Vikings pull away in 2nd half, win season opener 58-30 vs. Bucks
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
It was a close game early, but the Grayling Vikings pulled away down the stretch, outscoring the Roscommon Bucks 45-20 during the last 19 minutes of Thursday night’s varsity girls basketball game – the season opener for the Vikings – and Grayling won by a final score of 58-30. Roscommon High School hosted the contest.
The Vikings opened the game with a 6-0 run. The series included an inside shot by Emma Mertes, an inside shot by Sierra Trudeau, and two free throws from Vanessa Nielson. Roscommon made one of two attempts from the free throw line. At the 3:08 mark, Grayling scored on an inside shot by Kayleigh Paulus. The Vikings led 8-1.
The Bucks scored five unanswered points with a put-back and three free throws. Grayling led 8-6.
The Vikings scored the last three points of the first period with one free throw from Jasmine Youngblood and a jump shot by Youngblood.
After eight minutes of play, Grayling had an 11-6 advantage.
The Bucks scored first in the second quarter with a jump shot. Mertes made a lay-up for the Vikings. Roscommon scored on a lay-up. Grayling led 13-10.
The Vikings outscored the Bucks 14-5 during the last three minutes of the second period. Jasmine Denton made one of two from the free throw line. Mertes scored on a put-back. Isabel Duba and Mertes made lay-ups for Grayling. Belle Hatfield hit one of two free throw attempts. Nielson made two three-pointers for the Vikings during the last minute of the second period, including one at the buzzer.
The halftime score was Grayling 27, Roscommon 15.
The Bucks hit a three-pointer early in the third quarter. Trudeau made a lay-up for the Vikings. Roscommon hit two free throws. Makenzie Castle scored for Grayling on an inside shot. Castle hit one of two from the free throw line at the 5:25 mark. The Bucks made two free throws. Hatfield hit a three-point shot for GHS with 4:30 left in the third period. Roscommon scored three points with one free throw and a jump shot.
With 3:58 left in the third quarter, Grayling had a 35-25 lead.
The Vikings outscored the Bucks 10-3 during the last 3:57 of the period. Mertes, Paulus, and Duba scored for Grayling during the run.
The Vikings took a 45-28 lead into the fourth quarter.
Grayling outscored Roscommon 13-2 during the last eight minutes of regulation.
The Vikings scored their 13 fourth quarter points with one free throw from Castle, three free throws from Denton, a jumper by Mertes, a three-point play by Paulus, an inside shot by Paulus, and an inside shot by Nielson.
Grayling won 58-30.
“Great team effort,” Coach Dan Brandt said. “They played tough defense, which created many offensive opportunities. A great first game and victory with work ethic and hustle.”
Mertes finished with 15 points for Grayling. Paulus had 10 points. Nielson had 10 points. Duba, Denton, Trudeau, Hatfield, and Castle each had four points.
The Vikings (1-0 overall, 0-0 league) will host Harbor Springs on Tuesday, December 17.