Basketball team ends season with playoff loss vs. Boyne City
After a close first half and a tie game with 4:35 left in the third period, Ramblers pull away during the final 12 minutes of regulation to win Wednesday’s District 34-2 game 80-54
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Grayling High School’s varsity boys basketball team ended its 2019-2020 season with an 80-54 District 34-2 playoff loss vs. the Boyne City Ramblers on Wednesday. The game was close in the first half – Boyne City led by one after two quarters of play – and the score was tied with 4:35 left in the third period, but the Ramblers pulled away during the final 12 minutes of regulation.
In the first round of the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 District 34 tournament, Boyne City defeated Kalkaska 61-48 on Monday night at Boyne City. On the other side of the bracket, Kingsley defeated Cheboygan 66-47 during a game played at Kingsley.
Grayling High School hosted both District 34-2 semifinal games on Wednesday night. First, the Sault Ste. Marie Blue Devils played against the Kingsley Stags. The Stags defeated the Blue Devils 64-35.
Next, the Grayling Vikings battled the Boyne City Ramblers. It was the third meeting between the two squads this season; both schools are in the Lake Michigan Conference. Boyne City won the first two meetings with scores of 68-26 and 67-30.
During Wednesday’s Grayling vs. Boyne City playoff game, the Ramblers opened the contest with an 8-0 run. The Vikings scored four points with a jump shot by Dylan Cragg and two free throws from Garrett Reilly. Boyne City hit a three-pointer. Ethan Dannenberg made one of two attempts from the free throw line for Grayling. The Ramblers hit another triple. The Vikings scored on a drive by Mason Manning. With 1:51 left in the first quarter, Boyne City connected on its third three-pointer of the period. The Ramblers led 19-7.
Grayling scored two points with a drive by Caleb Caul. Boyne City scored on a tip-in. Eliot Boik hit three-pointers for Grayling on back-to-back possessions. The Ramblers made two shots from the free throw line. Grayling scored the last two points of the first period with a basket by Caul.
After eight minutes of play, Boyne City led 23-17.
The Ramblers made one of two from the free throw line early in the second quarter. Grayling scored on an inside shot by Boik. Caul converted on two free throw attempts. Boyne City scored on a put-back. With 5:22 left in the second quarter, Boik scored on a dunk, pulling Grayling within three, 26-23.
The Ramblers made one of two free throw attempts. Manning hit a three-pointer for Grayling at the 4:58 mark. Reilly hit a triple for the Vikings, giving Grayling a 29-27 advantage at the 4:25 mark. Boik converted on a shot from beyond the three-point arc. Boyne City responded with a three-pointer. Caul scored for GHS on a drive to the basket. The Ramblers scored on a drive.
With 2:19 left in the first half, Manning scored for Grayling with a lay-up. Boyne City tied the score at 36-36 with an inside shot and two free throws. Dannenberg scored on a put-back. With one second left on the second quarter clock, Boyne City hit a three-pointer.
The score at halftime was Ramblers 39, Vikings 38.
Boyne City scored first in the third period with an inside shot. Reilly hit a jump shot for Grayling. The Ramblers scored on an inside shot. Cragg made one of two free throw attempts. Cragg hit a jump shot at the 4:35 mark, tying the score at 43-43.
Boyne City scored 12 unanswered points, scoring all 12 in the paint with drives and inside shots.
Cragg scored on an inside shot for Grayling. The Ramblers scored the last two points of the third quarter with a put-back.
Going into the fourth quarter, Boyne City led by 12, 57-45.
The Ramblers opened the fourth period with a 12-0 run, a series that included two more three-point baskets. Overall, Boyne City outscored Grayling 23-9 during the fourth quarter.
The Vikings scored their nine points during the final eight minutes with an inside shot by Cragg, four free throws from Matt Pittman, and free throws from Cragg and Boik.
Boyne City won 80-54.
Boik had 14 points for Grayling. Cragg had 11 points. Caul had eight points. Manning and Reilly each had seven points. Pittman had four points and Dannenberg had three points.
The District 34 finals were orginally scheduled for Friday night, but the Michigan High School Athletic Association announced on Thursday that all of its winter postseason tournaments were being stopped due to coronavirus concerns.
“On Wednesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recommended a stoppage of large gatherings in order to assist in preventing the spread of COVID-19,” according to the MHSAA. “Postseason events sponsored by the Michigan High School Athletic Association have been suspended immediately and indefinitely due to concerns related to COVID-19. No timetable has been determined for possible rescheduling of tournaments.”
“Based on the events of the last 48 hours and with things changing by the minute, we believe we have no choice but to suspend our winter tournaments immediately,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “This is a suspension until we have a better handle on the situation. The health and welfare of everyone involved is our number one priority.”