Vikings unable to convert in overtime, fall to Ramblers 55-45
Game includes salute to Coach Rich Moffit, who is retiring at the end of the season
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
I loved the atmosphere of this game. The crowd was electrifying. It was a great game to prep us for the pressures of March Madness. Viking Nation had the gym rocking. On a personal note, I am extremely appreciative of the support from our community. It meant a lot to me to see the enormous support for our kids and our program.” – Rich Moffit, Grayling High School Varsity Boys Basketball Coach
The Grayling Vikings, during Friday night’s varsity boys basketball game vs. the visiting Boyne City Ramblers, battled back from a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime, but the Vikings were not able to get a shot to fall in the extra period, and the Ramblers won 55-45.
Boyne City had a 13-5 lead after one quarter of play. Grayling scored its first five points with a three-pointer by Justin Nicholas and a put-back by Conner Brill.
The Vikings scored first in the second period with a three-pointer by Nicholas. The Ramblers scored on an inside shot. Grayling scored 10 unanswered points with a drive by Nicholas, a jumper by Brent Weismiller, and two triples by Nicholas. Boyne City hit a three-pointer. Grayling scored on a drive by Nicholas. Nicholas hit another three-pointer.
At halftime, the Vikings led 23-18.
The Ramblers outscored Grayling 17-6 in the third quarter. Nicholas, Brill, and Trey Moffit scored points for GHS during the period.
Boyne City completed a three-point play early in the fourth quarter to lead by nine, 38-29. Grayling scored on an inside shot by Nicholas and a lay-up by Nick Hunter. The Ramblers scored. Moffit hit a three-pointer at the 5:47 mark. Hunter made a lay-up. Moffit hit another triple, giving the Vikings a 41-40 lead with 4:36 left in regulation.
Boyne City made two free throws, giving the Ramblers a 42-41 lead. Christian Artress made one of two free throw attempts, tying the game at 42-42.
Boyne City, fouled on an inside shot that went in, hit the free throw for a three-point play. Grayling answered with a triple by Moffit, tying the score at 45-45.
The Vikings got a stop on defense. Grayling shot from three-point range, missed, and Boyne City rebounded the ball. The Ramblers passed the ball around to take time off the clock, trying to win the game on a last-second shot. Boyne City got the ball inside and Grayling blocked the shot attempt at the rim. The fourth quarter ended with the score tied at 45-45.
Overtime. The Ramblers won the tip-off and scored on a jump shot. Grayling shot from three-point range and missed. Boyne City got the rebound. The Ramblers hit two free throws, giving Boyne City a 49-45 lead.
Grayling missed from beyond the arc and the Ramblers got the rebound. Boyne City shot a three-pointer, missed, and Nicholas grabbed the rebound. At the other end, the Vikings missed a two-point attempt and the Ramblers came away with the ball. Grayling fouled and Boyne City hit one of two free throw attempts. The Vikings missed again from beyond the arc. Grayling fouled and the Ramblers missed both free throws, but Boyne City rebounded the second miss and Grayling had to foul again. The Ramblers hit one of two from the line.
Grayling missed another three-point attempt, Boyne City got the rebound, and the Vikings fouled. The Ramblers hit both free throws. Grayling shot from long range, missed, and Boyne City came down with the rebound. The Vikings fouled with seven seconds remaining in overtime, and the Ramblers made both free throws.
Grayling shot, missed, rebounded the ball, shot, missed, and time expired. Boyne City won 55-45.
“I loved the toughness and the grit that our team showed in this game. We hit some clutch shots down the stretch to force the game into overtime and had to have a big stop at the end of the game in regulation to force it into an extra session. I thought, even though we lost, we took a big step forward in our development in this game. You have to understand that our earlier game vs. Boyne City was a 37-point loss. Boyne City is one of the best teams in northern Michigan, so this was a positive measuring stick for us as we continue to improve,” Coach Rich Moffit said.
Nicholas had 24 points and four rebounds for Grayling. Moffit had 10 points.
“Justin Nicholas was incredible at the offensive end of the court, especially in the first half. Justin knocked down 24 points, 19 in the first half. Trey Moffit, after switching his contact lenses into opposite eyes at halftime, had 10 points in the second half – nine in the last quarter. Brent Weismiller and Nick Hunter were huge at the defensive end of the court for us. BW had a career high in blocked shots with two,” Coach Moffit said. “Christian Artress did a great job of controlling the tempo of the game from the point guard position and his defense was spot on. Ryan Anderson and Conner Brill provided us with a spark off the bench.”
Coach Moffit is retiring at the end of the current season after 24 years of coaching varsity basketball at GHS. People associated with the program made an effort to fill the gym on Friday night for Coach Moffit’s final home game for the Vikings, and they succeeded. Coach Moffit said he appreciated the support from the crowd. The school honored Coach Moffit during a brief ceremony conducted prior to the game.
“I loved the atmosphere of this game. The crowd was electrifying. It was a great game to prep us for the pressures of March Madness. Viking Nation had the gym rocking,” Coach Moffit said. “On a personal note, I am extremely appreciative of the support from our community. It meant a lot to me to see the enormous support for our kids and our program.”
For March Madness, the Vikings will start their playoff run with a Michigan High School Athletic Association District 62-B round one game vs. Tawas at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 5, at Ogemaw Heights High School. The winner will play against Standish-Sterling Central in the semifinals at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, at Ogemaw Heights.
“I definitely believe that we have the potential to be successful in the tourney. We have a number of kids who have playoff experience and they have been in some pretty big games last year. The key for us will be our defense. Because of our size, we have to play at a very high level defensively. We will have to play as a team in order to win,” Coach Moffit said.
Vikings clinch victory vs. Kalkaska with 28 4th quarter points
The Grayling Vikings led by nine points vs. the Kalkaska Blazers after a low scoring third period, but the Vikings pulled away down the stretch with 28 fourth quarter points, and Grayling won Tuesday night’s varsity boys basketball game by a final score of 68-53.
The Vikings led 8-2 early in the game, scoring eight points with three-pointers by Sam Davis and Brent Weismiller and a reverse lay-up by Davis. Kalkaska scored nine unanswered points, giving the Blazers an 11-8 advantage.
Grayling scored six points with jump shots by Ryan Anderson and Christian Artress and two free throws from Nick Hunter. Kalkaska made two baskets, putting the Blazers up by one. Trey Moffit hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, giving Grayling a 17-15 lead after one quarter of play.
The Vikings opened the second period with a 10-0 run. The series included three-pointers by Justin Nicholas and Moffit, an inside shot by Conner Brill, and two free throws from Brill.
Kalkaska hit two free throws. Weismiller scored on an inside shot. The Blazers scored. Moffit hit a three-pointer for Grayling at the 1:55 mark. Anderson hit two free throws. Kalkaska made two shots from the free throw line. Brill connected on an inside shot. The Blazers hit a jump shot. Hunter, during the final seconds of the first half, scored on a drive to the basket.
The score at halftime was Grayling 38, Kalkaska 24.
The Vikings scored only two points in the third quarter. The Blazers scored seven.
Grayling led by nine, 40-31, going into the fourth period.
The Vikings scored first in the fourth quarter with a three-pointer by Nicholas. Kalkaska made a lay-up. Nicholas, fouled on a three-point shot that went in, hit the free throw for a four-point play.
After two baskets by Kalkaska, the Vikings scored nine unanswered points with an inside shot by Davis, a jumper by Nicholas, two free throws from Hunter, and a three-pointer by Nicholas.
The Blazers hit a three-pointer at the 3:56 mark. Nicholas hit another three-pointer. Moffit made a lay-up. Kalkaska scored. Hunter scored on an inside shot. Moffit made one of two from the free throw line.
The Blazers outscored the Vikings 9-1 in the final minute of regulation, but Grayling won by 15 points, 68-53.
“This was a great win for our kids and program. We did a really solid job of limiting open looks to Kalkaska’s three ball shooters. Our guard play was really solid in controlling the tempo of the game. They are developing a really good understanding of how they can control the pace of the game with their decision making and it was a real advantage for our team tonight. The difference in the game for us offensively was our passing. Every time Kalkaska attempted to double our ball handlers we moved the ball to the open man. This was an aspect of our game that we really struggled with last week. It was good to see growth in this area of our game,” Coach Rich Moffit said.
Nicholas had 19 points for Grayling. Moffit had 15 points. Hunter had eight points, six rebounds, and four assists. Brill had eight points and six rebounds. Davis had seven points. Weismiller had five points and six rebounds.
“Justin Nicholas fought through foul trouble in the first three quarters and knocked down 16 points in the last quarter to lead us with 19 points. Trey shot very well from the perimeter, including a half court shot, and played solid (defense). Sam Davis had his best game as a Viking, setting the tone of the game by hitting a three ball and then a reverse lay-up to start the game offensively for us. Ryan Anderson and Christian Artress controlled the game offensively from their point guard position and their leadership was very evident. Nick Hunter played his best game as a Viking; his passing was really good. Brill, replacing Nicholas in the first three quarters, was really good in the paint and on the glass. BW’s defense was a difference maker for us. BW hit the boards hard and was a shutdown on Kalkaska’s key guys,” Coach Moffit said.