League title hopes end with 60-57 loss at St. Francis
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
We stressed to our kids to keep their composure and concentrate on the process. We played outstanding defense in the fourth quarter and forced (Traverse City St. Francis) into several turnovers. We also dominated the boards in the quarter. Offensively, Spencer White was on fire in the quarter, scoring 15 points. Justin Nicholas hit a huge three ball to close the gap to 60-57. We had a couple of chances in the (final) two possessions to tie it up and the shots did not fall." Rich Moffit, Grayling High School Varsity Boys Basketball Coach
After being in the mix for the Lake Michigan Conference championship for boys basketball all year, the league title hopes for the Grayling Vikings ended on Tuesday night with a 60-57 loss vs. the Traverse City St. Francis Gladiators in a game played in Traverse City.
With the win, the Gladiators improved to 11-2 in Lake Michigan Conference play. Grayling fell to 8-4.
Traverse City St. Francis led 10-9 after a low scoring first period. Troy Summers, Nick Hunter, Trey Moffit, and Spencer White scored points for Grayling in the first quarter.
The Gladiators led 26-23 at halftime.
Second period highlights for the Vikings included a three-pointer by Brent Weismiller, a jump shot by Nick Hunter, a dunk by Summers, and an inside shot by White.
Grayling scored first in the third quarter with an inside shot by Summers. Traverse City St. Francis scored on a jump shot. White hit a three-pointer for GHS at the 6:26 mark. Moffit connected from beyond the arc at the 5:57 mark, giving Grayling a 31-28 advantage.
St. Francis caught fire from three-point range, hitting four triples. The Gladiators scored on a lay-up. At the 2:07 mark, Traverse City St. Francis hit another triple, capping a 17-0 run.
The Gladiators led 45-31.
Christian Artress made two free throws for the Vikings at the 1:44 mark. Traverse City St. Francis scored on a jumper. The Gladiators hit a three-pointer with 35 seconds left in the third quarter. Summers scored on an inside shot.
Going into the fourth period, St. Francis led by 15, 50-35.
The Gladiators scored first in the fourth quarter with an inside shot. Summers hit two free throws for Grayling. St. Francis scored. White hit a three-pointer. Summers made two more free throws. The Gladiators scored.
An 8-0 run by the Vikings – two three-pointers by White and a fast break lay-up by White – cut Traverse City’s lead to six, 56-50.
The Gladiators scored on two drives to the basket to lead by 10, 60-50, with 1:47 left in regulation. White scored for the Vikings on a drive. Summers stole the ball and passed to White, who scored on a drive. Grayling got the ball back and Justin Nicholas hit a three-pointer for the Vikings with 33 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Grayling fouled and Traverse City St. Francis missed the one and one free throw opportunity. There was a tie-up on the rebound and the possession arrow favored the Vikings.
Grayling shot from three-point range, missed, and Traverse City St. Francis got the rebound. The Vikings fouled. The Gladiators missed the free throw, but they got the rebound. Grayling fouled with two seconds left in regulation. St. Francis missed the resulting free throw and the Vikings rebounded the ball. Grayling shot from half-court; the ball hit the backboard and the front edge of the rim and fell to the floor, no good.
St. Francis won 60-57.
“This was definitely a game of runs. We were down 21-12 in the second quarter and Troy Summers’ transition basket over Sam Ludka inspired an 11-5 run to end the quarter,” Coach Rich Moffit said. “The third quarter was a huge struggle for us. (Traverse City St. Francis) hit six threes in the quarter and outscored us 24-12. We struggled to stop dribble penetration and kick-outs for open threes.”
“We stressed to our kids to keep their composure and concentrate on the process. We played outstanding defense in the fourth quarter and forced (Traverse City St. Francis) into several turnovers. We also dominated the boards in the quarter. Offensively, Spencer White was on fire in the quarter, scoring 15 points. Justin Nicholas hit a huge three ball to close the gap to 60-57. We had a couple of chances in the (final) two possessions to tie it up and the shots did not fall,” Coach Moffit said.
White had 22 points. Summers finished with 17 points and 19 rebounds.
“Extremely disappointed to lose this game; however, I am proud of the way that our guys battled back in this game. They showed a lot of grit and were very resilient throughout the contest,” Coach Moffit said.