Local Sports Journal

The Grant Tigers rolled into Kent City Tuesday night in a battle of fourth-placed teams in their respective conferences.

Grant (10-7, 6-4) is fourth in the Lakes 8 Conference, while Kent City (6-10, 5-4) is fourth in the OK Silver Conference.

In this case, it was Lakes 8 over OK Silver.

Grant took the early lead and then held on for the 73-62 victory.

Kent City struggled to score in the first half, falling behind 20-15 after one quarter. The Tigers extended the lead to 15 after a 15-5 second-quarter run and took the comfortable 35-20 advantage into the locker room at the break.

Grant was paced by seniors Nick Brown and Tyler Manlick, scoring 15 and nine points, respectively, in the first half.

“We stayed home on defense,” explained Grant head coach Josh Delamater, “and didn’t gamble in the first half. Offensively, we did a good job of being patient and getting some really good looks.”

Outscoring the Tigers by three in the third, the Eagles’ sudden awakening was fueled by the chaos of the trap.

“Nick Brown picked up his third foul and when he came out, Kent City went into a full court trap,” said Delamater. “We haven’t been pressed like that this year and, with Nick out, we got rattled by the pressure.”

At one point the Eagles cut the lead to just five points, 65-60, in the fourth, buoyed by hot shooting after hitting six of their seven threes in the game in a span of just eight minutes.

The Eagles’ comeback bid ended, though, with Grant success at the line, with the Tigers bailed out of disappoint with the bonus.

“By that time, we were in the bonus and Nick had come back into the game,” said Delamater. “We started to get to the second level of their press and they were forced to foul us. We hit our free throws and stretched the lead back out.”

Brown led all scorers with 28 points, with teammate Tyler Manlick finished with 19 poitns, and senior Riley Foster added 13 in the win.

Will Wilson led Kent City with 17 points, and teammate Nick Alt added 14 for the Eagles.