Third quarter surge leads to 66-53 victory vs. Red Devils
Tue, 03/02/2021 - 11:53am caleb
Varsity boys basketball team trails by four at halftime, but outscores East Jordan 42-25 in the final 16 minutes to win by 13
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Grayling High School’s varsity boys basketball squad trailed East Jordan for most of the first half of Tuesday night’s Lake Michigan Conference contest, but the Vikings surged past the Red Devils in the second half, outscoring them 27-12 in the third period, and Grayling won by 13 points, 66-53.
East Jordan led 17-12 at the end of the first period. The Vikings scored 12 points in the first eight minutes of regulation with two three-pointers by Dylan Cragg, two free throws from Nate Persing, two free throws from Caleb Caul, and an inside shot by Persing.
The Red Devils led by four, 28-24, at halftime. Grayling scored 12 points during the second quarter with jump shots by Eliot Boik and Cragg and free throws from Cragg, Boik, and Caul.
Grayling scored first in the third period with an inside shot by Cragg. East Jordan scored on an inside shot. The Vikings scored two with a jumper by Persing. Boik hit a three-pointer for GHS at the 6:12 mark, giving Grayling its first lead since the 3:52 mark in the first quarter. East Jordan hit two free throws to go back up by one.
A dunk by Boik at the 5:25 mark gave Grayling a 33-32 advantage. The Vikings extended their scoring run to eight unanswered points with a basket by Caul, a jumper by Anthony Harrington, and two free throws from Caul.
East Jordan scored on an inside shot. The Vikings scored six unanswered points with a jumper by Cragg, a put-back by Caul, and two free throws from Cragg.
With 2:11 left in the third period, Grayling led 44-34.
The Red Devils completed a three-point play at the 2:01 mark. Matt Pittman converted on one of two attempts from the free throw line. East Jordan hit a three-point shot with 1:32 left in the third quarter, cutting Grayling’s lead to five, 45-40.
The Vikings scored six points in the last 1:31 of the third period with two triples by Cragg.
Grayling took a 51-40 advantage into the fourth quarter.
The Vikings outscored the Red Devils 15-13 during the last eight minutes. Points for Grayling down the stretch included an inside shot by Persing, a lay-up by Boik, a put-back by Cameron Ketchum, an inside shot by Sparty Berry-Skillern, a drive by Caul, and free throws from Persing, Berry-Skillern, and Adam Smith.
Grayling won by a final score of 66-53.
Cragg finished with 20 points, six rebounds, four assists, and four blocks. Caul had 15 points, four rebounds, and three steals. Boik had 12 points and five steals. Persing had 10 points and three rebounds.
“(East Jordan) has some length and athleticism that gave us problems early. I felt we settled too often on the offensive side early on. Defensively we started slow and didn’t get the pressure we needed,” Coach LJ Mead said. “In the second half our kids attacked the hoop and we were able to get some of their key talent in foul trouble. We outscored them 27-12 in the third quarter mostly due to our intensity on defense and an attack first mindset on offense.”
“Absolutely proud of this group and their growth,” Coach Mead said.
The Vikings will host Traverse City St. Francis on Friday, March 5.