GRANT–The Montague Wildcats girls basketball team picked up a key nonleague road win on Wednesday as they squeezed out a 42-41 victory over the Grant Tigers.

“This was our first game in 14 days so I was a little worried about what our energy level would be like after having some cancellations and combining winter break,” said Montague coach Nick Thaler. “As a group, I think we learned a great deal from our game with Mona Shores.  Playing up against a quality D1 opponent can really test you mentally and I thought we responded well.

Montague made jumped out to a 13-8 lead after the first quarter and extended that to 27-14 at the half.

The Tigers got back in the ballgame, thanks to a strong second-half performance. Grant narrowed the gap to 37-29 entering the fourth quarter by outscoring the Wildcats 15-10 in the third period.

Montague hung on down the stretch as Grant held the upper hand in the final quarter. Grant had a 12-5 scoring margin and fell just short.

“The girls executed our game plan perfectly in the first half, Thaler said. “We played some great team ball and it was awesome seeing the group fly around defensively.

“Grant is a solid, well coached team and they have a heck of a player,” Thaler said. “Ashbaugh can really go. We just tried to make things difficult for her because she is a threat anytime she has the ball.

Emma Peterson led the Montague offense with 12 points and five rebounds while Haylee Schwarz tossed in 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Braylyn Bultema chipped in eight points and four rebounds.
Ashbaugh came into the contest averaging 24 points and 10.7 rebounds per game for Grant. She was limited to 15. Joining her in double digits was Jayci Hance with 10 points.
Montague (4-3) hosts Fremont on Friday.
Grant (5-3) hosts Newaygo on Friday.

Julie Ashbaugh of the Grant Tigers (Photo/Brittlynn Vansingel)