GRAYLING – Poor shooting, both from the field and the free throw line, contributed to the Grayling girls basketball team’s 59-54 loss to East Jordan on Friday, Feb. 2, in a Lake Michigan Conference game.
The Vikings made only 17-of-81 of their attempts from the floor, and converted just 10-of-25 free throw attempts. East Jordan had one less field goal than Grayling, but took far fewer shots in hitting 16-of-52 on the night, and was 24-of-41 at the charity stripe.
“Our girls played very well,” said Coach Joe Powers. “We have improved and improved all year long, and continue to play our best the next night. Our girls put themselves in position to win, but just came up short.
“We gave ourselves many more opportunities with our defense aggressiveness, as the 81 attempts proves. It was 29 shots more than East Jordan took for the game. But, we just didn’t make enough of them.”
Madi Longendyke finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Vikings. She was aggressive on the defensive end playing against strong girls. Jasmine Denton had a team-high 10 rebounds, and was 6-of-11 at the free throw line. Mallory Hatfield added 9 points and 4 rebounds. Esabella Powers distributed 4 assists.
Lincoln Alcona 37, Grayling 36
Despite enjoying their highest shooting percentage of the season at the free throw line, with 8-of-14 makes, the Vikings fell two points shy of a victory in dropping a close 37-36 decision to Lincoln Alcona on Jan. 30.
Esabella Powers had a monster game with 18 points and 9 rebounds to fall just shy of a double-double. Seven of those rebounds were off the defensive glass. Hatfield added 8 points, including making 5-of-6 at the charity stripe, and 6 rebounds.
“After a long bus trip to Alcona, our girls played a really strong game against a team that beat us soundly during summer ball,” coach Powers said. “Being down at the beginning, the girls fought back and played tough.”
Grayling managed to climb back to within 6 points, 19-13 at the half with an aggressive defense, and a variety of presses, that forced several turnovers.
With only 3 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Vikings took a 35-32 lead on a 3-point basket by Hatfield. Overall, the Vikings outscored Alcona, 14-9 in the final stanza but made only 1-of-4 from the free throw line down the stretch.
Boyne City 46, Grayling 35
Grayling’s continuing offensive struggles surfaced in the second half after the Vikings kept the game close throughout the first two quarter and part of the second, and it resulted in Boyne City pulling away for a 46-35 win in the Lake Michigan Conference on Jan. 26.
The Vikings trailed only 10-9 after the first quarter, but then was outscored, 16-7 in the second period and trailed by 10, 27-17 at the half. But, the Vikings rallied to cut the deficit to 8 points in the second half, but couldn’t get any closer.
Esabella Powers scored 8 points to lead the Vikings. She also had 4 rebounds and 9 steals. Denton followed with 7 points and 4 steals, while Vanessa Nielson added 6 points. Grayling was 15-of-31 from the free throw line.
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