Basketball doubleheader raises money for fight against cancer

East Jordan wins 69-45, 52-43 vs. Vikings during varsity boys, girls basketball games on Friday at Grayling High School
Farm Bureau Insurance, the American Cancer Society, and Grayling High School’s varsity basketball programs teamed up for a Coaches vs. Cancer event on Friday night, and the basketball doubleheader raised more than $1,500 for the American Cancer Society.
In addition to the fundraising efforts and cancer awareness ceremonies – both pregame and halftime – the two Grayling teams (boys and girls) wore special Coaches vs. Cancer uniforms for the games.
“It was a great honor for us as a program to participate in such an amazing event,” said Dan Brandt, coach of the Grayling High School varsity girls basketball team. “The players really look forward to playing in this special game and helping raise awareness and the necessity to raise money to help those who have been affected by cancer. It brings the whole community together. Players and fans of the game of basketball can come out and celebrate those who have fought and continue to fight cancer.”
In the first game of the doubleheader, the varsity girls basketball team from Grayling High School played against the East Jordan Red Devils.
East Jordan opened the contest with a 10-0 run. 
Grayling responded with 10 unanswered points, tying the score at 10-10. The series for the Vikings included a three-pointer by Jasmine Youngblood, a jump shot by Isabel Duba, a fast break lay-up by Duba, two free throws from Makenzie Castle, and one free throw from Kayleigh Paulus.
The Red Devils scored on an inside shot. Grayling scored three points during the final seconds of the first quarter with one free throw by Youngblood and a drive to the basket by Youngblood.
The Vikings led 13-12 after one quarter of play.
Grayling scored the first points of the second period with an inside shot by Castle.
An 11-0 run by East Jordan gave the Red Devils a 23-15 advantage. Grayling scored the last two points of the first half with two free throws from Jasmine Denton.
At halftime, East Jordan led by six, 23-17.
The Red Devils opened the third quarter with a three-point basket. Grayling responded with a three-pointer by Emma Mertes, a lay-up by Castle, and an inside shot by Castle. The Vikings trailed by two, 26-24.
East Jordan scored five points with a three-pointer and an inside shot. Denton hit a three-point basket for Grayling at the 3:44 mark. The Red Devils hit a triple. Grayling scored on a drive by Denton. East Jordan made one of two from the free throw line during the final seconds of the third quarter.
Going into the final eight minutes of regulation, the Red Devils led 35-29.
Grayling scored first in the fourth quarter with a lay-up by Duba. East Jordan hit two free throws. Mertes scored for the Vikings. On two trips to the line, the Red Devils made four free throw attempts. Castle made one of two free throws at the 3:58 mark. East Jordan made one free throw.
Duba scored on an inside shot with 3:26 left in the game. East Jordan led by six, 42-36.
The Red Devils made one of two at the free throw line. Grayling scored on a drive by Denton, cutting East Jordan’s lead to five, 43-38.
The Red Devils made two free throw attempts at the 2:32 mark. Denton converted on two free throw attempts at the 1:48 mark to pull Grayling back within five, 45-40.
Mertes stole the ball and scored on an inside shot, cutting East Jordan’s lead to three, 45-42, with 1:40 left in regulation.
The Red Devils scored seven unanswered points, hitting seven of eight free throw attempts on four trips to the line. Grayling scored the last point of the contest with one free throw from Paulus.
East Jordan won 52-43.
Denton finished the game with 11 points. Castle had nine points. Duba had eight points. Mertes had seven points. Youngblood had six points.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the varsity boys basketball team from Grayling High School played against its East Jordan counterpart.
The Red Devils opened the game with a 22-2 run. East Jordan led 24-8 at the end of the first quarter. Dylan Cragg hit two three-pointers for the Vikings during the first period, and Caleb Caul made two free throws.
The Red Devils led 40-14 at halftime.
Grayling scored six points in the second quarter with an inside shot by Eliot Boik, a basket by Caul, and a lay-up by Matt Pittman.
The Vikings scored first in the third period with an inside shot by Cragg. East Jordan scored 14 unanswered points to lead 54-16. Grayling ended the third quarter with an 8-0 run, a series that included two baskets by Mason Manning, a three-pointer by Caul, and one free throw from Caul.
Grayling scored 21 points in the final eight minutes of regulation with a jumper by Boik, an inside shot by Pittman, three free throws by Garrett Reilly, two free throws by Manning, a jumper by Manning, a jump shot by Boik, a basket by Reilly, and two three-pointers by Pittman.
East Jordan won 69-45.
Pittman had 10 points for Grayling. Caul, Manning, and Cragg each had eight points. Boik had seven points. Reilly had five points.
After the boys basketball game, organizers announced that the event raised $1,558 for the American Cancer Society.
“This community never disappoints me when caring for others. We raised over $1,500 dollars for cancer. I really have to take my hat off to East Jordan as they wanted to participate in the pregame ceremony by going into the stands and celebrating with the people who have endured cancer. The boys gifted a uniform to Mrs. Allen, who lost her mom to cancer. They really understand that the meaning of the game meant more than the game itself,” said Rich Reilly, coach of the Grayling High School varsity boys basketball team. 
Coaches vs. Cancer is a national fundraising effort involving high school and college basketball teams and their fans.
“For over 25 years, the Coaches vs. Cancer program, in collaboration with the National Association of Basketball Coaches, has united coaches and fans nationwide to help the American Cancer Society defeat a common enemy – cancer. With your passion and dedicated support, the impact has been felt in communities nationwide,” according to
If you wish to donate to the effort, visit 

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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