Grayling survives 2nd half run by Panthers, wins 71-67
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
We played very well in the first half. We made 16 of 35 shots; we were 6 for 12 from beyond the arc. Defensively we were solid, holding (St. John Paul) to 33 percent shooting. Second half was a game where we had to withstand a furious rally by the Panthers to hold on to a 71-67 win. We showed great character down the stretch.” – Rich Moffit, Grayling High School Varsity Boys Basketball Coach
With a strong start and enough plays down the stretch, the Grayling Vikings survived a second half run by the St. John Paul II Panthers during Friday night’s varsity boys basketball game at Grayling High School, and the Vikings won by four, 71-67.
St. John Paul, a school from Canada playing in a series of games in Michigan last week, ended up having two games on Friday: a double overtime contest at Alpena during the afternoon and the night game at GHS.
Grayling got off to a strong start vs. the visiting Panthers, outscoring St. John Paul 25-9 in the first eight minutes of regulation. The Vikings had a 12-0 run from the 4:22 mark to the 2:52 mark with two three-pointers by Trey Moffit and two three-pointers from Christian Artress. Moffit ended the period with 11 total points. Spencer White also hit a three-pointer for Grayling in the quarter, Troy Summers scored on an inside shot, and Justin Nicholas scored on a put-back for GHS.
Grayling scored first in the second period with two inside shots by White. Inside shots by White and Summers put the Vikings up by 20, 33-13, with 4:29 left in the second quarter.
Summers scored on a lay-up at the 2:29 mark. Brent Weismiller made one of two free throw attempts. Weismiller scored on an inside shot.
St. John Paul hit a three-pointer at the buzzer. At halftime, the score was Vikings 40, Panthers 27.
St. John Paul opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run, a series that included two three-pointers. Grayling scored two on free throws from Nicholas and Summers. The Panthers made a jump shot. Moffit hit another triple for Grayling at the 4:30 mark. St. John Paul scored on a lay-up, an inside shot, and a three-pointer. Nicholas hit two free throws.
With three minutes left in the third quarter, the Vikings led by one, 47-46.
Ryan Anderson hit one of two from the free throw line. St. John Paul made a jumper. Moffit hit another three. Anderson scored for Grayling on a drive to the basket.
Going into the fourth period, the Vikings led by seven, 55-48.
Grayling scored on an inside shot by Summers. St. John Paul made a three-pointer. The Panthers scored on an inside shot. Grayling led 57-53.
Summers finished a three-point play at the 6:31 mark. Moffit scored. St. John Paul hit two shots from beyond the three-point arc to pull within four, 62-58. White scored on a reverse lay-up. The Panthers hit another three-pointer.
At the 3:33 mark, Grayling led by three, 64-61.
Summers scored on an inside shot. St. John Paul completed a three-point play at the 1:42 mark, cutting Grayling’s lead to two points. Summers and White each hit one free throw for GHS. St. John Paul shot from three-point range, missed, and Grayling came down with the rebound. The Panthers fouled to stop the clock. Moffit hit one of two from the line. St. John Paul tried a three-point shot, missed, and Nicholas rebounded the ball. The Panthers fouled him. Nicholas, with six seconds left in regulation, made both free throws, giving Grayling a 71-64 advantage.
St. John Paul hit a triple at the buzzer, but the Vikings held on to win by four, 71-67.
Moffit finished the game with 20 points. Summers had 19 points and 16 rebounds. White had 12 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Nicholas had seven points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. Artress had seven points.
“We played very well in the first half. We made 16 of 35 shots; we were 6 for 12 from beyond the arc. Defensively we were solid, holding (St. John Paul) to 33 percent shooting. Second half was a game where we had to withstand a furious rally by the Panthers to hold on to a 71-67 win. We showed great character down the stretch,” Coach Rich Moffit said.
“Our bench provided a real spark led by (Brent) ‘BW’ (Weismiller) and (Ryan) ‘Ostrich’ Anderson. Trey and (Christian) ‘Buddha’ (Artress) shot the lights out from beyond the arc, combining to make seven of 10. Troy Summers had his best game of the year, scoring 19 points to go along with 16 boards. Justin Nicholas really got our fast break going, collecting 12 boards and dishing out four assists. Spencer White played a solid all-around game with 12 points, six assists, and two steals,” Coach Moffit said.
On Tuesday night, the Vikings lost 49-44 vs. the Ramblers at Boyne City. It was Grayling’s first league game of the season.
“Tough and physical (Lake Michigan Conference) game at the Wheelhouse. I was pleased with our defense inside the arc, holding (Boyne City) to 31 percent shooting; however, we left some shooters open during key parts of the second half and it resulted in two uncontested threes down the stretch,” Coach Moffit said.
Boyne City led 13-7 at the end of the first quarter. Grayling had a 19-17 advantage at halftime. The Ramblers outscored the Vikings 32-25 in the second half.
“We started out very slow out of the gates. Struggled vs. pressure and turned the ball over 21 times in the game. Impressed with our team in that they fought back in the second quarter to take the lead at the half. Our kids competed all night. We were successful when we were aggressive offensively and attacked the basket. Troy Summers led us on the glass with 19 boards. (Justin) ‘Diesel’ Nicholas and Trey combined for 23 points,” Coach Moffit said.
Nicholas had 12 points for Grayling. Moffit had 11 points. Summers had seven points, 19 rebounds, and two blocks. White had seven points.
The Vikings (2-2 overall, 0-1 league) will host Charlevoix on Friday, Jan. 6.