Vikings win 72-71 vs. Rayders with buzzer beater in overtime
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
I really loved our character and heart in this game. We had a lot of adversity in this game and our guys continued to fight and compete when the outlook was not very good. We were down by 12 entering the fourth and we scored the first nine points of the quarter. Our guys continued to work hard and created opportunities to win down the stretch. Love the ‘never say die’ attitude. Christian Artress had the ultimate pressure on him with three free throws and hit them all... toughness. Spencer White had the poise and toughness to get to the rim and knock down the game winner.” – Rich Moffit, Grayling High School Varsity Boys Basketball Coach
It wasn’t easy, but the Vikings of Grayling High School were able to escape Charlevoix High School with a 72-71 conference win over the Rayders on Friday night during a varsity boys basketball contest that featured late game drama, clutch free throws, and a buzzer beater in overtime.
It was an eventful contest; it had several ties and lead changes, big plays by both squads, 17 total three-pointers, and an all-time school record for Grayling broken.
Troy Summers, senior center for the Vikings, had 12 rebounds on Friday night, enough for him to pass Gerry St. Germain’s career mark of 681, a Grayling High School record that had been in place since 1969. Summers’ achievement was perhaps overshadowed by the circumstances of the contest: late game heroics by teammates, playing on the road in a hostile environment, overtime, staying alive in the hunt for a league title with the win. According to the team, the Vikings plan to honor Summers during a home game this week.
The Vikings led 11-5 early in the contest. Charlevoix ended the first quarter with a 10-3 run, and the Rayders led 15-14 after one period. Grayling scored its first 14 points with a triple by Justin Nicholas, a put-back by Spencer White, three inside shots by Summers, and a three-point play by Nick Hunter. The Rayders scored nine of their first 15 points with three triples.
At halftime, Charlevoix led 35-31. The Rayders hit five more three-pointers in the second period. Grayling scored 17 points in the second quarter with two inside shots by Summers, five free throws from Summers, two free throws from White, a jump shot by Nicholas, a three-pointer by Trey Moffit, and one free throw from Nicholas.
Grayling scored the first four points of the second half with two baskets by White, tying the score at 35-35. Charlevoix scored six unanswered points to lead 41-35.
White hit a three-pointer for the Vikings at the 4:09 mark. The Rayders outscored Grayling 9-0 in the last four minutes of the third period, hitting a three-pointer – their ninth of the contest – at the third quarter buzzer.
The Vikings trailed by 12, 50-38, going into the final eight minutes of regulation.
Grayling opened the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run, a series that included two inside shots by Summers, a drive by White, and a three-pointer by White. The run cut Charlevoix’s lead to three, 50-47.
The Rayders hit a triple at the 5:26 mark. Grayling scored four points with inside shots by Summers and Nicholas. Charlevoix made another three-pointer at the 4:05 mark, giving the Rayders a 56-51 advantage.
White converted two free throws for the Vikings. Charlevoix hit a jumper. Summers scored for GHS on a lay-up. The Rayders hit a jump shot and a three-pointer – their 12th of the night – to lead 63-55 with 1:40 left in the fourth period.
Summers made two free throws at the 1:23 mark. Charlevoix turned the ball over and Grayling scored two with an inside shot by Summers. The Rayders, leading 63-59, killed time off the clock until the Vikings were able to foul and send Charlevoix to the free throw line. The Rayders – on a one and one opportunity – made the first free throw and missed the second. Nicholas rebounded the ball and drew a foul. He hit both free throws, making it a one possession game at 64-61.
Grayling fouled and Charlevoix missed the resulting free throw. Nicholas came down with the rebound. The Vikings called time-out with 15 seconds left in regulation. They needed three points to tie the score.
The Vikings shot from three-point range, missed, got the loose ball on the rebound, and Charlevoix fouled Christian Artress on a three-point shot attempt, sending him to the line for three free throws with 2.8 seconds left on the clock. Artress sank the first two. After a Charlevoix time-out, Artress hit the third free throw, tying the score at 64-64. The Rayders were able to get the ball in bounds, but they did not get a shot off before the fourth quarter buzzer.
At the end of regulation, the score was Grayling 64, Charlevoix 64.
The Rayders scored first in overtime with a three-pointer. White made two free throws for GHS. Charlevoix scored on a drive to the basket. White drove to the basket for two. The Rayders hit two free throws at the 0:46 mark. Summers scored on a put-back with 32 seconds remaining.
The Vikings had to foul to stop the clock – it was their 10th, giving Charlevoix two free throw attempts – and the Rayders missed both shots. Summers got the rebound on the second miss. Grayling got the ball to White, who dribbled toward the end line, worked it back into the paint, and shot the ball off the glass as time expired. It went in, giving Grayling a 72-71 victory.
“First of all, give (Charlevoix) a ton of credit. They played very well and were outstanding from the arc – 13 for 22 is outstanding at every level,” Coach Rich Moffit said.
“I really loved our character and heart in this game. We had a lot of adversity in this game and our guys continued to fight and compete when the outlook was not very good. We were down by 12 entering the fourth and we scored the first nine points of the quarter. Our guys continued to work hard and created opportunities to win down the stretch. Love the ‘never say die’ attitude,” Coach Moffit said.
“Christian Artress had the ultimate pressure on him with three free throws and hit them all... toughness. Spencer White had the poise and toughness to get to the rim and knock down the game winner,” Coach Moffit said.
“Troy Summers was outstanding at both ends of the court. He broke Gerry St. Germain’s career rebounding mark, which had lasted 48 years. St. Germain is mentioned as one of the all-time greats in GHS history... great honor,” Coach Moffit said.
Summers finished the game with 29 points, 12 boards, two steals, and two blocks. White had 24 points and four assists. Nicholas had 10 points.
“Justin Nicholas, Trey Moffit, and Nick Hunter made some outstanding plays during crunch time. Brent and Sam were solid defensively,” Coach Moffit said.
The Vikings (10-3 overall, 6-2 league) will play at East Jordan on Friday, Feb. 10.
Lake Michigan Conference
Boyne City......................7-1 (9-3)
St. Francis......................6-2 (7-5)
Elk Rapids......................5-3 (8-5)
Harbor Springs...............4-4 (7-4)
East Jordan....................0-7 (2-9)
Last week’s scores:
Kalkaska 75, East Jordan 63
Grayling 73, Ogemaw Heights 44
Boyne City 55, Kingsley 53
Elk Rapids 63, Manton 56
Charlevoix 51, Glen Lake 39
Kalkaska 55, Cadillac 28
Grayling 61, Houghton Lake 27
Harbor Springs 61, LaSalle 40
Gaylord 58, Charlevoix 45
Cheboygan 62, East Jordan 51
Harbor Springs 57, St. Francis 50
Grayling 72, Charlevoix 71
Boyne City 53, Harbor Springs 40
St. Francis 49, Elk Rapids 41