Varsity boys basketball team defeats Traverse City Christian 68-48 with second half surge
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Grayling Vikings trailed by two points at halftime during Friday night’s nonconference varsity boys basketball game vs. Traverse City Christian, but Grayling High School put together a 37-15 second half surge, giving the Vikings a 68-48 win over the visiting Sabres.
The score at the end of the first period was 17-17. Traverse City Christian scored first with a three-point play. The Vikings responded with a three-pointer by Dylan Cragg. The Sabres hit two free throws. Cragg scored on an inside shot. Cragg hit another three-pointer at the 5:19 mark. Grayling led 8-5.
Three triples by Traverse City Christian gave the Sabres a 14-8 advantage. Grayling scored seven unanswered points – a series that included two free throws from Ethan Dannenberg, a three-pointer by Garrett Reilly, and an inside shot by Eliot Boik – to lead by one, 15-14.
The Sabres hit two free throws at the 1:55 mark. Traverse City Christian made one of two at the line with 1:23 left in the first period. Grayling scored the last two points of the quarter with a drive by Reilly.
The Sabres led 33-31 at halftime. The Vikings scored 14 points during the second period with a jump shot by Caleb Caul, two three-pointers by Mason Manning, one free throw from Reilly, one free throw from Dannenberg, an inside shot by Dannenberg, and a drive by Reilly.
Traverse City Christian hit a three-pointer early in the third period. The Sabres led 36-31.
Grayling scored 13 unanswered points to lead 44-36. The series featured a jumper by Reilly, a three-point play by Cragg, a three-point play by Reilly, a drive by Caul, a lay-up by Cragg, and one free throw from Caul.
Traverse City Christian made a three-pointer at the 3:30 mark. Boik hit a triple for Grayling at the 2:45 mark. Cragg made two of two attempts from the free throw line. The Sabres made one of two from the line. The Vikings scored two points with a fast break lay-up by Reilly. Traverse City Christian scored on an inside shot. During the final seconds of the third quarter, Reilly hit a three-point basket for the Vikings, giving Grayling a 54-42 advantage going into the fourth period.
The Vikings put the game out of reach with an 11-2 run during the first six minutes of the fourth quarter. Overall, Grayling outscored Traverse City Christian 14-6 during the final eight minutes of regulation. Scoring highlights for the Vikings down the stretch included a lay-up by Boik, a drive by Boik, a jumper by Reilly, a drive by Caul, and a three-pointer by Manning.
Grayling won by 20 points, 68-48.
“We got ourselves into foul trouble early in the game, which allowed them to control the game. Give them credit, they were 14 for 20 from the line and shot well from the three-point line,” Coach Rich Reilly said. “We were able to limit the fouls in the second half, which allowed us to create a few turnovers and convert.”
Reilly had 20 points, three rebounds, three assists, and four steals for the Vikings. Cragg had 15 points, four rebounds, and two blocks. Caul had 10 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Boik had nine points and three rebounds. Manning had nine points and four rebounds.
“Garrett had a real good game along with Caleb and Dylan. Eliot gave us really good minutes and continues to improve. Mason played especially well defensively, leading in steals,” Coach Reilly said.
The Vikings (1-1 overall, 0-0 league) will play at Houghton Lake on Monday, January 6.
“We need to continue to attack the basket and be more aggressive defensively, not just shooting,” Coach Reilly said.