Vikings win 74-70 vs. Elks in overtime
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Exciting high school game. We made some real clutch plays down the stretch to win the game. (Elk Rapids) is a tough, physical team and they are well coached. Really pleased with our toughness. Justin Nicholas hit some clutch shots during pressure moments. Troy Summers and Spencer White were solid all game long.” – Rich Moffit, Grayling High School Varsity Boys Basketball Coach
Grayling High School’s varsity boys basketball squad won by four points, 74-70, vs. the Elk Rapids Elks on Friday in a Lake Michigan Conference contest that had to be decided in overtime.
Going into the match – a home game for Grayling – the Vikings and the Elks were tied for second place in the conference at 3-1 in league play. Traverse City St. Francis and Boyne City were tied for first place in the league with 4-0 conference records going into Friday night’s games. Boyne City won 64-60 vs. St. Francis on Friday, leaving the Ramblers in sole possession of first place in the LMC. Grayling and St. Francis are now tied for second place.
Friday’s Grayling vs. Elk Rapids contest was close all the way through – neither squad ever led by more than eight points – and the second half featured a few ties and a couple of lead changes.
The Vikings led 20-15 at the end of the first period. First quarter highlights for Grayling included six points from Troy Summers, a three-pointer by Justin Nicholas, a drive by Nicholas, a three-point shot by Ryan Anderson, a fast break lay-up by Spencer White, and a put-back by Trey Moffit.
Grayling scored first in the second period with a three-pointer by Nicholas. The Vikings scored 12 more points in the quarter with one free throw from Nick Hunter, put-backs by White and Summers, an inside shot by Summers, two free throws from Anderson, and a three-point play by Summers in the final seconds of the first half.
At halftime, the score was Grayling 35, Elk Rapids 29.
The Elks scored the first four points of the third period to pull within two, 35-33. Grayling scored four with a jumper by White and a drive by Summers. An 8-0 run by Elk Rapids – a series that included an inside shot, a three-pointer, and a three-point play – gave the Elks a 41-39 advantage with 3:52 left in the quarter.
Summers and Anderson hit free throw shots for GHS. Elk Rapids made two free throws. Moffit converted two shots from the free throw line. Grayling led 44-43.
At the 2:00 mark, Elk Rapids hit another three-pointer and the Elks led 46-44.
Moffit hit two free throws. Elk Rapids made one of two from the line. Nicholas connected from beyond the three-point arc at the 1:22 mark. With 53 seconds left in the third period, Nicholas hit another three-point shot – his fourth of the night – and Grayling led by five.
At the end of the third quarter, the Vikings had a 53-49 lead.
White made one of two free throw attempts. Elk Rapids hit two free throws. The Elks scored on a drive to pull within one. Summers made two free throws. Moffit went to the line at the 6:42 mark and hit both shots. A three-point play by Summers at the 5:36 mark gave Grayling an eight-point lead, 61-53.
Elk Rapids hit a three-pointer at the 3:39 mark. An inside shot by the Elks at the 2:57 mark cut Grayling’s lead to three.
Elk Rapids got a steal and drew a foul on a lay-up attempt. The Elks missed both free throw attempts and Nicholas rebounded the ball for the Vikings. The Elks fouled White on a drive to the basket and he made both free throw attempts. Grayling led 63-58 with 2:05 left in regulation.
Elk Rapids scored on a put-back. White hit one of two from the free throw line. The Elks scored. Christian Artress made one of two free throws at the 1:04 mark, and Grayling led by three, 65-62.
The Elks scored on a drive. White hit one of two free throws. Elk Rapids drove to the basket for two, tying the game at 66-66 with 26 seconds left in the fourth period.
The Elks stole the ball. Grayling deflected the basketball but Elk Rapids was able to gather the loose ball. The Elks shot from three-point range, missed, rebounded the ball, and attempted a put-back at the buzzer. It missed. With the score tied at 66-66, the game went to overtime (four minutes).
The Vikings scored first in overtime with an inside shot by Summers. White scored on a put-back. Grayling led 70-66.
The Vikings missed two free throw attempts at the 3:02 mark. With 2:26 left in overtime, Grayling missed two more free throws.
Elk Rapids shot from two-point range, missed, and Summers rebounded the ball. White scored for Grayling on a reverse lay-up.
The Elks turned the ball over with a traveling violation. Grayling traveled, giving it back. Elk Rapids scored on a drive to pull within four, 72-68, with 1:17 left in the game.
The Vikings turned the ball over and the Elks scored on an inside shot. Elk Rapids trailed 72-70 with 56 seconds left on the clock.
Grayling shot from two-point range, missed, and the Elks came away with the ball. Elk Rapids traveled, giving the Vikings possession with 19 seconds left. The Elks fouled Moffit, who hit both free throw attempts. Grayling forced a loose ball with a deflection in the final seconds and Nicholas grabbed it, ending the game.
The Vikings won by a final score of 74-70.
“Exciting high school game,” Coach Rich Moffit said. “We made some real clutch plays down the stretch to win the game. (Elk Rapids) is a tough, physical team and they are well coached. Really pleased with our toughness. Justin Nicholas hit some clutch shots during pressure moments. Troy Summers and Spencer White were solid all game long.”
Summers finished with 23 points and 19 rebounds. Nicholas had 17 points. White had 15 points and four assists. Moffit had 10 points and four steals.
The Vikings (6-2 overall, 4-1 league) will play at Kalkaska on Friday, Jan. 27.