Grand Rapids – The Tigers ended their season with an 87-80 loss to rival Kuyper College on Friday night ending an eight year streak of making it to the National Tournament.
The Tigers opened the game strong to take a nine point lead early only to watch the Cougars claw back to take a 39-35 lead at the half. Grace’s Nick Van Loo hit a three just before the half or the damage could have been even worse. The Tigers came out of the locker room sluggish and Kuyper scored the first seven points of the half to go up by eleven. They would extend the lead by as many as 15 only to see Grace come charging back to take a one point lead with just under nine minutes to play. Free throw shooting came into play in the game with Kuyper connecting on 25 of 27 from the line compared to Grace’s 14 for 24.
“We had a game plan going into tonight’s game and we did not do a good job of staying with that,” said Gary Bailey. “Our goal was to get it inside right out of the gate and continue to go to our strength. Our first trip was good and we got it inside but missed the lay up and our next two trips we shot three’s. Our players were reminded at the half to push the ball and get it inside in transition and we just never stayed with it. Give Kuyper credit, they took advantage of all of our mistakes and hit a lot of shots.” Kuyper was led by Andy DeKam’s 29 points points including 4 of 7 from three. Alex Rogers had 18, Omar Haynes, Mike Kragt, and Sal Hermiz each had 11.
The Tigers were led by Zach Schutte with 20 points. Travis Rader and Nick Mascorro each scored 12. BJ VanLoo scored 11 points and had a team high 10 rebounds. Michael Miller had 6 assists for the Tigers.
The Tigers say goodbye to Seniors Zach Schutte, Aaron Schutte, and Greg Salmon.