Vikings win by 23 at East Jordan on Friday night
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Grayling Vikings defeated the East Jordan Red Devils 65-42 during a varsity boys basketball contest – a Lake Michigan Conference game – on Friday night at East Jordan High School.
The Red Devils led 9-8 with five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Grayling scored its first eight points with a lay-up by Christian Artress, a three-pointer by Artress, and a three-point basket by Trey Moffit.
The Vikings outscored the Red Devils 13-0 in the last five minutes of the first period. The run included three-pointers by Sam Davis, Justin Nicholas, and Moffit, a drive by Ryan Anderson, and free throws from Eli Jackson and Nick Hunter.
Both teams scored nine points in the second period. Grayling led 30-18 at halftime.
The Vikings scored their nine points in the second quarter with a drive by Brent Weismiller, a jumper by Nicholas, a put-back by Weismiller, and a three-pointer by Nicholas.
Grayling outscored East Jordan 17-12 in the third period. Nicholas hit two three-pointers for the Vikings in the quarter. Artress had seven points in the period with a triple and two two-point baskets. Hunter and Weismiller also scored in the period.
The score was Grayling 47, East Jordan 30 going into the fourth quarter.
The Vikings scored 18 points in the final eight minutes of regulation to 12 points for the Red Devils.
Scoring highlights for Grayling down the stretch included a reverse lay-up by Moffit, a drive by Nicholas, a fast break lay-up by Artress, a lay-up by Weismiller, a triple by Moffit, an inside shot by Nicholas, a three-pointer by Louis Cotton, and an inside shot by Conner Brill.
The Vikings won 65-42.
Nicholas had 18 points and six rebounds for GHS. Artress had 14 points and seven steals. Moffit had 11 points and four assists. Weismiller had eight points.
“Our guys gave a good effort coming out of Christmas break. I thought our effort at both ends of the court got better as the game went on,” Coach Rich Moffit said. “I was pleased with our scrappiness at the defensive end of the court with our defensive pressure. We were able to turn over (East Jordan) and convert into easy baskets. Offensively, we struggled early in the paint, but improved as the game went on.”
“Christian Artress was outstanding defensively, grabbing seven steals and converting into baskets in transition. Justin Nicholas was steady offensively. Trey Moffit hit some timely threes and had four assists. (Weismiller) and Nick Hunter played with a lot of energy today and were a key for us. Eli Jackson provided some key help on the defensive boards. Sam Davis provided a spark with his defensive energy. Ryan Anderson did a nice job of running the point. Justin Nicholas hit some big shots when we went on our offensive runs in the second half,” Coach Moffit said.
The Vikings (4-3 overall, 2-1 league) will host Harbor Springs on Friday, Jan. 12.
“There are three areas that we need to improve: one, interior defense; two, defensive rebounding; three, playing at a high level at all times,” Coach Moffit said.
Vikings play game in Motor City Roundball Classic at Detroit Renaissance
Grayling High School’s varsity boys basketball squad played in the Motor City Roundball Classic at Detroit’s Renaissance High School on Friday, Dec. 29, during an overnight trip that also included a stop at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor to view a University of Michigan women’s basketball game.
“We were able to watch the U of M women’s game on Thursday. It was a great experience for our team to watch the game and get on campus at U of M,” Coach Rich Moffit said.
The program wanted to play in the Motor City Roundball Classic last year, but was not able to work out the scheduling. The tournament is more than 20 years old and has grown into an event that features teams from out of state and even some Canadian schools.
“We were in contact a year ago about taking our team down, but we had scheduled a tourney appearance at SVSU. This year, it worked out with our schedule and we were matched up with Lakeland. The Motor City Roundball Classic is the largest and longest lasting classic in the United States,” Coach Moffit said.
“It was started in 1995 at the University of Detroit Mercy as an eight-team, three-day tournament for boys only. The event has grown from a tournament to over 70 showcase games for boys and girls during the Christmas holiday season. We are now the largest holiday event in the country,” according to the Motor City Roundball Classic’s website. “Teams are invited throughout the entire state of Michigan and from our neighboring states, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ontario. We also have teams from states that are within the mileage area stated by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, Illinois, northern Kentucky, and western Pennsylvania. All levels of competitive teams are invited to participate, from Division 1 to Division 4.”
During Grayling’s Motor City Roundball Classic game vs. the Lakeland Eagles, the Vikings started slow and trailed 19-3 at the end of the first period. Lakeland had a 38-12 advantage at halftime. Nick Hunter, Conner Brill, Justin Nicholas, and Trey Moffit scored points for the Vikings in the first half.
Lakeland outscored Grayling 27-20 in the second half, and the Eagles won by a final score of 65-32.
Eli Jackson, Brill, Brent Weismiller, Moffit, and Ryan Anderson scored points for the Vikings in the second half.
Brill finished with 10 points. Nicholas led the team in rebounding with five boards. Hunter had two steals.
“Obviously, as the score indicates, we did not play very well. White Lake has an outstanding team. Despite our performance, I think this game will be a springboard for us down the road as it taught some good lessons,” Coach Moffit said. “We can take this experience and grow in our upcoming games.”
“It was a really good experience for our ball club. I believe that the experience will enable us to grow during the season,” Coach Moffit said.