnovers in the first quarter and we were aggressive attacking the rim in transition and in our offensive sets. We struggled to cover the perimeter in the second quarter off missed defensive rotations and Charlevoix made us pay." – Rich Moffit, Grayling High School Varsity Boys Basketball Coach
The Grayling Vikings started strong – they led 22-6 after one quarter of play – but the visiting Charlevoix Rayders battled back and pulled within two with a fourth quarter rally, but Grayling survived, winning Friday’s varsity boys basketball game by a final score of 57-54.
The Vikings opened the game with an 11-0 run, a series that included two free throws from Spencer White, four free throws from Troy Summers, a three-pointer by Trey Moffit, and a jump shot by White.
Charlevoix scored its first points of the game with a three-pointer at the 3:03 mark.
Grayling scored 11 unanswered points with two put-backs by Summers, a three-pointer by Justin Nicholas, an inside shot by Summers, and two free throws from Summers.
The Rayders hit a three-pointer just before the buzzer.
Grayling had a 22-6 advantage going into the second period.
Charlevoix opened the second quarter with a 15-4 run, scoring all of their points from beyond the arc with five triples. The Vikings ended the quarter with a 6-0 run, a series that featured a three-pointer by Ryan Anderson, a put-back by Summers, and one free throw from Summers.
At halftime, the score was Grayling 32, Charlevoix 21. The Rayders scored did not make a free throw or a two-point basket in the first half; all of their points in the first 16 minutes of regulation came from three-pointers.
The Vikings led by 10 points, 43-33, going into the fourth quarter. Grayling scored 11 points in the third period with two free throws from Nicholas, a drive by White, an inside shot by Moffit, a drive by Nick Hunter, an inside shot by Summers, and one free throw from Summers.
Grayling scored the first four points of the fourth quarter with two inside shots by Summers. Charlevoix hit two free throws. At the 5:07 mark, the Rayders made another three-point basket. White scored on a put-back. Charlevoix hit two free throws. White made a lay-up for Grayling. Summers scored on a put-back.
With 3:24 left in regulation, the Vikings had a 53-40 lead.
Charlevoix scored on a jump shot. The Rayders got a steal and a fast break lay-up. Charlevoix stole the ball again and made a quick lay-up. A technical foul on Grayling gave Charlevoix two free throws – the Rayders hit both of them – and possession of the ball at the 1:34 mark.
Grayling got the ball back and Charlevoix fouled. The Vikings missed the one-and-one free throw attempt. Charlevoix rebounded the ball, but the Rayders were not able to convert at their end. Charlevoix fouled and Grayling missed the free throw attempt. The Vikings got the ball back without the Rayders scoring, and Charlevoix fouled. Grayling was again unable to convert from the free throw line.
Charlevoix hit a three-pointer with 21 seconds left in the fourth period, cutting Grayling’s lead to two, 53-51.
The Rayders fouled – it was their 10th, giving Grayling two free throws – and Nicholas made both of them, putting the Vikings ahead by four, 55-51, with 15.9 seconds remaining.
Charlevoix shot from three-point range and Summers came down with the rebound. The Rayders fouled him, and Summers made both free throw attempts. Grayling led 57-51 with six seconds remaining.
Charlevoix hit a three-pointer in the final seconds.
The Vikings won 57-54.
“We played outstanding basketball at the beginning of the game, running out to a 22-3 lead. We forced eight Charlevoix turnovers in the first quarter and we were aggressive attacking the rim in transition and in our offensive sets. We struggled to cover the perimeter in the second quarter off missed defensive rotations and Charlevoix made us pay,” Coach Rich Moffit said.
Summers finished with 29 points, 23 rebounds, six steals, and two blocks. White had 10 points. Nicholas had seven points, eight rebounds, and three assists.
“Troy Summers had an outstanding game with 29 points, 23 boards, and six steals. Spencer White was aggressive attacking the basket, scoring 10 points. Justin Nicholas had eight boards, three assists, and hit some timely free throws during pressure moments,” Coach Moffit said.
The Vikings (3-2 overall, 1-1 league) will host East Jordan on Friday, Jan. 13.