What does Thursday night’s basketball game between Grass Lake and Vandercook Lake have in common with the circus?
Both events were “intense.”
Once you recover from your side-splitting laughter, understand the theme and the subplots that took place in the Warriors 55-50 victory over the Jayhawks. It would be simple to say that Grass Lake took control of the game in the second period, leading by as many as 15 points, and withstood a ferocious Vandercook Lake comeback attempt to notch perhaps its biggest win of the season. Trae Ruggles led all scorers with 24 points, many of which came from slick drives to the basket that finished with a twisting and acrobatic layup. Flu-stricken Xavier Bargesser added 19 points, going 12 of 16 from the free throw line. The rest of the Warriors made key contributions at opportune times. Josh Horodecnzy performed what can be best described as “authoritative rebounding” as well as having several blocked shots. Louis Good hit two big free throws late in the game to help seal the win.
The subplots include Vandercook Lake’s high-pressure defense. In the first period they utilized a full court press that caused some Warrior turnovers which in turn led to points for the Jayhawks, taking a 13-11 lead after the first period. During its comeback attempt Vandy would closely guard the Warriors as they were trying to run their half-court offense, getting into their faces 25 to 30 feet from the basket. At times it was a chippy contest with some jawing back and forth among the players. Vandercook Lake was assessed four technical fouls during the game. Vandercook’s head coach, James Bradley, was ejected after receiving his second technical, and even a Jayhawk fan was ejected from the contest after his hostility towards the officials.
Through it all the Warriors stood strong during the adversity. This could very well come in handy in the future because there is a good chance that these two teams will be facing each other in three weeks for a district championship. Grass Lake is the district host this season, and the rubber match of the season series has the potential to be an epic battle that will challenge the mettle of all players and coaches involved.