By Jim Goorman
Local Sports Journal
Muskegon Catholic Central did not surrender on Friday night against Grand River Preparatory.
The Crusaders were left for dead until a 24-8 scoring run in the fourth quarter led to a come-from-behind 60-57 victory in boys basketball action.
The Crusaders were down 49-36 heading into the final quarter against the Titans.
For three quarters Grand River played an aggressive full-court pressing defense, and an attacking the basket offense.
Zac James led the way in the second quarter with 12 points while Lydon Mitchelson poured in 12 points in the third.
Muskegon Catholic trailed 32-28 at half, but was stymied by the Titan defense that limited the hosts to eight points in the third quarter.
That was the time when the Crusaders kicked in their aggressive man-to-man defense with bodies diving after the ball and an all-out cleaning of the defensive glass. Intensive rebounding by Brent McCallum and Cari Campbell led to easy putbacks and transition baskets.
After trailing most of the game, the Crusaders received a steal and layup from John Daniel that tied the game at 57-all with 1:15 left.
The Titans were limited to eight points in the final quarter as they absorbed their third loss of the season (2-3 over all).
Mitchelson had almost willed his team to a victory throughout the first three quarters with all-out hustle and great court sense. He was joined by teammate Zac James (12 points) with a solid effort that came up just short.
Grand River Prep will be joining the River Valley Conference next year.
Catholic’s unexpected fourth-quarter run was greatly assisted as they made 7-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Adam Callow hit three consecutive freebies after being fouled on a 3-point attempt to bring the Crusaders within two. Brent McCollum and John Daniel each had 6 points in the pivotal fourth quarter to spark the Crusaders.
Cari Campbell and Brent McCallum both finished with 15 points for the Crusaders. They go into the break with a 2-2 record.