Vikings edge Rayders 49-47 during game at Charlevoix on Tuesday
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Grayling High School’s varsity boys basketball team trailed at times during the second half, but the Vikings made enough plays down the stretch to win Tuesday night’s league game at Charlevoix High School by two points, 49-47.
The Vikings led 16-10 at the end of the first quarter. Grayling trailed 7-2 early before going on a 14-0 run. The series included a drive by Justin Nicholas, two three-pointers by Nicholas, six points by Ryan Anderson, and a basket by Conner Brill.
Grayling led 33-24 at halftime. The Vikings scored 17 points in the second quarter, including 10 from the free throw line.
Charlevoix opened the third period with a 13-0 run. The Rayders led 37-33. Nicholas hit a three-pointer at the 2:13 mark. Charlevoix made a lay-up. Anderson scored on an inside shot.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Rayders had a 39-38 lead.
Charlevoix scored first in the fourth period with a drive to the basket. Free throws from Brent Weismiller and Nicholas tied the game at 41-41 with 5:14 left in regulation.
The Rayders scored. Brill scored for Grayling on an inside shot. Nicholas hit a jump shot. Moffit made two free throws for the Vikings with 48 seconds left in the fourth period.
Grayling forced a tie-up and the possession arrow favored the Vikings. Charlevoix fouled and Anderson made one of two from the line. The Rayders scored on a drive to pull within three. Charlevoix fouled Anderson again, and he made one of two free throw attempts.
The Rayders shot from three-point range, missed, rebounded the ball, missed again from beyond the arc, and made a two-point basket as time expired.
Grayling won 49-47.
“This was definitely a character game for our team. We had a really strong first half at both ends of the court. We had a possession where we hustled down a loose ball in the corner by Justin Nicholas, ignited the transition break, all five players touched the ball, and it resulted in an open three ball from the corner,” Coach Rich Moffit said. “We really struggled in the third quarter from the field and had to really play tough defense down the stretch to secure the win. This was a good test for our guys in a pressure situation on the road. We hit some key free throws and made plays.”
Nicholas had 17 points and seven rebounds for Grayling. Anderson had 10 points and five assists. Moffit had eight points and three steals.
“Justin Nicholas played a gritty game, coming off a week of the flu, and gutted out a solid performance. Ryan Anderson was really aggressive at both ends of the court and he led our transition game. Nick Hunter and (Weismiller) kept a lot of balls alive at the offensive glass through their hustle and not giving up on any rebounds. Trey and Buddha (Artress) combined for 9 of 9 free throws, which was a key for us. Sam Davis gave us some great defensive minutes and continues to be a defensive stopper for us,” Coach Rich Moffit said.